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RACING RESULTS   RACING RESULTS      RACING RESULTS   RACING RESULTS

International Motor Sports Association

Mueller, Hand Find GTLM Victory Lane for First Time in a Year at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Paul Miller Dominates for GTD Victory; Robichon Wins Inaugural WeatherTech Sprint Cup

 
September 15, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
MONTEREY, Calif. – Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand took out more than a year’s worth of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship frustration with a dominant GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory Sunday in the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren.

 
With Hand at the wheel, the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT crossed the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca finish line 20.039 seconds ahead of the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE to collect its first win since the Lime Rock Park race in July 2018.

 
“I’m not going to lie, that feels really great,” Mueller said. “It’s a sweet victory but it wasn’t an easy one.”

 
“We got in the car the first session here and it was pretty bad,” Hand added. “It was not good. And we fought our way from the worst car we ever had here to the best car we ever had here today in the race.”

 
Mueller started second in class alongside Motul Pole Award winner Jesse Krohn in the No. 24 BMW. They remained that way through the early laps on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn permanent road course, until the No. 24 stuttered briefly exiting the Andretti Hairpin in Turn 2. Mueller shot past into the lead and the No. 66 controlled the rest of the two-hour, 40-minute event.

 
“I knew my car was great, I could follow so closely behind (Krohn),” Mueller said. “I don’t really know what happened but he lost momentum and I took advantage (and) got by. That was tough because you don’t expect it. That was quite a close moment.

 
“From that moment, I think that was the milestone for the victory.”

 
Hand jumped into the No. 66 Ford GT following Mueller’s opening stint and stayed in the car to the finish. Opting for a two-stop strategy, Hand had only to outlast the three-stop effort of the Nos. 3 and 4 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.Rs to earn his 19th career IMSA win and the 24th for Mueller.

 
The victory was especially rewarding for Hand, a native of Sacramento, California. It was his first race win at the track where he’s raced for more than two decades.

 
“I’ve been trying to win at this racetrack, my home racetrack, since like 1998,” Hand said. “That puts in perspective how this feels to me. I’ve got a lot of seconds here, I’ve been on the pole here in all different categories. I told my wife two weeks ago that 2019’s been kind of a tough year for me and I said, ‘I’m going to turn this one around, we’re going to win this one.’ That’s what we did today.

 
“This one feels really good. It’s not Daytona, it’s not Le Mans or whatever, but I’ll tell you what, this track stands out on the calendar for everybody. It especially stands out for a California guy like me.”

 
The entire race ran under green-flag conditions, with the GTLM leaders completing 114 laps. Mueller and Hand combined to lead 72 laps. Krohn ran the longest opening stint in the No. 24 BMW to lead 19 laps, with the off-strategy Corvettes leading the other 23 circuits around the iconic circuit.

 
Krohn and co-driver John Edwards brought home the No. 24 BMW in second place for the second time this season, but have yet to collect a win themselves.

 
Taking advantage of fresher Michelin tires with its three-stop efforts, the Corvettes chased down the No. 25 BMW in late stages to put three different manufacturers on the GTLM podium. With less than 10 minutes remaining, Antonio Garcia (No. 3 Corvette) and Tommy Milner (No, 4 Corvette) maneuvered past Connor De Phillippi (No. 25 BMW) on the same lap. Garcia held onto third place at the finish, giving the No. 3 its fourth second-place finish and sixth podium of the season.

 
“We got the most of our three-stop strategy,” said Jan Magnussen, co-driver of the No. 3 Corvette. “In practice, we learned that the (tire) degradation for us was quite high. It was a bit better in the race than I had feared; maybe we could have gotten away with two stops. But we stuck to our plan and ran our race.
“We got a podium out of it, which was a lot better than qualifying. I’m as happy as I can be for a third-place finish.”

 
The WeatherTech Championship points-leading Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSRs suffered a rare off day, finishing a lap behind the GTLM leaders. It’s the first time this season that neither Porsche finished on the podium. The No. 912, with co-drivers Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor, placed seventh. The No. 911 Porsche, with co-drivers Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy, wound up eighth.

 
The result allowed the No. 912 drivers to extend their lead by a point in the driver and team championships. Bamber and Vanthoor have scored 304 points to 292 for Pilet and Tandy. Garcia and No. 3 Corvette co-driver Jan Magnussen closed within three points of second place, with 289.

 
With the race win, Mueller moved into seventh in driver points with 283, leapfrogging teammates Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe (281 points), who finished sixth in the No. 67 Ford GT.

The 2019 GTLM season concludes Oct. 9-12 with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. The race will begin on NBC starting at 12 noon on Saturday, Oct. 12 for the first three hours with the remainder of the 10-hour race on NBCSN, the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com. The entire race can be heard on IMSA Radio.

 
Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Completes Dominant Weekend with Win at WeatherTech Raceway
In what can easily be called a trying season for Paul Miller Racing, the team found sweet relief Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with its first win of the season.

 
The No. 48 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 entered the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season as defending champion, but only recorded one podium in the first four races. An incident in practice at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park forced the team to withdraw from the event, ultimately ending hopes of back-to-back titles.

 
The luck turned around, however, with a finish of second at Road America in August and finally returning to the top step of the podium Sunday at the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren with Bryan Sellers and Corey Lewis, who stepped in for Ryan Hardwick the remainder of the season following his incident in Canada.

 
“In a lot of ways, we’ve had a lot of up and downs this year,” said Sellers. “Everyone says it’s been a tough year. This is our third podium of the season, so in a lot of ways it’s been pretty good. We’ve been first, second and third. The issue is a lot of the other races weren’t great. We’ve shown a lot of speed and a lot of consistency at the races. To finally be able to convert one and put a complete race together is obviously extremely satisfying.”

 
While happy with the victory, it wasn’t completely unexpected. The No. 48 Lamborghini led both practice sessions on Friday during the first official day of on-track activities. The next day, Lewis earned his first career pole position in IMSA to start from the top spot.

 
Between their two stints Sunday, Lewis and Sellers led flag-to-flag in the two-hour, 40-minute race.

 
“We had a dominant car all weekend long,” said Lewis. “And we both like the same setup on the car, so it made (engineer) Lar (Giersing)’s job that much easier and our job inside the car even better. Overall, I’m over the moon for the first win of the year. It means the world. We’ve got one more race here at Petit Le Mans, so we’d love to continue the stride from here.”

 
Stalking the No. 48 in second place for the majority of the race was the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 of Cooper MacNeil and Toni Vilander. MacNeil qualified third on the charts, but jumped into second early in his stint. The team held the position for the rest of the race.

 
Finishing third was another Lamborghini, the No. 44 for Magnus Racing driven by John Potter and Andy Lally. The move onto the podium came in the final half hour of the race, taking advantage of then-third place, Scott Hargrove in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, being run off track by a lapped car. Lally snuck his Lamborghini past as Hargrove recovered for the team’s second top-three finish of the season.

 
GTD championship leaders, Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher, still maintain a strong lead in the championship despite an eighth-place finish Sunday. The No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 duo hold a 32-point lead over Pfaff Motorsports’ other co-driver, Zacharie Robichon, who clinched the first WeatherTech Sprint Cup championship with a fourth-place finish alongside Hargrove.

 
Robichon Wins Inaugural WeatherTech Sprint Cup Championship
With a fourth-place finish at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Zacharie Robichon has been crowned the inaugural champion of the WeatherTech Sprint Cup.

 
The championship consisted of the seven WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD) races this year that were two hours, 40 minutes or shorter, with the last being Sunday’s Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren.

 
Robichon, who drives full-time in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, entered the race at WeatherTech Raceway with a narrow one-point margin over No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 co-drivers Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher. In the end, Robichon’s lead expanded to six, 203-197, following the No. 86’s eighth-place finish.

 
“We almost got that podium, but at the same time we did what we needed to do to secure the championship,” said Robichon. “It’s not the way you want to do it. It looks like the Acura guys had a hard day, but we’ll take it. I’m very happy with what the Pfaff team has done this year.” 

 
While Pfaff Motorsports did not compete in the second round of the Sprint Cup – the Detroit Grand Prix – the Canadian was picked as a substitute driver at that event for Park Place Motorsports’ No. 73 Porsche, allowing him to remain eligible for the championship. Back-to-back wins at Lime Rock Park and Road America vaulted him up the standings into contention for the title.

 
“I mean, this year I’ve had the opportunity to share the car with a lot of quick guys and we’ve been able to learn from them,” Robichon explained. “Scott (Hargrove), Dennis (Olsen), Matt (Campbell), Lars (Kern, endurance driver), Pat Long as well. They have a lot more experience and I think that is what helped me get to this position. The beauty about endurance racing is you have your teammate and you work together.”

 
It was announced on Friday that the 2020 WeatherTech Sprint Cup will see the addition of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach in April, the first time GTD will return to the street circuit since 2017.  

 
“I think for me, it’s really cool,” said Robichon. “It’s one of the ones I remember watching as a kid, but obviously it’s like Laguna Seca here. It’s one of those tracks that’s very iconic, like all the California tracks. I saw the announcement the other day and the first thing I did was text our team manager, ‘Did you see this?’ Obviously no plans for next year, but I’m excited if we get to race there.” 

 
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cameron, Montoya Make Huge WeatherTech Championship Statement with Win in No. 6 Acura DPi at Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren
Fifth Straight Win for No. 52 PR1-Mathiasen Motorsports LMP2 Team and McMurry; Second Win in As Many Tries for Kellett

 
September 15, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
MONTEREY, Calif. – This was a statement win for No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 co-drivers Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya.

 
In Sunday’s Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Cameron and Montoya cruised to their third victory of the season as Cameron took the checkered flag 9.784 seconds ahead of teammate Helio Castroneves in the No. 7 Acura DPi after two hours and 40 minutes of racing around the 2.238-mile circuit. In the process, the No. 6 duo extended its lead in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) championship standings to 12 points.

 
They’re now firmly in the driver’s seat for the DPi title with only the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road America on Saturday, Oct. 12.

 
“Today was really good,” Montoya said. “We had a fun weekend. We were first or second in every session. It was good. We did what we needed to do all weekend, and for the points, it was amazing. Now we’re going into the last race with a 12-point advantage, so that’s huge. It was a very strong showing for the team. The No. 7 cars guys did a great job too. They were there for us all day, that was important. Going into the next race for Petit with a 12-point advantage, it’s a big relief.”

 
Cameron took control of the race after his second pit stop around the halfway point, only briefly surrendering the lead as the pit-stop sequence played out. He and Montoya combined to lead 75 of the 121 laps in the race, which ran without a full-course caution, scoring their seventh consecutive podium result – a run that also included back-to-back victories at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Detroit’s Belle Isle Park.

 
“This is the level of performance and execution that’s expected from a Penske team,” Cameron said. “To be a contender for race wins week in and week out, it’s what makes us excited to be a part of it, it’s what’s expected of us as a group, so it’s nice.

 
“The results just started to come. We know what we need for qualifying and what we need for the race and that’s why we now have more poles and more wins for the No. 6 car. The strategy has been great. The car has been absolutely amazing all through the summer. We just keep getting better and better. We’re looking forward, hopefully in a few weeks’ time, getting a championship. Today was certainly good for kicking off strong for that.”

 
It was the second 1-2 sweep of the season for Acura Team Penske. Castroneves’ No. 7 Acura co-driver Ricky Taylor – who won the Motul Pole Award on Saturday – led 38 laps during his double stint to open the race. Castroneves overcame an off-course excursion early in his stint after a tangle with Cameron Cassels in the No. 38 LMP2 machine and managed to preserve the sweep.

 
The victory also effectively clinched the 2019 WeatherTech Championship DPi manufacturer’s championship for Acura, which now has an eight-point lead over Cadillac, 297-289. Acura only needs to score manufacturer points at Motul Petit Le Mans to officially take the title.

 
Pipo Derani and Felipe Nasr rounded out the podium in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R with a third-place run. Derani grabbed the final podium spot – and more valuable championship points – from Renger van der Zande in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R within the last 15 minutes of the race. The No. 31 duo trails Montoya and Cameron by a count of 274-262.

 
Van der Zande and Jordan Taylor wound up fourth in the No. 10 Cadillac ahead of Joao Barbosa and Filipe Albuquerque in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, who joined their No. 31 Action Express Racing teammates in the top five.

