By 1999 the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile Grand Touring Championship had legislated the GT1 cars out of the series. Although the GT1s were a fan favourite fields were small during the 1998 season. Much of this must be attributed to manufacturers pricing the class out of existence - private teams could not keep pace with the factory efforts. The championship now consisted of the GT2 cars which were production based - Chrysler Viper, Porsche 911 GT2 and specialty brands such as the Marcos, Lister and Saleen Mustangs. Based on past performance the Vipers were expected to dominate adding to that there were six well prepared and financed Viper teams. The Vipers main competition came from the Porsche 911 GT2 with ten entries expected for the full season. The FIA introduced a performance penalty - each race win would result in an additional 25-kilograms.

The 1999 series consisted of ten rounds with the opening event taking place at Monza, Italy in April. Races were held in England, Hungary, Belgium, Germany, United States and the final round in China. With some exceptions, most of the races were 500-kilometers in length. Watkins Glen was round-nine with the previous event taking place at Homestead. There were twelve FIA GT entries and the remainder of the field were cars from the United States Road Racing Championship - nine in total.

The No. 2 Viper was shared by David Donohue and Jean-Philippe Belloc. Belloc put the car on the pole but was unable to hold off his teammate Olivier Beretta. Beretta was paired with Karl Wendlinger and they led much of the race but with 6-laps remaining the team was forced to stop for gas. Cynics questioned the pit-stop as the win for Donohue occurred on a weekend when his late father, Mark, was selected as the 1999 Legend of the Glen.
The newly crowned FIA GT champions were Olivier Beretta and Karl Wendlinger. The pairing had won five of the eight races heading into Watkins Glen. Before the race, the No. 1 car had a number of problems. A cracked differential during Friday's practice session caused Beretta to spin and the pair struggled with braking problems during qualifying. They started third and led much of the race but the late stop resulted in a second finish.
The No. 18 Chamberlain Viper driven by Xavier Pompidou, Vincent Vosse and Michel Ligonnet was expected to challenge the factory Vipers. Pompidou missed the pole by 0.163-seconds - starting second he prevented Team Oreca from sweeping the front row. At the outset, they could not keep pace with the No. 1 and 2 Vipers. In the late stages of the race, they ran out of fuel and finished sixth.
First among the American entered cars in the Invitational class was the Porsche 911 GT2 driven by, car owner, Larry Schumacher and John O'Steen. They finished seventh overall at Homestead and again at Watkins Glen. They also captured the GT2 victory in the final USRRC race at Mid-Ohio.
Sharing the driving duties of the No. 15 Freisinger Porsche 911 GT2 were Wolfgang Kaufmann and Bob Wollek. A very quick pairing they could never match the pace of the Vipers. At Watkins Glen, they started fifth and Kaufmann was in close pursuit of Pompidou during the opening laps. Unfortunately, a flat tire meant an early pit stop but they were able to salvage fourth.
Paul Belmondo Racing entered two Vipers - the lead car was driven by Paul Belmondo and Luca Drudi. In the previous round at Homestead Belmondo shared the car with Emmanuel Cierico and they won. This was the only event that the Team Oreca did not win. At Watkins Glen Drudi and Belmondo started eighth and finished fifth - 2-laps behind the winners.
The second Chamberlain Chrysler Viper GTS-R was driven by Christian Vann and Christian Glasel. The pair started fourth and had a steady race finishing third - it was their first podium of 1999.
Second in the Invitational class was the Reiser-Callas Porsche 911 RSR which qualified eleventh overall. Sharing the car was, team owner, Joel Reiser and former Porsche factory driver David Murry. They finished 4-laps behind the class winning Schumacher/O'Steen GT2 Porsche.
The second Konrad Porsche 911 GT2 was driven by American Charlie Slater and Diez de Villarroel. There were conflicting reports as what led to the car's retirement. One source suggested it was engine failure caused by a suspected over-rev. Another source suggested the DNF was the result of electrical problems. Maybe when the engine blew up, the wiring caught fire.
This is the SSZ Stradale created by Tom Zatloukal - the SSZ stands for Sprint Special Zatloukal. In all, there were 28-cars produced. This particular model is the Mark 3 which was powered by a twin turbocharged 3.0-litre Nissan engine. The car was driven by Mark Knepper and William Collins. They qualified twentieth in a twenty-one car field and retired after 4-laps when the car lost second gear.
Finishing third in the Invitational class was Jeff Nowicki's Specter Werkes Chevrolet Corvette GTR. The GT3-spec car suffered from low oil pressure and with 15-minutes remaining in the race, they pitted to add oil. The car was shared by Nowicki and factory Chevrolet Corvette driver Andy Pilgrim.
The No. 6 Konrad Porsche 911 GT2 was raced by Franz Konrad and Mike Hezemans. In the final hour of the event, Hezemans was in a great four-way battle for fourth with Vincent Vosse (Viper), Luca Drudi (Viper) and Bob Wollek (Porsche). Unfortunately, his great stint ended on lap-78 with a gearbox failure. The team finished fifteenth overall and eleventh in the GT class.

1GTBelloc / DonohueChrysler Viper GTS-RViper Team Oreca93-
2GTBeretta / WendlingerChrysler Viper GTS-RViper Team Oreca93-
3GTVann / GläselChrysler Viper GTS-RChamberlain Mrspt.92-
4GTKaufmann / WollekPorsche 911 GT2Freisinger Motorsport91-
5GTDrudi / BelmondoChrysler Viper GTS-RPaul Belmondo Racing91-
6GTPompidou/Ligonnet/VosseChrysler Viper GTS-RChamberlain Mrspt.91-
7N-GTO'Steen / SchumacherPorsche 911 GT2Schumacher Racing90-
8GTPfeffer / "Rael"Chrysler Viper GTS-RPaul Belmondo Racing90-
9GTHane / JuraszPorsche 911 GT2Freisinger Motorsport86-
10N-GTMurry / ReiserPorsche 911 Carrera RSRJoel Reiser86-
11GTCasadei / GarbagnatiPorsche 911 GT2Elf Haberthur Racing85-
12GTCappellari/Kicak/VuillaumePorsche 911 GT2Elf Haberthur Racing83-
13N-GTPilgrim / NowickiChevrolet Corvette C5Jeff Nowicki83-
14N-GTFergus / GreerOldsmobile CutlassJohn Fergus83-
15GTHezemans / KonradPorsche 911 GT2Konrad Motorsport78Transmission
16N-GTSeward / Galpin / YeamesChevrolet Corvette C4Glenn Seward72-
17N-GTGeck / Del VecchioFord Mustang Cobra RMichael Jacobs62-
18GTSlater / Diez de VillarroelPorsche 911 GT2Konrad Motorsport48Electrics
19N-GTHackerFord Mustang Cobra RMichael Jacobs20-
20N-GTFisher / BrunkPorsche 964 Carrera CupParagon Motorsports8Engine
21N-GTKnepper / CollinsSSZ Stradale Mk IIISSZ Motorcars4Gearbox

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