 
Mazda Team Joest saw its DPi win streak snapped at three consecutive victories in Sunday’s race. Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez were the team’s highest finishers, taking sixth in the No. 77 Mazda RT-24P.

Fifth Straight Win for No. 52 PR1-Mathiasen Motorsports LMP2 Team and McMurry; Second Win in As Many Tries for Kellett

 

 

 

 

 

 
Tickets are available now at RoadAtlanta.com.

 
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Daly, Gdovic Complete Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Weekend Sweep at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Ockey and Eidson Clinch ProAm Title

 
September 15, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
Monterey, Calif. – The marine fog layer over WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca lifted just in time Sunday morning to reveal a thrilling final domestic round in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America.

 
The 10th race of the season contained all the elements that make the single-make series utilizing identical Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo EVOs a fan favorite: wheel-to-wheel racing, dazzling passes, critical pit stops, drivers charging toward the front; even a drag race to the finish line to decide a podium position.

 
Conor Daly, who finished off the race win Saturday in the No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach, started from pole on Sunday and quickly built a two-second lead while the action was furious behind him. Jake Eidson (No. 9 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver), Corey Lewis (No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte), Cedric Sbirrazzuoli (No. 27 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Dallas) and Andrea Amici (No. 1 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus) ran nose-to-tail in second through fifth place through most of the opening stint.

 
It wasn’t until Lap 10 when Lewis made an inside pass of Eidson in Turn 2 for second place. Later on the same lap, Amici snuck past Sbirrazzuoli for fourth. A lap later, contact between LB Cup points leader Mel Johnson (No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach) and Justin Price (No. 22 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Atlanta) ended the latter’s race with right-rear wheel damage.

 
On Lap 13, as the mandatory pit window for the 50-minute race was about to open, Randy Sellari (No. 3 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini North LA) spun at the top of the famous Corkscrew turn while leading in LB Cup.

 
When the pit window opened, Daly, Lewis and Sbirrazzuoli were among the first takers. Brandon Gdovic replaced Daly in the No. 46 while Richy Antinucci jumped into the No. 29 for Lewis. As the two raced for the same real estate at pit exit, they made light contact, with the No. 29 getting the temporary advantage. However, Antinucci was soon ordered to cede the position to Gdovic for an improper pit exit.

 
Adding insult to injury, the No. 29 was then assessed a drive-through penalty for not meeting the 84-second minimum pit stop time (from pit-lane entry to exit) by more than one second. The No. 46 was also penalized for not meeting the pit time requirement, but since its pit stop was less than a second off the minimum, it was assessed a post-race time penalty of 0.234 seconds (double the actual time by which it missed the minimum).
When the dust settled from the pit stop cycle and the penalties, Gdovic held a lead of nearly two seconds over Sandy Mitchell in the No. 1, with Paolo Ruberti third in the No. 27. Mitchell wasn’t done, however, and quickly closed to the rear bumper of Gdovic.

 
Mitchell made a couple unsuccessful late attempts to pass for the lead, but knowing his car would be assessed a five-second post-race penalty for an improper race start, opted to hold steady in second place at the checkered flag.

 
The win for the No. 46 completed a weekend sweep for Daly and Gdovic and was their third this season to go with the season opener at Barber Motorsports Park. It was also the third straight victory for Gdovic, who teamed with Shinya Michimi to win the second race of the VIRginia International Raceway weekend last month.

 
Meanwhile, Antinucci charged back from the drive-through penalty to make a late pass on Ruberti and claim third place overall and in the Pro class. Antinucci and Lewis lead Gdovic by six points (124-118) in the Pro standings.

 
For the second straight day, James Sofronas (No. 14 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach) and Steven Aghakhani (No. 6 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills) put on a dazzling duel for the Am class win in the closing lap. And for the second straight day, Sofronas held strong for the win, Aghakhani finished second and Cameron Cassels (No. 33 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus) was third. McKay Snow (No. 63 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte) finished fourth and leads Aghakhani by 13 points and Cassels by 15 in the Am standings.

 
Eidson started second and turned the No. 09 over to Damon Ockey, who comfortably drove to the win for the ProAm weekend sweep. In the process, the duo clinched the season championship. Ron Atapattu and Patrick Liddy drove the No. 24 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini La Jolla to second place on Sunday. Dani Clos secured the last spot on the ProAm podium when he rolled the No. 69 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus out of the last turn and past teammate Dean Baker in the No. 53 on the final straight to the checkered flag.

 
Despite the early contact with the No. 22, Johnson and co-driver Thomas Lovelady finished off the LB Cup victory in the No. 08. Sellari recovered from his Corkscrew spin to finish second in the No. 3, with Matt Dicken (No. 36 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte) taking third. Johnson holds a 14-point lead (115-101) over Ashton Harrison and Stephanie Cemo, who finished fifth Sunday in the No. 43 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus.

 
The climactic round of Lamborghini Super Trofeo takes place Oct. 24-25 at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, where competitors from North America, Europe and Asia will compete. Live streaming of that event will be available on squadracorse.lamborghini.com/live-streaming.

 
WHAT THEY SAID

 
Brandon Gdovic - No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach
“I didn’t have to work as hard yesterday! It was a great battle today and I had to make sure I stayed on our strategy. I knew the (No.) 29 was supposed to give me the lead and he was supposed to let me by. I then let him go back by and I knew he had that drive-through he had to serve. I made sure to pace myself to keep the tires on the car, but it was good to be first over the line.”

 
Conor Daly - No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach
“Yesterday we found out what it was like on the older tires, and Brandon did exactly what he needed to do today. Others made mistakes today and we didn’t. These races, it’s important to stay mistake-free and that what’s we did today. We got two wins this weekend and that’s a great way to finish off the North American portion of the season. It’s been fun to be here this weekend, the car and the track was awesome.”

 
Damon Ockey - No. 9 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver
“It’s great to win the championship but we still have two more races to go, and we want to go to Spain and continue to race hard and make overall podiums. Jake drove a great first stint and was in first place for most of the first part of the race. We had a five-second penalty and we were able to stay ahead of that and we got another win.”

 
Jake Eidson - No. 9 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver
“Good race today for us and it is great to clinch the class championship. We had another clean race and that is what we are always looking to do. I gave Damon no tires today, as I thought I would try to make it as hard as possible for him! We are looking forward to the World Finals and see what we can do there.”

 
James Sofronas - No. 14 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach
“That was fun. The best part was a double podium for GMG today with my friends Mel (Johnson) and Thomas (Lovelady). Great job by our team and we set the car up for a long run. It was cooler today so we didn’t need as much ‘TC.’ Then, Steven (Aghakani) gave me a heck of a run there at the end. This was a well-earned win for the guys who put this car together on what basically was a last-minute call.”

 
Mel Johnson - No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach
“It’s been a tough weekend for us but we had a bit of pace today and brought it into the pits P1 today. That was some redemption from yesterday and Tom did the rest of the work. I had some contact with the No. 22 and we came together in Turn 1, but I was able to get it going pretty quickly after that.”

 
Thomas Lovelady - No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach
“It was a solid day. Mel did a great job in his stint and we had good pace. We tried to have a clean run. That is what we did for the most part and that turned into a win today.” 

 

 
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Winning Day for Winward: Mercedes-AMG Team Earns First
IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Victory at WeatherTech Raceway

 
September 14, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
MONTEREY, Calif. – Winward Racing is now a winning team in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

 
The elusive victory had escaped the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT4 team for three years, first joining the series in 2017 and the following year, announcing a partnership with the German Mercedes-AMG squad of HTP Motorsport that stands to this day.

 
Russell Ward – who has been with the program since its inception alongside team owner and father Bryce – was part of the winning lineup on Saturday afternoon at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. He stood with the team and cheered on as co-driver Dominik Baumann crossed the finish line first.

 
“It means an incredible amount to the team,” said Ward. “Everyone works so hard, and we bleed this together. To finally bring it home for the team feels incredible, especially after the season we’ve had. It’s just been a difficult season. We’ve had some crashes, some mechanical failures, just about everything in the book has been thrown at us.”

 
For the majority of the race, Winward’s toughest opponent appeared to be the No. 39 Carbahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 GT4 of Tyler McQuarrie and Jeff Westphal. McQuarrie qualified the car on pole and handed the car over to Westphal in that position.

 
Westphal brought the car into the pits before Baumann for his final stop. However, Baumann was able to make up enough ground on track before he entered the pits for a rear-tire change that allowed him to come out ahead in the end.

 
From there, he hunted down the handful of race cars looking to stretch their fuel tanks to the finish. He ultimately passed the No. 7 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Trent Hindman for the lead with eight minutes remaining in the two-hour race.

 
“We gained so much time on track, we were leading from after the pit stop,” said Baumann, who got the call to compete this weekend in his first Pilot Challenge race just a week ago. “The car was just great. I could defend the Audi at the end and pull a gap. It looked easy, but it wasn’t.

 
“We were setting up the car for race pace, not for one lap, and it helped us to have a good car in the race. Especially the last 15 to 20 minutes, we were strong. We made the right decisions, and it paid off in the end.”

 
McQuarrie and Westphal expanded their championship lead with a runner-up finish, nearly clinching the title with a 34-point lead, 262-228 over the No. 69 Motorsports In Action McLaren GT4 of Jesse Lazare and Corey Fergus with one race remaining.

 
Hindman and co-driver Alan Brynjolfsson held on for a third-place finish, moving up one spot to third in the championship standings with 218 points.

 
Morley, Ernstone Break Through for Inaugural TCR Win in Roadshagger Audi
One year ago at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Gavin Ernstone and Jon Morley contested their second career race in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

 
Returning this weekend to Monterey, Calif., the No. 61 Roadshagger Audi RS3 LMS brought a string of four podium finishes in six races and a painstakingly near-win in its first full season. That victory finally came Saturday afternoon in an impressive 12th-to-first performance without a pit stop in the final 50 minutes of the two-hour race.

 
“The team did an incredible job, as they have the last five races, jumping us up during the pit stop,” said Morley, a San Francisco resident. “They got me out in third place, and then I managed to get to the lead pretty quick, pull out a bit of a gap, and then from there, it was just managing tires. We weren’t planning on running the whole way, but the way the race went, that’s what happened.”

 
The win ends a trying few weeks for Roadshagger, which was involved in a late-race incident from the lead at VIRginia International Raceway three weeks ago that wiped out a potential victory. The following Monday, Ernstone and Morley learned their partnering team, eEuroparts, was immediately withdrawing from the sport.

 
“As luck would have it, I own all the stuff that is in our team,” said Ernstone. “I own the car, the hauler, all the tools and everything else, and eEuroparts was running it for me. We just got a driver and a tractor unit straight over to Connecticut, got everything in there and brought it to (my shop in) Vegas.

 
“That car was finished three minutes into the beginning of the promoter test on Thursday. We thought we were going to be working on it and adjusting it through the promoter test, but it was perfect the whole test. That gave us the ability to work on strategy and everything else for this weekend. It’s been great. It couldn’t be better.”

 
With the victory, Ernstone and Morley moved into third place in the Pilot Challenge TCR standings, 14 points behind the leading No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR pair of Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins, 256-242.

 
Lewis and Wilkins finished second on Saturday by a narrow 0.276 seconds after starting from the pole position. They hold an 11-point margin over their next closest competitors in the title hunt, Tom O’Gorman and Shelby Blackstock of the No. 37 L.A. Honda World Racing Honda Civic TCR, who finished third Saturday.

 
The 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season concludes at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 9-11. The two-hour FOX Factory goes green on Friday, Oct. 11 at 1:25 p.m. ET and can be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary.

 
The NBCSN broadcast of the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 will air on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 1 p.m. ET.

 
For news and updates heading into the season finale, please visit IMSA.com or join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #IMPC.

 
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Taylor Breaks Brother’s Track Record, Leads Front-Row Sweep for Acura Team Penske in Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren Qualifying

 
September 14, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
MONTEREY, Calif. – Ricky Taylor is the new IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship track record holder at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. He broke the record – set last year by his brother, Jordan Taylor – on Saturday in qualifying for Sunday’s Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren.

 
But Ricky, who drives the No. 7 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international (DPi), was quick to report that his father – IMSA legend Wayne Taylor – actually had a faster lap at the picturesque 2.238-mile road course.

 
“Jordan had the pole last year and I had the pole this year,” Ricky said. “But the first thing I saw was my dad, who caught me with a little piece of paper that said he did a 14.9 in the Intrepid. So, we’re still not as good as dad.”

 
Nevertheless, Ricky’s lap of one minute, 15.035 seconds (107.373 mph) broke Jordan’s previous WeatherTech Championship record of 1:16.181, gave him the Motul Pole Award and led a 1-2 sweep of the front row for Acura Team Penske. It was his 19th career IMSA pole position and he’ll look for his 20th career IMSA win – and first of the season – on Sunday in front of a national NBC television audience (3 p.m. ET) with three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves as his co-driver.

 
“Qualifying in the team is always emphasized quite heavily,” said Ricky. “We put a lot of work into the qualifying car. Qualifying performance this year has been really good. To get the front row is definitely what we’ve been going for.”

 
Joining Taylor on the front row will be Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 6 Acura ARX-05 DPi. Montoya, who turned in a best lap of 1:15.343 (106.934 mph), will join co-driver Dane Cameron in hopes of preserving or extending their lead in the WeatherTech Championship DPi point standings in Sunday’s penultimate race of the season.

 
They’re currently seven points ahead of No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R co-drivers Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani. Nasr put the No. 31 fifth on the starting grid with a lap of 1:15.610 (106.557 mph), while Derani won here last year in the No. 22 Nissan DPi.

 
“I think, in the back of our minds, everybody’s main priority is the championship for the No. 6 car,” Ricky Taylor said. “So, by us blocking out the front row, we can kind of control our destiny for the race. Obviously, the No. 7 wants to win the races, and if we win that’s points the No. 31 car didn’t get. And the more points we can take away from the field, the better.”

 
Jordan Taylor will start one row behind his brother after qualifying third in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R at 1:15.488 (106.729 mph). He and co-driver Renger van der Zande are looking for their first win since the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January. Van der Zande also won here two years ago with a thrilling, late-race pass on Cameron at the top of the Corkscrew.

 
Tristan Nunez qualified fourth in the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest RT-24P DPi at 1:15.517 (106.688 mph). Mazda has won each of the last three WeatherTech Championship DPi races, a streak Nunez and co-driver Oliver Jarvis will look to continue Sunday. Nunez and Jarvis also won earlier this year at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

 
Masson Takes Third Career Motul Pole Award in LMP2 Qualifying
In LMP2 class qualifying, Kyle Masson picked up the third WeatherTech Championship pole position of his career in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA. Masson posted a best time of 1:16.817 (104.882 mph) and will go for his second victory of the season on Sunday alongside co-driver Cameron Cassels.

 
“It’s been a very solid weekend,” Masson said. “We came here with a very competitive car, and we polished it up and did what we needed to do to get the car to rotate. Laguna has such low grip and coming into the weekend, everyone was struggling with understeer so we tried to just focus on getting the car to rotate and getting it into the apex as quick as week could. From there on out, we had oversteer on the exits. It’s been our job to just manage that as a driver.”

 
In addition to the live NBC telecast at 3 p.m. ET, Sunday’s race also will be broadcast live by IMSA Radio on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio. Ticket information is available on WeatherTechRaceway.com

 
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Back in Black, Krohn Puts No. 24 BMW on GTLM Class Pole Position
at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

 
September 14, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
MONTEREY, Calif. – Seeking to reverse their fortunes, the crew of the No. 24 BMW Team RLL BMW M8 GTE opted to go “back in black” with the car’s paint scheme for the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren. It’s worked, at least for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying Saturday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

 
Jesse Krohn put the No. 24 BMW atop the time sheet in GT Le Mans (GTLM) to lead the class heading into Sunday’s race. On his lone flying lap, Krohn was clocked at 1 minute, 21.557 seconds (98.787 mph) around the demanding 11-turn, 2.238-mile permanent road course. The lap broke the GTLM track record of 1:21.914 set two years ago by Toni Vilander.

 
“This track has very high tire deg (degradation), so we knew that we needed to get the lap time done as soon as possible to save the tires for the race,” Krohn said. “I was basically fueled in for two laps, aiming to do it on the first lap. Glad we were able to do it.”

 
Glad, indeed. On the ensuing lap, as Krohn tried to squeeze out a better lap time, he ran wide in the high-speed Turn 6 – going into the sand off track before gathering the car, lifting off the accelerator and cruising back to pit lane. He waited out the session from there to officially earn his second WeatherTech Championship pole position, the first coming earlier this season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

 
“No mistakes on the first lap, it was just sort of to get a banker in,” Krohn said. “On the second lap, I tried to push a little bit more. I was going to improve but then pushed a little bit too much and abandoned the lap because I felt like the first lap was good enough.”

 
Krohn and co-driver John Edwards look to extend BMW Team RLL’s run of success at WeatherTech Raceway in Sunday’s race. The team has been victorious in three of the past four years.

 
“We switched to the black livery car, that has brought us some luck in the past – maybe some today as well,” Krohn said. “It’s been good for the team for the past few years. Unfortunately, we weren’t the ones getting the success last year (Alexander Sims and Connor De Phillippi drove the sister No. 25 to the class win). We’re hoping to redeem on that and hopefully be the guys standing on top with the black car.”

 
Dirk Mueller qualified second in GTLM on Saturday, with a lap of 1:21.684 (98.633 mph) in the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT. Tom Blomqvist was third in the No. 25 BMW at 1:21.891 (98.384) mph.

 
Laurens Vanthoor was fourth in the No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR (1:21.942, 98.322 mph). Vanthoor and co-driver Earl Bamber take an 11-point lead into the race over teammates Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy in the No. 911 Porsche.

 
Tandy had an adventurous qualifying session, spinning coming out of the famous Corkscrew turn and being forced to coast down the hill backward before righting the No. 911 and pulling into pit lane. Tandy wound up last among the eight GTLM cars in qualifying.

 
Lewis Earns First Motul Pole Award in Paul Miller Lamborghini with Last-Minute Flyer at WeatherTech Raceway
After topping both practice sessions on Friday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Paul Miller Racing was a heavy favorite in Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying session.

 
But it took a last-lap, nail-biting performance by Corey Lewis to put the team on top of the GT Daytona (GTD) class in the No. 48 Lamborghini Huracán GT3. Lewis’ time of 1 minute, 24.962 seconds (94.828 mph) earned the first Motul Pole Award of his WeatherTech Championship career.

 
Five minutes into the session, an incident with the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche led to a lengthy red-flag delay, but teams were given an additional four minutes to meet minimum qualifying time.

 
As time ticked down on the extended session, Lewis sat seventh in class behind GTD championship leader Trent Hindman, a three-time pole winner this season, Trent Hindman. Ultimately, Lewis bested Hindman’s time set in the first portion of the session by 0.101 seconds.

 
“Towards the end, we knew we’d only have one shot to do it,” said Lewis, who will be co-driving with Bryan Sellers. “We knew we’d have the pace to do it and the tire degradation was really good. With the track conditions being so inconsistent throughout every session, really. But it turned out well in the end with my first pole, so I’m pretty proud of that one, especially for the Paul Miller Racing organization and 1st Phorm. It’s a long time coming for me, my first pole, so I’m super stoked.”

 
Lewis became part of the full-time driver lineup for Paul Miller at Lime Rock Park, substituting for the remainder of the season for sidelined Ryan Hardwick.

 
The most recent race in which Lewis’ car sat on pole – 2017 at VIRginia International Raceway co-driving with starter Jeroen Mul – went on to win. He’s hoping for more of the same in Sunday’s Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren.

 
“I don’t want to think too far ahead, but like I said, we think we have a race car that can win this race,” said Lewis. “I think the biggest thing will be focusing on the tire degradation, and keeping the car fast on the long run. We’ll see what this car can do tomorrow.”

 
Starting third will be Cooper MacNeil, who posted his fastest time of 1:25.118 (94.654 mph) in the first five minutes of the session, but parked the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 for the remainder of the session after the red flag.

 
Zacharie Robichon did the same in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, with a fourth-best time of 1:25.165 (94.601 mph). 

 
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Gdovic, Daly Hold Off Challengers for Victory in Round 9

at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Ockey and Eidson Close In on ProAm Title

 
September 14, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service

 
Monterey, Calif. – The ninth round of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America got underway under gleaming Northern California skies at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, with Saturday’s first race of the doubleheader weekend shining just as bright with competition.

 
Pole sitter Richard Antinucci got the jump at the start of the 50-minute race, pulling the No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte ahead of the charging No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach driven by Brandon Gdovic.
After slipping from second to fifth on the start, Sandy Mitchell (No. 1 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus) locked into an early battle for fourth place with Steven Aghakhani (No. 6 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Beverly Hills). After jockeying for more than five laps, Mitchell finally got by Aghakhani for position on Lap 10, shortly before the mandatory pit window opened.

 
Gdovic led the first group of drivers to pit lane on Lap 14, turning the No. 46 over to co-driver Conor Daly. Antinucci made his stop a lap later, with Corey Lewis taking the wheel of the No. 29. Following the pit exchange, Daly came out ahead and waited for the complete pit cycle to finish before assuming the race lead on Lap 19 when Dani Clos made his pit stop in the No. 69 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus and handed the car over to William Hubbell.

 
From there, the battles began to take shape in each of the four classes. Daly, Lewis and Andrea Amici (No. 1) ran together in formation at the front of the Pro class and the overall field. Lewis closed within the rear bumper of Daly on a few occasions but couldn’t muster the momentum to complete the overtake for the lead. They were still in that order when the time limit was reached, with Daly crossing the finish line 1.825 seconds ahead of Lewis and 3.116 seconds up on Amici.

 
After taking over for Damon Ockey in the No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver, Jacob Eidson moved quickly past Hubbell in the No. 69 for the ProAm lead and wasn’t threatened. The No. 09 won the class and finished sixth overall. Dean Baker and Bruno Junqueira put the No. 53 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus into second in class, with the No. 69 of Clos and Hubbell third. Ockey and Eidson expanded their points lead to 123-78 in the class and can clinch the ProAm crown in Sunday’s race.

 
In the Amateur class, Aghakhani and James Sofronas (No. 14 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach) put on a memorable duel in the closing stages. Sofronas – competing in his first Lamborghini North America race of the season – made the decisive maneuver past Aghakhani with just under 13 minutes to go in the race and pulled away to win the class. Cameron Cassels placed third in Am in the No. 33 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus.

 
LB Cup saw a spirited battle to the finish. Chad Reed and Justin Price took the class lead in the No. 22 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Atlanta following the pit cycle. Closing fast, however, was Ashton Harrison in the No. 43 Prestige Performance/Wayne Taylor Racing, Lamborghini Paramus, after she took over for Stephanie Cemo.

 
On each of the final two laps, Harrison tried to pass Price coming out of the hairpin last turn. But each time, Price held position and clipped Harrison at the line by a mere 0.145 seconds. Mel Johnson and Thomas Lovelady finished third in LB Cup in the No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach. Heading into Sunday’s race, Johnson leads the class standings by just two points over Harrison and Cemo.

 
Sunday’s race starts at 12:20 p.m. ET and streams on IMSA.tv or squadracorse.lamborghini.com/live-streaming with IMSA Radio commentary. NBCSN will broadcast the WeatherTech Raceway round at 3 p.m. ET Wednesday, Sept. 25.

 
WHAT THEY SAID
Brandon Gdovic, No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach

 
“I was trying to conserve as much tires as I could for Conor’s stint. It’s no surprise here that you have to do that. I tried to stay with Richy (Antinucci) during my stint and we had a good driver change. Conor did an awesome job in keeping the lead and bringing it home.”

 
Conor Daly, No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach

 
“It was tough today. It’s super-hot here and the tires were wearing down. So a lot of my work was tire conservation. I know it is tough to pass here so for me it was just trying to win at the slowest possible pace and to have the tires at the end if we needed them. That was our strategy and it played out perfectly. I tried to keep the same pace during my stint and I was successful in keeping yourself underneath you, and I was able to do that.”

 
Damon Ockey, No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver

 
“The race today was great. The track got hot and the tires were soft. Jake did well in his stint. I started strong but I put two wheels off in Turn 1 and lost about 10 seconds and the car was going OK, but the tires went away. Jake drove well to get us back to first place.”

 
Jake Eidson, No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver

 
“It was tough today because the tires fall off so you are in survival mode most of the time, but I was trying to pass as many cars as possible. That is hard to balance. It was a clean race and tomorrow we will look to make the overall podium.”

 
James Sofronas, No. 14 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach

 
“When you are running against kids that are one-third your age, you have to give it everything you’ve got. I wanted to come here and help my clients by giving them extra data and setup video. We tried a different setup and mine was for race pace and tire management. I’ve been racing here for a long time. Today was great for GMG and Lamborghini Newport Beach, and to get to race with my friends is great. Steven pushed me today and he is a strong young talent. Track knowledge of Laguna Seca is good. Lamborghini looks good and sounds good and is such a fun car to drive.”

 
Chad Reed, No. 22 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Atlanta

 
“It is my first time at Laguna on the track. So it was nice to get out there and stay close. I was trying to save tires and was able to do that. It is awesome to get another win.”

 
Justin Price, No. 22 Dream Racing Motorsport, Lamborghini Atlanta

 
“I had a little mistake at the end but those last couple of laps’ battles at the end were awesome. We have had such fun racing in LB Cup this year and everyone is having a good time, and that is what we are here for.”

 
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Friday Notebook - WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

 
September 13, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
Montoya Tops Tight Time Charts in Friday Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren Practice Sessions

 
Monterey, Calif. – IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Daytona Prototype international (DPi) points leader Juan Pablo Montoya posted the fastest time in Friday’s practice sessions, but if the time charts are any indication, the competition this weekend is going to be close.

 
Montoya lapped the 2.238-mile WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca circuit at one minute, 16.003 (106.006 mph) to lead the way in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 that he shares with co-driver Dane Cameron. His lap was just 0.078 seconds quicker than the best time posted by Felipe Nasr in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R of 1:16.081 (105.897 mph).

 
“It’s good,” Montoya said. “It’s close. The difficult part is Sunday is going to be a lot cooler, so it’s a lot different racetrack. I don’t know, we’ll see. Hopefully it plays into our hands a little bit. It seems like we’ve got decent pace. It’s hard to know what everybody can do, but we’re pretty happy with that.”

 
Nasr and his co-driver, Pipo Derani, are the closest championship pursuers of Montoya and Cameron, sitting seven points out of the lead with two races remaining on the schedule. Derani also is the defending champion of the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren, winning here last year with then-co-driver Johannes van Overbeek in the No. 22 Nissan DPi.

 
Oliver Jarvis was third on the day with a best lap of 1:16.421 (105.426 mph) in the No. 77 Mazda Team Joest RT-24P DPi he shares with Tristan Nunez. Mazda Team Joest has won the last three WeatherTech Championship DPi races this season.

 
The top seven cars in the DPi field were covered by less than one second.

 
Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren will be televised live on the NBC network, beginning at 3 p.m. ET. IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with a live race broadcast also airing on SiriusXM Radio.
Tickets are available now at the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca box office and on WeatherTechRaceway.com.

 
Masson Off to Strong Start in LMP2 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
After sitting out the most recent LMP2 race at Road America last month, it didn’t take Kyle Masson long to get back up to speed Friday at WeatherTech Raceway.

 
Driving the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA LMP2, Masson posted a best time of 1:18.208 (103.017 mph) to lead class practice for Sunday’s Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren. Masson will co-drive with Cameron Cassels and is looking for his second LMP2 win of the season.

 
“Laguna Seca is awesome, especially with the way the LMP2 car flows here,” Masson said. “The track is so suited for high-downforce cars that can roll speed through the corners, so to be here and actually feel it in a proper high-horsepower, high-downforce car is really awesome. We made a huge improvement from the first practice to the second in terms of how the car drove and the ability of the car to attack the corners and the brake zones, which ultimately helped us pick up time.”

 
No. 67 Ford GT Endures Highs and Lows of GTLM Practice Day
According to the time sheets, Friday was the best and worst of days for the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT at WeatherTech Raceway. Richard Westbrook posted what held up as the fastest practice lap in GT Le Mans (GTLM) in the morning session, but the No. 67 was last among the eight cars in class in the afternoon’s hour practice.

 
Westbrook wasn’t disillusioned by the Practice 2 result, however.

 
“We learned a lot that session,” said Westbrook, who turned a lap of 1:22.548 in the first practice but was nearly 1.7 seconds slower in the second session. “Sometimes when you’re not fast, you learn a lot more. It was a good race simulation, let’s put it that way.”

 
All the teams are diligently working on tire management over the abrasive and often sand-coated WeatherTech Raceway surface in advance of Saturday qualifying and Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute race.

 
“It’s not your speed over one lap, it’s your speed over a stint,” added Westbrook, who has teamed with Ryan Briscoe to win GTLM races at Lime Rock and Road America this season. “That’s what we’re working on and that’s what’s going to get you the champagne on Sunday.”

 
Antonio Garcia posted the best lap in the afternoon practice – and second overall to Westbrook for the day – at 1:22.833 in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. On top of the tire degradation issue, teams were also left scratching their heads Friday due to sizzling warm ambient temperatures that aren’t expected to last to Sunday’s race.

 
“The temperature won’t be the same on Sunday,” said Garcia, who along with co-driver Jan Magnussen has finished on the podium five times this season but are still in search of their first 2019 win. “We need to be proactive to that and try to anticipate what the car will do, but so far I think it’s been a productive day.

 
“You just need to set up the car to try to save the tires as much as possible. When it comes to the race, then it’s up to you to make them last as long as possible. So far I think we’re doing a good job to follow that and have a good car on tire degradation. I’m sure everybody else is doing the same, so we’ll see who has what on Sunday.”

 
Sellers Paces Both Friday GTD Sessions in No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini
It was a productive Friday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 squad and co-drivers Bryan Sellers and Corey Lewis. Sellers posted the fastest lap in both of the day’s practice sessions, ending with a best overall lap of 1:25.246 (94.512 mph) in the afternoon session.

 
“We had a great day, actually, today,” Sellers said. “We were able to finish both sessions P1 and that’s a great start to the weekend. It’s way better than where we’ve been in a couple of previous races. It’s pretty confidence-inspiring moving into the remainder of the weekend, but there’s a part of you that has to keep reality in check and understand that it is still early in the weekend and it’s just practice.”

 
Toni Vilander was second in GTD on Friday with a best lap of 1:25.271 (94.484 mph) in the No. 63 WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3 he shares with his Scuderia Corsa teammate Cooper MacNeil. Third quickest was Matt Plumb in the No. 76 Compass Racing McLaren 720S GT3 at 1:25.323 (94.426 mph).

 
Montoya Makes Detour on Way to WeatherTech Raceway to See Son in FIA World Karting Championships
Acura Team Penske driver Juan Pablo Montoya is fully focused on resuming the chase for the WeatherTech Championship DPi title this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway, but he took a lengthy detour on his way to Northern California.

 
Montoya was in Finland last weekend watching 14-year-old son Sebastian compete in the FIA World Karting Championship at the Powerpark Circuit in Alaharma. While the younger Montoya’s day ended prematurely in Sunday’s final after an early incident, he still impressed his dad with three top-10 finishes in five heat races.

 
“He did a really good job,” Juan Pablo said Friday from the WeatherTech Raceway paddock. “In the final he got involved in a shunt: Welcome to go-karts. But it’s good, the pace and everything was good.”

 
The event was the last of several high-profile European karting events where Sebastian competed this year, gaining important track time against intense world-class competition. His father, a seven-time Formula 1 race winner and two-time Indianapolis 500 champion, knows something about racing talent and sees it in his son.

 
“It’s pretty cool honestly to be able to run in the top 10 in Europe when you’re not there full time,” Juan Pablo said. “It’s pretty impressive, it’s really nice to see. He’s been doing an amazing job, so I’m pretty excited.”

 
The next step, the proud father said, is a move up to racing cars – likely the Italian F4 Championship next year. And if there were any doubts that young Sebastian is ready for the rigors, Juan Pablo pointed to the way his son handled himself in the days after the world championships, when he was scheduled for time in a racing simulator.

 
“He was in Italy doing a simulator for cars about an hour from Venice,” Juan Pablo said. “He went there by himself two days before, they dropped him in a hotel. He went by himself by foot. First time ever cooking, he called his mom (and said), ‘I want to cook pasta, I want to learn.’ He went, he cooked, did the simulator, went back home, cooked again, loved it.

 
“The next morning, he took a cab by himself to the airport, checked in, went and flew home from freakin’ Venice. At 14, are you kidding me?”

 
Moorespeed Sets Quick Pace to Start Back-to-Back IMSA Weekends at WeatherTech Raceway
A last-minute decision to enter Saturday’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca could doubly yield positive results for Moorespeed over the next 10 days.

 
After a strong Pilot Challenge debut three weeks ago at VIRginia International Raceway, Moorespeed made the trek to Monterey a week earlier than planned, as the team also will field two cars in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama doubleheader next weekend at WeatherTech Raceway.

 
One of those cars will be driven by Rob Ferriol, who will share the driver’s seat with Spencer Pumpelly in Saturday’s two-hour Pilot Challenge race. Pumpelly posted the fastest lap time of the day in the No. 18 Audi R8 GT4 at 1:31.036 (88.501 mph).

 
“Originally, we were not going to come to this event, but Rob is battling for a championship in the Gold Class next week in Cup,” said team owner David Moore. “It was a last-minute decision for us to do this, but it serves two purposes. It helps us get ready for next week, but it’s helping us get ready for next year. Racing is all about preparation and that’s what we’re doing here.”

 
This weekend is the first for Ferriol at WeatherTech Raceway, but he is looking forward to gaining experience and transferring it over to his championship battle next weekend.

 
“Coming here in any car is going to help me next weekend in the Porsche,” said Ferriol. “The comparisons between the GS car and the GT3 car, there are differences that I’ll have to take into account. But overall, it’s a net positive all the way through the weekend.”

 
“The Moorespeed guys unloaded the car really well, so we didn’t have to chase it,” added Pumpelly. “We could get to work on our agenda. Rob has taken to the track pretty quickly and getting up to speed. Everything is going according to plan so far and it’s a big thanks to everyone on the team.”

 
Fastest in the TCR class was Stephen Simpson in the No. 54 JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi RS3 LMS with a time of 1:33.298 (86.355 mph).

 
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Qualifying Sessions Typify Tight Competition
Qualifying for the fifth round of Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America put in plain sight just how competitive the series is throughout the field. In the back-to-back 15-minute sessions Friday afternoon to determine the starting grids for the weekend’s two races, a different car and driver was fastest in three of the four classes.

 
Richy Antinucci will be on pole for Saturday’s race and was quickest in the Pro class with a lap of 1:24.978 in the No. 29 Change Racing, Lamborghini Charlotte in the first qualifying session. Conor Daly will be on pole for Sunday’s race – the 10th and final for the North American season – after turning a Pro lap of 1:25.865 in the No. 46 Precision Performance Motorsports, Lamborghini Palm Beach during the second qualifier.

 
Patrick Liddy was tops in ProAm qualifying for Saturday’s race in the No. 24 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini La Jolla, at 1:26.453. Jake Eidson took ProAm qualifying honors for Sunday’s race at 1:25.868 in the No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver.

 
Top qualifiers in LB Cup were: Thomas Lovelady, in the No. 08 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach for Saturday’s race (1:26.897); and Ashton Harrison, in the No. 43 Prestige Performance/WTR, Lamborghini Paramus for Sunday’s race (1:27.730).

 
The Amateur class was the only one where the same driver, James Sofronas (No. 14 GMG Racing, Lamborghini Newport Beach), was fastest in both sessions. But that only happened after the laps for Steven Aghakhani, who was the fastest Amateur in the first qualifying session, were forfeited because his crew worked on the car during the session.

 
The first Lamborghini Super Trofeo race of the weekend starts at 2:15 p.m. ET Saturday, with the second race 2 at 12:20 p.m. ET Sunday. Both races will stream on IMSA.tv and squadracorse.lamborghini.com/live-streaming with IMSA Radio commentary. NBCSN will broadcast the WeatherTech Raceway round on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. ET.

 
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International Motor Sports Association

IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup Expands to Eight Races in 2020
with Addition of Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 13, 2019) – The second year of the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup for the GT Daytona (GTD) class will open with a new event as IMSA officials today announced that the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 18 has been added to the calendar for 2020, growing the sprint-race competition to eight rounds.

 
The expanded 2020 WeatherTech Sprint Cup season offers an opportunity for drivers, teams and manufacturers in the GTD class to compete in the important Southern California market alongside the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Daytona Prototype international (DPi) and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes. For the GTD class, the 100-minute race on the Long Beach street circuit only will count toward WeatherTech Sprint Cup points and not for the overall WeatherTech Championship.

 
Both 100-minute street races, the Long Beach round and the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park on May 30, will be WeatherTech Sprint Cup-only rounds for GTD in 2020. This year’s Detroit race also only awarded points toward the WeatherTech Sprint Cup.

 
This expansion now makes GTD cars eligible to compete for three different championships and a total of 12 events in 2020. The four-race IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup season encompasses the four iconic endurance events – the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen and the Motul Petit Le Mans.

 
The now eight-race WeatherTech Sprint Cup season – which is exclusive to the GTD class – features all races two-hours and 40-minutes in length or shorter in 2020. The overall WeatherTech Championship season includes 10 races for GTD – the four Michelin Endurance Cup races and six two-hour, 40-minute races.

 
“The GTD class is the largest of the four competing in our flagship series from both a team and driver perspective as well as in the number of manufacturers participating,” said IMSA President Scott Atherton. “Southern California is the epicenter of car culture in the United States – if not the world – making it a highly desirable market for the manufacturers.

 
“We believe that by including Long Beach on the WeatherTech Sprint Cup calendar for 2020, it offers a ‘best of all worlds’ scenario for the GTD class. It’s not a requirement for those competing for either the WeatherTech Championship or Michelin Endurance Cup, but competitors with GT3 race cars and a desire to participate at Long Beach now have the opportunity to do so.”

 
The 2020 event will mark the first appearance for GTD at Long Beach since 2017, when Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette co-drove to the class victory in the No. 50 WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3.

 
Next year’s WeatherTech Sprint Cup season will open and close on the west coast, with the season finale set once again for WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 13. Other WeatherTech Sprint Cup venues include Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on May 3, Detroit on May 30, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on July 5, Lime Rock Park on July 18, Road America on Aug. 2 and VIRginia International Raceway on Aug. 23.

 
The battle for the 2019 WeatherTech Sprint Cup concludes with Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren. One point separates leader Zacharie Robichon in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R from second-place co-drivers Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3.

 
Sunday’s race will be televised live on the NBC network beginning at 3 p.m. ET. IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with a race broadcast also available on SiriusXM Radio.

 
Tickets are available now at WeatherTechRaceway.com.

 
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What to Watch For: Monterey SportsCar Championship
Powered by McLaren

 
September 13, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
MONTEREY, Calif. – Ten down, two to go.

 
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship springs back into action this weekend for the penultimate round of the season, Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren. The race will be televised live on the NBC Network beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

 
“Picturesque” is a commonly used adjective used to describe the 2.238-mile road course here on the Monterey Peninsula, and it’s accurate. The racetrack features some of the biggest elevation changes anywhere, and the scenery around the racetrack is breathtaking.

 
“The Corkscrew,” otherwise known as Turns 8 and 8a, is one of the most iconic turns in motorsport, and also has been the site of some excitement over the years – most notably two years ago when Renger van der Zande pulled off a spectacular pass on Dane Cameron to win the race.

 
But there’s action all over the track, from the “Andretti Hairpin” (Turn 2) – which is particularly busy on starts and restarts – to another prime passing spot in Turn 5, to the inviting Turn 11 which leads onto the frontstretch. Good racing happens here quite frequently.

 
It’ll be an exciting weekend here in Monterey. Let’s take a look at some other storylines as the weekend approaches:

 
Bomarito Happy to Be Home, Riding Mazda Momentum Into Monterey
It’s a busy weekend for Jonathan Bomarito anytime he races at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, because the No. 55 Mazda Team Joest RT-24P DPi driver is a native of the Monterey Peninsula. But he wouldn’t trade it.

 
“I love WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca,” Bomarito said. “This is one of the best tracks we race at, just from a driver’s standpoint, but also, it’s the Monterey Peninsula. Everybody loves coming out here. It’s my hometown, so it’s a more difficult race in the sense that you have more obligations and trying to spend time and say ‘hi’ to everybody. They all want to come out and support me and say ‘hi,’ and this is an awesome sport that I get to do for a living. It adds a whole ‘nother element to the weekend, but it’s awesome to have that much family and friends and support out.”

 
Mazda Team Joest is riding a three-race winning streak dating to the program’s long-awaited first victory back in June at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. That victory, as well as the most recent one that came last month at Road America, belonged to Bomarito and his No. 55 co-driver, Harry Tincknell.

 
“We have amazing momentum; three wins for Mazda in a row coming in here,” Bomarito said. “We almost won this race last year, so to say that we’re optimistic for the weekend is an understatement. We just need to keep coming out and performing and see where it unfolds.”

 
Porsches Looking to Conquer WeatherTech Raceway in GTLM
The two Porsche GT Team entries have a stranglehold on the GT Le Mans class (GTLM) standings in the WeatherTech Championship and will continue their battle for intra-team superiority this weekend.

 
In the process, the No. 911 and No. 912 Porsche 911 RSRs will aim to put an end to a winless drought at WeatherTech Raceway.

 
Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor, co-drivers of the No. 912, take an 11-point lead over teammates Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy, co-drivers of the No. 911, heading into Sunday’s race. Each car has won three races this season to build a commanding lead in the standings. Porsche will wrap up the GTLM manufacturer’s title by just scoring points in each of the final two events.

 
But a GTLM victory has eluded Porsche at WeatherTech Raceway since the series began competing at the iconic California circuit in 2014. Bamber and Vanthoor finished second a year ago, a result they’d like to go one better in 2019.

 
“We were strong there last year and scored second,” Bamber said. “It would be wonderful if we could secure another podium place this year. It would help Porsche to take another important step towards the championship. Plus, it would put Laurens and me in an even better position in the fight for the drivers’ title.”

 
Porsche drivers have been on the GTLM podium at each race this season, including a five-race mid-season win streak. While overcoming the victory hurdle at WeatherTech Raceway would be another feather in the cap, the larger end-of-season prizes still consume the focus.

 
“For us, the penultimate race of the season is about consolidating our position in the championship or, preferably, to extend our lead,” Vanthoor said. “We don’t have to risk everything, but of course we’d like to win.”

 
“We’ve often been strong on the Californian racetrack but we’ve never won there,” said Pilet. “We’d like to change that next weekend. If our car wins, the situation in the drivers’ championship will get really exciting.”

 
Nielsen, Legge Team up to Go for Women’s ‘Three-Peat’ in GTD
The GT Daytona (GTD) class has seen a woman standing atop the victory podium each of the past two years at WeatherTech Raceway, with Christina Nielsen part of the winning team in 2017 and Katherine Legge doing the same in 2018. Now, the duo is teaming up to see if a female driver – or in this case, two female drivers – can reach the top step of the podium for the third consecutive year.

 
Nielsen and Legge are driving the No. 57 Heinricher Racing with Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3. Legge and Alvaro Parente wheeled the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura to victory a year ago, while Nielsen’s 2017 triumph came in a Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 co-driven with Alessandro Balzan (with Legge and Andy Lally finishing second in an Acura).

 
Legge has been a full-season driver in the No. 57, while Nielsen is making her seventh start of 2019.

 
“Laguna was a great race for us last year, scoring the pole and the win in the Acura,” said Legge, who set a GTD track lap record in 2018 qualifying. “We will be focusing on trying to repeat those results this year. It’s great to also have Christina back in the car with me. She has performed very well all season long, so I’m feeling pretty confident heading into the race weekend.”

 
Nielsen also finished second at WeatherTech Raceway in 2016 and hopes a little “home cooking” will lead to another strong result.

 
“Laguna is sort of my home race since I am based here in California,” the Denmark native said. “It is one of the iconic tracks that we go to, and with the championship tightening up, everyone will be a little bit more on edge. I had a podium finish in 2016 and a win in 2017. Combining that experience with the strength the NSX has shown here in the past, and I’m confident we’ll have a good result.”

 
Nasr Enjoys Road Trip in Cadillac Prior to Race Weekend
No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R driver Felipe Nasr had seat time in a different Cadillac over the past several days. Nasr and three buddies spent 10-12 days touring the West Coast in a Cadillac XT6 SUV, beginning in San Diego and ping-ponging around from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles to Big Sur, and Carmel to Lake Tahoe before finally arriving at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for this weekend’s race.

 
“It’s been pretty fun, actually,” Nasr said. “We’ve seen everything from the desert to the beach to Vegas to canyons to downtowns. California is full of life and I like to explore the outdoors especially. I like to see scenery and my friends – one of them was in the U.S. for the first time – they were pretty amazed by the country as well.

 
“We had a brand-new XT6 and, man, the car is amazing. Just the styling and the finish of the car, and it has a lot of space. I can put my whole crew in the car and all the bags and it was super comfortable. The car has a lot of innovations on the technology side. The car just fit like a glove on the trip and it was perfect.”

 
With the road trip in the rearview mirror, it’s time for Nasr and co-driver Pipo Derani to get down to business. They head into Sunday’s Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren seven points in arrears of WeatherTech Championship Daytona Prototype international (DPi) points leaders Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron in the No. 6 Acura Team Penske DPi.

 
Tickets and Tune-In
Tickets for the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren weekend, which also includes the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, are available now at the track’s box office as well as WeatherTechRaceway.com.

 
Sunday’s race will be televised live on the NBC network beginning at 3 p.m. ET. IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with a live race broadcast also airing on SiriusXM Radio.
 
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Event

Monterey Sportscar championship
powered by mclaren

IMSA is westbound! The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America are all headed to the rolling hills of Salinas, California for the annual Monterey Grand Prix weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

For the first time this year, fans will be able to watch on NBC Network the headlining WeatherTech Championship race  the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered By McLaren starting at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 15.

The other three races on the docket will be just as easy and convenient to watch, with all three streaming live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary. The two-hour Pilot Challenge race  the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120  goes green on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. ET, while the doubleheader Super Trofeo races are scheduled for Saturday at 2:20 p.m. and Sunday at 12:25 p.m. Qualifying for the WeatherTech Championship will also be streamed live on IMSA.tv at 12:40 p.m. on Saturday.

Visit IMSA.com for full details.

Tune-In Schedule

IMSA Radio
 
Radio

Select Imsa Sessions & Flag-to-flag Monterey SportsCar Championship powered by mclaren coverage

Sept. 13 - 15
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

   
IWSC
 
Qualifying

Monterey SportsCar Championship powered by mclaren qualifying

Saturday, Sept. 14: 3:40 PM - 4:45 PM ET
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

IMSA.com
 
 
Race

Monterey SportsCar Championship powered by mclaren

Sunday, Sept. 15: 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM ET
NBC
Visit IMSA.com for full broadcast details

NBCSN
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Race

WeatherTech raceway laguna Seca 120

Saturday, Sept. 14: 6:05 PM - 8:05 PM ET
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Lamborghini
 
Race 1

weatherTech raceway laguna seca

Saturday, Sept. 14: 2:20 PM - 3:10 PM ET
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

IMSA.com
 
 
Race 2

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Sunday, Sept. 15: 12:25 PM 1:15 PM ET
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NBC Network Broadcast On Tap For WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

This week�s Monterey Sportscar Championship will be an NBC Network broadcast. Make sure to tune in to your local NBC affiliate to catch all the action from the penultimate round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. EDT.

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Ockey And Eidson Look To Wrap Up ProAm Class Title At WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

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Lexus Celebrates 30th Anniversary At WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

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IMSA Throwback: 1999 VISA Sports Car Championships At Laguna Seca

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Members Of IMSA Community Go Extra Mile To Assist With Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts In The Bahamas

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Diffey Reflects On Return To IMSA Commentary As First WeatherTech Championship NBC Telecast Beckons

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Cameron To Appear On NASCAR America Today

Acura Team Penske driver Dane Cameron will appear on NASCAR America this afternoon on NBCSN (5-6 p.m. EDT). The leader in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship Prototype Class, along with co-driver Juan Pablo Montoya, will be previewing the final two races of the season.

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Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Closes North American Season In Style

Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli wrapped up its North American season at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Despite intense, weekend-long heat and humidity, the Ferrari Challenge competitors put on quite the show with clean, fair racing throughout the weekend.

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Year-over-Year Improvements Only Tell “Half the Story” for Brynjolfsson, Park Place in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge

 
September 12, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For Alan Brynjolfsson in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, the only constants between last year and now have been the color of his No. 7 race car, his co-driver and Mike Johnson.

 
It was an offseason shake-up for the Floridian, who is currently wrapping up his third year in Pilot Challenge. He handed over the reins to strategist Johnson, who arranged a connection with longtime Porsche team Park Place Motorsports.

 
That move following the 2018 season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta triggered a switch from VOLT Racing’s Ford Mustang GT4 into Park Place’s Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. The car, however, is still as easy as ever to spot with its familiar neon yellow livery, and Brynjolfsson continues to share the seat with Trent Hindman, as he has for two years now.

 
“Really, it all centered around Mike Johnson,” said Brynjolfsson. “I consider Mike to be the ‘Bill Belichick’ of the Michelin Pilot Challenge paddock. He always seems to put together a great team and the right strategy and win. I’ve got a lot of faith in Mike, so it was really all about making sure Mike Johnson led our team.

 
“Last year, it was my own team, VOLT Racing, and we kind of did the hiring and managing of everyone. This year, I decided to just put Mike in charge and let him run the show. He set up the relationship with Park Place and hired all the people and ran everything. It’s worked out great.”

 
It’s especially worked out because it’s allowed Brynjolfsson to focus solely on his driving. Through eight of 10 races this season, the results are in and the gains are impressive.

 
Brynjolfsson and Hindman sit fourth in the Grand Sport (GS) championship standings, up five positions from this time last year and only 18 points out of second place. The team already has as many top-10 finishes, five, as in all of 2018. Also, the team’s average finishing position is up three positions year over year.

 
But as Brynjolfsson points out, there’s more to meet the eye when reading those statistics.

 
“Up several places from last year only tells half the story,” he said. “This year, we have a lot larger field and a lot more competitive field. In 2017, I think there were maybe 13 regular competitors. Now there’s 24, two years later. The (field) size has grown and the competition has grown. I think the improvement we’ve had is even twice as good when you consider how much more competitive the field has gotten and how much larger it’s gotten.”

 
Brynjolfsson is quick to give credit where credit is due. This season has been particularly rewarding co-driving with Hindman, as he’s watched the youngster dominate the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class during his rookie season in the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3. Hindman and co-driver Mario Farnbacher currently own a 37-point lead in the standings and can clinch following Sunday’s WeatherTech Championship race should they leave with a margin of 35 points or more.

 
“The true lynchpin has been Trent,” said Brynjolfsson. “He’s really turned it on this year. He’s a young guy, he’s always been fast, but his performance in WeatherTech demonstrates what a great driver he is. He’s had so many pole positions, they’re leading the GTD championship and it shows he can win. We really know all we have to do is give him the opportunity.”

 
The new machine also has been instrumental in the team’s Pilot Challenge success this season. The No. 7 Porsche has zero DNFs to its name right now, showing the quality of the car.

 
“That was one of the big decisions moving to the Porsche,” said Brynjolfsson. “When we saw how competitive it was getting with the larger entries, it was more important than anything to make sure you had a car that would be in it every race.

 
“We chose the Porsche specifically because we knew that it wasn’t about winning individual races, but it was having quality finishes race after race without one misstep. So far, the Porsche has been perfect in that regard. We haven’t had one mechanical or one issue during a race due to the car.

 
“When it gets this competitive, you need to have a great team, a great car and great drivers. We’ve been able to put that whole formula together. I’ve got to give a lot of credit to my team where no one has made any mistakes, whether it’s on pit stops, strategy, prepping the car and in driving. It’s more than just the car, at this level you need all the components.”

 
The two-hour WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 goes green on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. ET. The race can be streamed live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary. The NBCSN television broadcast of the race will air at 1 p.m. ET Wednesday, Sept. 18.

 
For news and updates throughout the weekend in Michelin Pilot Challenge, please visit IMSA.com or join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #IMPC.

 
Tickets are still available at WeatherTechRaceway.com.
 
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WeatherTech Championship DPi “Clash of the Titans” Resumes
in Penultimate Round of 2019 Season

 
September 12, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – This Sunday, in front of a national NBC Network television audience, the heavyweight title fight resumes at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

 
In one corner, it’s the reigning champions, Action Express Racing – winners of four out of five WeatherTech Championship titles since 2014 – with its No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R shared by Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani. In the other corner, it’s Acura Team Penske – one of the most storied teams in U.S. motorsport history – with co-drivers Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 6 Acura ARX-05.

 
Cameron and Montoya come into the weekend holding the edge, a seven-point lead over Nasr and Derani with only Sunday’s two-hour, 40-minute Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren and the 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 12 remaining in the WeatherTech Championship season.

 
The No. 6 Acura duo has put together a championship-worthy run through the first eight races of the season with two victories and podium results in the past six consecutive races.

 
“We've been on the podium every race since Long Beach,” Cameron said. “I'm really impressed the stretch that we're all proud of as a team. So, hopefully we can keep that going through the end of the year. Really, the consistency, continuing to be in that top-three range is kind of the key to success in this championship.”

 
Beyond that consistency, Cameron and Montoya also have finished ahead of the No. 31 team in each of the past six races – but not by much, hence the close margin in the DPi standings. Also, Derani and Nasr had a strong opening to the season with a runner-up result in January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona and a victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts, while Montoya and Cameron struggled in those races.

 
For Nasr, this is somewhat familiar territory. He was battling for a championship a year ago at WeatherTech Raceway, which he and then-co-driver Eric Curran managed to secure at season’s end.

 
“I'm eager to go back to my No. 31 Whelen Cadillac at a very special place like Laguna Seca, WeatherTech Raceway,” Nasr said. “It's a pretty iconic circuit that we go to, and we’re just reaching the final stages of the championship. We are in that crucial point that every opportunity out there counts.

 
“Myself, the people in Action Express, we're all aiming for a solid weekend. What I've learned from last year is when it comes to those last stages, it's just crucial to minimize mistakes. Again, every opportunity counts. So, every practice, every session that we have each to maximize the potential of the car, the driving time and make sure we're on top of everything.”

 
It was during this weekend last year at WeatherTech Raceway when the team announced that Derani would be joining Nasr as his full-season co-driver in the No. 31 Cadillac, with Curran shifting to an IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup-only role. Two days after that announcement, Derani went out and won the race in the No. 22 Tequila Patrón ESM Nissan DPi with then-co-driver Johannes van Overbeek.

 
“Well, I love Laguna,” Derani said. “It's a fantastic place, awesome atmosphere. So, I think in that regard, I'm really looking forward to the weekend. Obviously, we haven't had the smoothest run. The last few races were not great, and we all know why, but I'm just trying to take it race by race.

 
“Hopefully, this weekend, we can repeat a win from last year, which would be great and put us back in the fight for the championship or stronger in the fight for the championship against the Penske No. 6.”

 
While they’re battling each other for the title, there’s healthy respect among the primary DPi title contenders. In fact, Cameron – who is chasing his third WeatherTech Championship title – won the GT Daytona (GTD) crown in 2014 with Turner Motorsport and the Prototype title in 2016 with the No. 31 Whelen team.

 
“Action is a great team,” Cameron said. “They've shown that with their results in the Prototype class in the last five years and a ton of championships. I enjoyed quite a lot of success together with them and with Eric. So, they're certainly very capable and they know exactly what it takes to win races and to win this championship in particular.

 
“So, for us from Acura Team Penske, last year we made a lot of mistakes and weren't able to capitalize. So, we spent a lot of time really trying to understand everything better, and really come out swinging for this.”

 
Nasr and Derani are going to come out swinging, too, at Acura Team Penske and every other opponent on the racetrack.

 
“I think all of us have great respect for the Penske organization,” Derani said. “They've won everything they've been involved with. But on the other hand, it's just another team. We're not going to go out there and just try to beat Penske. We have other teams that have been super strong the last few races, like Mazda, for example.

 
“I even believe Wayne Taylor has been super strong, compared to us. If you look at the last race, it was very close between car 31 and car 10. So, we're going to go out there and try to do the best we can, no matter if it's Team Penske or Mazda Joest, or whoever it is.”

 
Sounds like all the makings for a great title bout.

 
The Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren will be televised live on NBC at 3 p.m. ET Sunday. IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and a live race broadcast on SiriusXM Radio.

 
Tickets are available now on WeatherTechRaceway.com.
 
IMSA TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK
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Ockey and Eidson Look to Wrap Up Lamborghini ProAm Class Title at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

 
September 12, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The success that Jake Eidson and Damon Ockey have achieved this season in the ProAm class of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America series can be attributed to many things, including similarity in stature.

 
“We’re about the same size,” Ockey said, “So getting in and out of the car is easy. We can get a driver change done in about 25 seconds, which is perfect.”

 
Of course, it takes a pretty keen driving ability as well, something Eidson and Ockey have demonstrated all season long in the No. 09 US RaceTronics, Lamborghini Vancouver Huracan Evo. Heading into this weekend’s fifth round, which is the last in North America, at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the duo has been dominant in winning seven of the first eight races in class.

 
“I couldn’t honestly ask for a better teammate,” Eidson said of Ockey. “Damon is really easy to work with. We both kind of feed off of each other’s knowledge. For a lot of these tracks, it’s the first time I’ve been to them in the Lamborghini, so Damon fills me in and brings me up to speed. If either one of us finds any little details that can help the other out, we’re both very open-minded. I think that helps us.”

 
Ockey echoed his teammate’s sentiments.

 
“It’s been great working with Jake, too, because he’s an exceptional driver, super-fast,” Ockey said. “He’s like half my age but super-fast. It’s good to get his input on the (racing) line and driving; he helps out a lot that way. He’s made me a better driver just by learning some different skills that I didn’t have – different lines, different car setups.”

 
The goal for each doubleheader race weekend, the drivers said, is to race hard but race clean. Bringing the No. 09 home in one piece is paramount.

 
“It’s not about taking unnecessary risks if you don’t need to,” Ockey said. “Don’t race people that aren’t in your class and drive as fast as you can.”

 
To which Eidson added, “The Lamborghinis are not cheap cars, so we try not to do anything – not send the car off track anything like that.”

 
This year marks the first time Eidson or Ockey have worked in a co-driver situation, and they’ve taken a liking to it. It does, however, require adjustments to the race mentality.

 
“When you drive with a co-driver, you have to change your whole style where you have to bring at least a little of that car back for that driver if you’re going first,” Ockey said. “He and I do the same thing. We try to minimize tire wear and save tires for each other, just so we can have a good push at the end.”

 
In addition to pushing to the top of the ProAm class each weekend, Eidson and Ockey have a secondary goal of making the overall podium. They’ve accomplished it three times this season, something they believe is indicative of the strength of the team.

 
“Even though we’re a ProAm lineup, I’d say both of us are a solid overall lineup as well,” Eidson said. “We love being on the ProAm podium, but we really love being on the overall podium. That’s what we really strive for.”

 
Added Ockey, “I never count a chicken until it’s hatched, but obviously we’d love to finish off this season with two more (ProAm) wins. Our goal is also to get overall podiums and get ahead of some of the Pro cars.”

 
Practice and qualifying for Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America take place Friday. Race 1 begins at 2:15 p.m. ET Saturday, with Race 2 at 12:20 p.m. ET Sunday. Both races will stream live on IMSA.tv and squadracorse.lamborghini.com/live-streaming with IMSA Radio commentary. NBCSN will broadcast the WeatherTech Raceway rounds on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. EDT.
 
IMSA TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK
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Event

Monterey Sportscar championship
powered by mclaren

IMSA is westbound! The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America are all headed to the rolling hills of Salinas, California for the annual Monterey Grand Prix weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

For the first time this year, fans will be able to watch on NBC Network the headlining WeatherTech Championship race � the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered By McLaren� starting at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 15.

The other three races on the docket will be just as easy and convenient to watch, with all three streaming live on IMSA.tv with IMSA Radio commentary. The two-hour Pilot Challenge race � the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 � goes green on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. ET, while the doubleheader Super Trofeo races are scheduled for Saturday at 2:20 p.m. and Sunday at 12:25 p.m. Qualifying for the WeatherTech Championship will also be streamed live on IMSA.tv at 12:40 p.m. on Saturday.

Visit IMSA.com for full details.

Tune-In Schedule

IMSA Radio
 
Radio

Select Imsa Sessions & Flag-to-flag Monterey SportsCar Championship powered by mclaren coverage

Sept. 13 - 15
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

   
IWSC
 
Qualifying

Monterey SportsCar Championship powered by mclaren qualifying

Saturday, Sept. 14: 3:40 PM - 4:45 PM ET
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

IMSA.com
 
 
Race

Monterey SportsCar Championship powered by mclaren

Sunday, Sept. 15: 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM ET
NBC
Visit IMSA.com for full broadcast details

NBCSN
    Add to Calendar
IMPC
 
Race

WeatherTech raceway laguna Seca 120

Saturday, Sept. 14: 6:05 PM - 8:05 PM ET
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

IMSA.com
    Add to Calendar
Lamborghini
 
Race 1

weatherTech raceway laguna seca

Saturday, Sept. 14: 2:20 PM - 3:10 PM ET
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

IMSA.com
 
 
Race 2

weatherTech raceway laguna seca

Sunday, Sept. 15: 12:25 PM 1:15 PM ET
IMSA.com, IMSA App (LIVE)

IMSA.com

 

WeatherTech Sprint Cup to Be Decided This Weekend
at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

 
September 10, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The first year of WeatherTech Sprint Cup competition couldn’t be more competitive as the deciding event looms Sunday. The slimmest of margins, one point, separates the leaders heading into the Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

 
The race will be the seventh and last in the WeatherTech Sprint Cup championship, added this season for the GT Daytona class (GTD) in its non-endurance events. Zacharie Robichon, co-driver of the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, enters the Laguna Seca weekend with a 175-174 advantage in the standings over Mario Farnbacher and Trent Hindman, drivers of the No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura NSX GT3.

 
While Farnbacher and Hindman also could clinch the overall GTD championship under the right scenario, the inaugural Sprint Cup title will be determined by which of the two cars – the No. 9 or the No. 86 – finishes better in Sunday’s race.

 
For the trio of drivers in the hunt, it’s like a childhood dream realized.

 
“For a lot of folks my age, what is now known as WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is part of those legendary tracks on a certain video game that most guys my age sort of grew up playing and racing on,” said Hindman, the 23-year-old American in his first full season of WeatherTech Championship competition.

 
“I’ve been fortunate to go there a lot over the years, and anytime I get to go there, it still kind of gives me the goosebumps, just thinking about the 4- or 5-year-old Trent playing Gran Turismo 2, Gran Turismo 3, sitting on a couch with a hand controller, hoping that I’m racing there one day.

 
“It’s another evolution in the sense that, hey, we’re not going to this place to just race, but to race for a championship. That’s something that any kid who’s ever picked up a PlayStation controller and played that game was probably hoping for at some point in their lives. Just the fact that I’m able to sort of live out that dream and even have the opportunity is something that I find very special.”

 
Robichon, the reigning Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama champion also in his rookie WeatherTech Championship campaign, has a similar affinity for the iconic road course in Northern California – though this weekend will be his first time on the 2.238-mile circuit.

 
“Being a track that’s quite famous, it’s been on all the video games for the last 20 years,” Robichon, 27, said. “I probably spent hours on it when I was 10 years old, so I kind of know the layout. But that doesn’t give you the real impression of what you’re going to get. I’ll approach it like I do any other track and be cautious when I get there, and lean on more experienced guys around me.”

 
Robichon catapulted into the Sprint Cup lead on the strength of back-to-back GTD wins at Lime Rock and Road America. He and co-driver Scott Hargrove know what’s at stake this weekend but they haven’t placed any emphasis on it.

 
“It’s crazy to think we’re leading the championship right now in the Sprint Cup,” Robichon said. “But I’m trying not to get too hung up on that and just focus on keeping doing what we’ve been.”

 
Meanwhile, Farnbacher and Hindman have a dual purpose at hand this weekend. They could potentially win the Sprint Cup crown without winning one of the races, as long as they gain at least two points on Robichon. The No. 86 duo could also wrap up the overall GTD title if they leave Laguna Seca with a gap of more than 35 points on the nearest competitor. They take a 37-point lead over Robichon into the weekend.

 
“Our focus is not, ‘Hey, we need to finish in this position to win a championship,’” Hindman said. “Our focus is on we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and if we have the opportunity, we’re going to go for a race win.”

 
What they have been doing is consistently running near the front. While the only 2019 win for the No. 86 came at Watkins Glen in late June, it’s been followed by three second-place finishes in the four races since. And knowing that the No. 86 won last year at Laguna Seca with Katherine Legge and Alvaro Parente at the wheel gives the Acura drivers more confidence.

 
"Laguna is the final race of the Sprint Cup and we have a lot of opportunities to perform well there,” Farnbacher said. “We just need to keep our focus and have a clean weekend because anything can happen and all of our competitors are very strong. It will be interesting, for sure, but we will never give up. The race isn't over until the checkered flag is waved, and we will be fighting until the very end against the field."

 
The Monterey SportsCar Championship Powered by McLaren airs live at 3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC, the first IMSA telecast on the major network as part of IMSA’s long-term partnership with NBC Sports. IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with the race call also airing on SiriusXM Radio.

 
Tickets are available now at WeatherTechRaceway.com.

 

Diffey Reflects on Return to IMSA Commentary as First WeatherTech Championship NBC Telecast Beckons

 
September 9, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For most of a decade in the 2000s and early 2010s, the unmistakable Aussie voice of Leigh Diffey represented sports car racing on television in the United States.

 
Whether it was a GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series or an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race, Diffey was usually delivering the play-by-play in his inimitable style to television viewers across the country. He even hosted the historic press conference at Daytona International Speedway on Sept. 5, 2012, when it was announced that GRAND-AM and the ALMS would be merging.

 
But then Diffey moved from the then-home of sports car racing to NBC Sports, becoming the voice of IndyCar, Formula 1 and other sports on the peacock’s family of networks.

 
“That, to me, has been one of the most fascinating elements,” said Diffey. “Having been one of the few people on the broadcast side – having lived both sides of the sports car equation for many years being in both the GRAND-AM Rolex Series paddock and also being in the ALMS paddock – and emceeing the merger announcement. But then stepping away and having to witness what the new collaboration looked like from afar and not seeing it up close.”

 
Diffey’s chance to see it up close finally came this year, as NBC Sports became the new U.S. television home of IMSA before the 2019 season.

 
“This is big-time,” Diffey said. “To see the manufacturers – not only the involvement but the activation with all of the hospitality areas and the displays from the manufacturers and sponsors – it just really stepped up a notch.

 
“I think it’s more than just a commentary line. It’s more than just a sales line or an interest line. IMSA genuinely is the best sports car racing in the world. When you have the caliber of the teams that the series boasts, the caliber of the drivers the series boasts and the caliber of the manufacturers the series boasts, I think there’s a lot to be proud of and there’s a lot to be excited about. That gets us to look forward to it week-in, week-out.”

 
This week, Diffey and IMSA fans throughout the U.S. get to look forward to two hours and 40 minutes of WeatherTech Championship action on the iconic, 2.238-mile, 11-turn WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca circuit in Monterey, California.

 
And while Diffey has been the primary play-by-play voice on NBC Sports’ WeatherTech Championship coverage on NBCSN and CNBC throughout 2019, this Sunday’s race telecast is special. It’ll be the first NBC network telecast, airing at 3 p.m. ET Sunday. Diffey will handle the play-by-play, being joined by a pair of veteran sports car racers in analysts Calvin Fish and AJ Allmendinger.

 
As the penultimate round of the 2019 WeatherTech Championship season, this Sunday’s race will be pivotal, making it that much more important to tune in. All four classes – Daytona Prototype international (DPi), LMP2, GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) – are competing together for the first time since last month’s race at Road America.

 
“Obviously, across all classes, the championships are yet to be decided, so that’s going to be an ongoing story,” Diffey said. “In DPi, can Penske hang on? What’s going to happen there? This year, it’s certainly been a terrific year for them, but Mazda has come on so strong. I think right across the classes, there’s some terrific storylines.  

 
“If you look at the GT cars, obviously Porsche has had quite the stranglehold on GTLM, so I’m looking forward to seeing how that shakes out. In GTD, the Shank car of Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher have quite a commanding lead. I’m not sure if anybody is going to be able to get close, but just as far as the performance on track, who’s next and ready to step it up in GTD?

 
“I’m looking forward to finishing what we could call the ‘regular season,’ if you wish, for Laguna being what it is before we go into the final endurance race of the year at (Motul) Petit Le Mans. So, yeah, there are a lot of different things to look forward to.”

 
Sunday’s race is the first of two consecutive races that will have NBC network coverage to close out the WeatherTech Championship season. NBC also will televise the first three hours of Motul Petit Le Mans from Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 12 beginning at 12 p.m. ET, with continuing coverage on NBCSN, the NBC Sports App, and NBCSports.com.

 
IMSA’s television coverage on NBC Sports this year already has seen significant audience growth compared to previous seasons, and with six hours of NBC network coverage still to come this year, that audience figures to grow even larger by year’s end. Diffey offers advice for any newcomers to NBC’s programming.

 
“For somebody coming into it new, I would say, give it more than five minutes,” he said. “Don’t channel surf. Stay with it and give it a solid half an hour to see if it takes your fancy. A lot of people have a willingness to stay on that’s not very long. They want to be entertained immediately, and I think you will be.

 
“Certainly, just the nature of the cars is attractive enough, and then you’ll see some good racing. Give it a little bit so you can get into the groove of when we move the coverage around from class to class. You have to give it a little time, but I would encourage any first-time viewers and newcomers to sports car racing to give it a chance. Because once you do get into the groove and the nuances of it and moving around and understanding that there’s four races going on at one time on the track, it’s well worth the watch.”

 
In addition to NBC network coverage, IMSA Radio will cover all the action throughout the race weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, as well as race coverage airing on SiriusXM Radio.

 
Tickets are available now on WeatherTechRaceway.com.
 
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Monterey SportsCar Championship Entry List Notebook

 
September 4, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It’s time for the penultimate round of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the series’ NBC network television debut as all four classes reunite for a two-hour, 40-minute battle on the 2.238-mile WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the Monterey SportsCar Championship on Sunday, Sept. 15.
 
The entry list includes 32 cars across four classes with 10 in the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class, two in LMP2, eight in GT Le Mans (GTLM) and 12 GT Daytona (GTD) entries. In addition to earning points toward the season-ending WeatherTech Championship, the GTD class also will crown its inaugural WeatherTech Sprint Cup champion following this race, the last of seven sprint races two-hours and 40-minutes in length or shorter for the class.
 
The race will be televised live on the NBC network beginning at 3 p.m. ET and has the distinction of being IMSA’s first telecast on the “big” NBC network as part of IMSA’s long-term partnership with NBC Sports. IMSA Radio also will have live coverage throughout the weekend on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com, with the race call also airing on SiriusXM Radio.
 
Tickets are available now at WeatherTechRaceway.com.
 
Let’s take a closer look at the field and who has enjoyed previous IMSA success at the picturesque road course in Monterey:
 
  • Twenty-five of the 64 drivers on the entry list have at least one premier IMSA series victory at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca since 1999. Sixteen have won at least one pole position.
 
  • Patrick Long, who will co-drive the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R with Patrick Lindsey in the GTD class, has the most victories of active drivers in the field with five. Long took one overall and GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype (DP) victory in 2007 and four class victories: ALMS GT2 in 2005 and 2009 and ALMS GT in 2010 and 2011. Lindsey also has a previous WeatherTech Raceway victory, which came in the GTD class in 2015.
 
  • Jan Magnussen, who shares the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R with Antonio Garcia in the GTLM class, has the most WeatherTech Raceway pole positions among active drivers with four. His first was an ALMS GTS pole in 2003, followed by ALMS GT1 poles in 2007 and 2008 and the ALMS GT2 pole in 2009. Magnussen is also a four-time race-winner at WeatherTech Raceway, while Garcia has three previous wins and has earned one pole at the venue.
 
  • Corvette Racing is the winningest active team at WeatherTech Raceway with seven victories. The team’s first win came in the 2004 ALMS GTS class and its most recent came in the WeatherTech Championship GTLM class in 2014. The team’s next IMSA victory will be its 100th.
 
  • Porsche is the winningest active manufacturer at WeatherTech Raceway with 18 victories since 1999. The manufacturer effectively clinched the WeatherTech Championship GTLM manufacturer’s championship following the most recent race at VIRginia International Raceway. They only need to score points in the final two events to seal the title.
 
  • No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 co-drivers Trent Hindman and Mario Farnbacher can clinch the 2019 WeatherTech Championship GTD title if they depart WeatherTech Raceway with a lead of 35 or more points. The duo currently sits 37 points ahead of second-place driver Zacharie Robichon in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R by a count of 241-204.
 
  • Robichon holds a one-point lead, 175-174, in the WeatherTech Sprint Cup driver standings over Farnbacher and Hindman heading into the final race of the inaugural seven-race competition.
 
  • In the WeatherTech Championship DPi title race, No. 6 Acura Team Penske ARX-05 co-drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Dane Cameron lead No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R co-drivers Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani by seven points, 239-232.
 
  • No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 driver Matt McMurry sits five points ahead of No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA driver Cameron Cassels, 200-195, in the race for WeatherTech Championship LMP2 honors.
 
  • It’s a battle among teammates for the WeatherTech Championship GTLM crown. No. 912 Porsche GT Team 911 RSR co-drivers Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor hold the lead by 11 points, 280-269, over No. 911 Porsche co-drivers Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet. Tandy and Pilet won the most recent race at VIRginia International Raceway last month in a 1-2 sweep ahead of the No. 912 duo.
 
Previous WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Winning Drivers Since 1999 in 2019 Field (25)
Patrick Long (5) – ALMS GT2 – 2005, 2009; GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2007; ALMS GT – 2010, 2011
Oliver Gavin (4) – ALMS GT1 – 2005, 2007, 2008; ALMS GT – 2012
Jan Magnussen (4) – ALMS GTS – 2003, GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2006, ALMS GT – 2013, GTLM – 2014
Antonio Garcia (3) – GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2012, ALMS GT – 2013, GTLM – 2014
Richard Westbrook (3) – GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2012, P/Overall – 2015, GTLM – 2016
Tommy Milner (2) – GRAND-AM GT – 2005, ALMS GT – 2012
Andy Lally (2) – GRAND-AM GT – 2007, 2013
Jeroen Bleekemolen (2) – ALMS GTC – 2010, 2012
Dane Cameron (2) – GRAND-AM GT – 2012, GTD – 2014
Renger van der Zande (2) – PC – 2014, P/Overall – 2017
John Edwards (2) – GTLM – 2015, 2017
Bill Auberlen (1) – GRAND-AM GT - 2005
Dirk Mueller (1) – ALMS GT2 - 2008
Jon Bennett (1) – ALMS PC – 2012
Colin Braun (1) – ALMS PC – 2012
Jordan Taylor (1) – GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2013
John Potter (1) – GRAND-AM GT – 2013
Nick Tandy (1) – ALMS GTC – 2013
Patrick Lindsey (1) – GTD – 2015 
Ryan Briscoe (1) – GTLM – 2016
Mario Farnbacher (1) – GTD – 2016  
Christina Nielsen (1) – GTD - 2017
Pipo Derani (1) – P/Overall – 2018
Connor De Philippi (1) – GTLM – 2018
Katherine Legge (1) – GTD - 2008
 
Previous WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Pole-Winning Drivers Since 1999 in 2019 Field (16)
Jan Magnussen (4) – ALMS GTS – 2003; ALMS GT1 – 2007, 2008; ALMS GT2 – 2009
Jeroen Bleekemolen (3) – ALMS GTC – 2010, 2011, 2013
Ricky Taylor (2) – GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2011, P/Overall – 2017
Richard Westbrook (2) – GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2012, 2013
Tristan Nunez (2) – GRAND-AM GX – 2013, P/Overall - 2016
Jordan Taylor (2) – P/Overall – 2015, 2018
Dirk Mueller (1) – ALMS GT – 1999
Patrick Long (1) – GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2006  
Joey Hand (1) – ALMS GT – 2011
Colin Braun (1) – ALMS PC – 2013
John Edwards (1) – GRAND-AM GT – 2013
Antonio Garcia (1) – GTLM – 2014
Patrick Lindsey (1) – GTD – 2015
Toni Vilander (1) – GTLM – 2017
Oliver Gavin (1) – GTLM – 2018
Katherine Legge (1) – GTD – 2018
 
Previous WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Winning Teams Since 1999 in 2019 Field (12)
Corvette Racing (7) – ALMS GTS – 2004; ALMS GT1 – 2005, 2007, 2008; ALMS GT – 2012, 2013; GTLM – 2014
Penske Racing (3) – ALMS LMP2 – 2005, 2006, 2007
BMW Team RLL (3) – GTLM – 2015, 2017, 2018
Chip Ganassi Racing (2) – GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2005; GTLM – 2016
Wayne Taylor Racing (2) – GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2006, 2013
PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (2) – ALMS PC – 2013, PC – 2016
Meyer Shank Racing (2) – P/Overall – 2016, GTD – 2018
Joest Racing (1) – ALMS LMP900 – 2003
CORE autosport (1) – ALMS PC – 2012
Magnus Racing (1) – GRAND-AM GT - 2013
Park Place Motorsports (2) – GTD – 2015
Scuderia Corsa (1) – GTD – 2017
 
Previous WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Winning Manufacturers Since 1999 in 2019 Field (9)
Porsche – 18
Chevrolet – 11
BMW – 9
Ferrari – 6
Acura – 4
Mazda – 3
Ford – 2
Lexus – 1
Nissan – 1
 

 

Riley Motorsports Commits Two Mercedes-AMGs

for 2019 Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring

 
September 3, 2019
Staff Report
IMSA Wire Service
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – More than two weeks before entries open for the second Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring International Raceway, Riley Motorsports already has confirmed its plans to participate with a pair of Mercedes-AMG race cars for the event scheduled for Nov. 9-10, 2019.

 
The four-hour endurance race will feature LMP3, GT3, GT4 and TCR race cars competing for purse money and Michelin tire credits for the 2020 season.

 
Riley Motorsports currently fields Mercedes-AMG race cars in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class as well as the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class.

 
“Right now, we’re going to enter the Encore with the No. 74 Mercedes-AMG GT3 car driven by Gar Robinson and Lawson Aschenbach,” Team Owner Bill Riley said. “We think it’ll be a good way for us to start working with Lawson and Gar getting ready for the 2020 season. The second entry we have, we’re working on that right now on what class we’re going to enter. It’ll be with an AMG, and we don’t know if it’ll be a GT3 or GT4 car, so we’re working on getting that entry secured also.”

 
The announcement that Robinson and Aschenbach would be racing in the 2020 GTD class with Riley’s team came at VIRginia International Raceway last month. Riley acknowledges the Michelin Encore will be a significant opportunity for the new team to work together.

 
“When you look at the schedule for the weekend of the Encore, it’s pretty compressed, but it’s a lot of track time,” said Riley. “That helps us two-fold. One, it helps us get used to making quick decisions, and getting the car turned around quickly with the driver input. And, with a four-hour race, it lets the drivers get to see how they do over a long run with the setups we’ve been using and see how it all unfolds and what we need to build on going forward to Daytona.”

 
The benefits of competing at the Michelin Encore will extend past the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January, as the WeatherTech Championship, Pilot Challenge and Prototype Challenge all will return to Sebring in March for the iconic Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts event week.

 
For Riley, whether it’s the Michelin Encore of the Twelve Hours of Sebring, he’s confident in the Mercedes-AMG product at the 3.74-mile circuit.

 
“We had a strong car at Sebring,” said Riley, who won the 2017 Twelve Hours of Sebring in the GTD class with drivers Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and then-endurance driver Mario Farnbacher. “The AMG is always strong at Sebring, so I’m pretty confident we’ll have a pretty decent car for the Encore and the Twelve Hour. But it does at least make sure the feedback we get from Gar and Lawson is the same direction we’ve had over the last three years with AMG.”

 
Similar to the inaugural Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring in 2018, teams will be required to field a minimum of two drivers per car and a maximum of three. No Platinum-rated drivers will be allowed to compete and no driver lineup may have more than one Gold-rated driver. Driver lineups will be subject to IMSA approval.

 
Refueling, tire and driver changes all will be allowed to take place at the same time during pit stops (no timed stops). A maximum of three crew members will be permitted over the wall to provide any service, and only the exiting driver will be allowed to assist during driver changes.

 
The purse includes $10,000 for the winner in each class, as well as three sets of MICHELIN® Pilot Sport GT tires. Second place in each class will receive two sets of tires while third-place finishers will receive one set.

 
Should any class have less than five cars, IMSA will reserve the right to modify or exclude the class before the event.

 
Entries for the 2019 Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring and Porsche GT3 Cup events open on Sept. 18 and will close Oct. 22.

 
The event will be streamed live on IMSA.com and schedule and ticket information will be made available in the near future.

 
IMSA TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK
Follow on Twitter @imsa, use the hashtag #IMSA, follow on Instagram @imsa_racing and ‘like’ IMSA on Facebook –www.facebook.com/imsa. For further information logon to www.imsa.com.
 

NEWS AND NOTES  NEWS AND NOTES NEWS AND NOTES  NEWS AND NOTES

blancpain WORLD CHALLENGE 

 

NEWS AND NOTES  NEWS AND NOTESNEWS AND NOTES   NEWS AND NOTES

Sports Car Club of America

 

Date

Venue

Classes/

Jan. 4-6  

Roar Before The Rolex 24 At Daytona
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
DPi/LMP2/GTLM/GTD

 

3-day test

Jan. 24-27 Rolex 24 At Daytona
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
DPi/LMP2/GTLM/GTD

 

24 hours

March 13-16 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
Sebring International Raceway
Sebring, Florida
DPi/LMP2/GTLM/GTD

 

12 hours

April 12-13 BUBBA burger SportsCar Grand Prix 
Long Beach, Calif.
DPi/LMP2/GTLM 

 

100 minutes

May 3-5 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Lexington, Ohio
DPi/LMP2/GTLM/GTD

 

2 hours, 40 minutes

May 31-June 1 Chevrolet Detroit Belle Island Grand Prix
Detroit, Michigan*
DPi/LMP2 (GTD Sprint Cup)

 

100 minutes

June 28-30 Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen
Watkins Glen, New York
DPi/LMP2/GTLM/GTD

 

6 hours

July 5-7 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
DPi/LMP2/GTLM/GTD

 

2 hours, 40 minutes

July 19-20 Northeast Grand Prix
Lakeville, Connecticut
GTLM/GTD

 

2 hours, 40 minutes

Aug. 2-4 Road America
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
DPi/LMP2/GTLM/GTD

 

2 hours, 40 minutes

Aug. 23-25 VIRginia International Raceway
Danville, Virginia
GTLM/GTD

 

2 hours, 40 minutes

Sept. 13-15 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
Monterey, California
DPi/LMP2/GTLM/GTD

 

2 hours, 40 minutes

Oct. 10-12 Petit Le Mans
Brazelton, Georgia
DPi/LMP2/GTLM/GTD

 

10 hours

 

2019 Blancpain GT World Challenge America

Circuit of The Americas March 1-3
Virginia International Raceway April 27-28
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 18-19
Sonoma Raceway

June 8-9

Watkins Glen International Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Road America Sept. 21-22
Grand Finale Oct. 19-20

 

GT4 America Sprint

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 9-10
Grand Prix of Long Beach April 13-14
Virginia International Raceway April 27-28
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 18-19
Portland International Raceway July 13-14
Watkins Glen International Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Road America Sept. 21-22
Grand Finale Oct. 19-20

 

GT4 America SprintX

Circuit of The Americas March 1-3
Virginia International Raceway April 27-28
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 18-19
Sonoma Raceway

June 8-9

Portland International Raceway July 13-14
Watkins Glen International Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Road America Sept. 21-22
Grand Finale Oct. 19-20

 

GT4 America East

Circuit of The Americas March 1-3
Virginia International Raceway April 27-28
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 18-19
Watkins Glen International Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Road America Sept. 21-22

 

GT4 America West

Circuit of The Americas March 2-3
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca March 30-31
Sonoma Raceway

June 8-9

Portland International Raceway July 13-14
Grand Finale Oct. 19-20

 

TC America

Grand Prix of St. Petersburg March 9-10
Virginia International Raceway April 27-28
Sonoma Raceway June 8-9
Portland International Raceway

July 13-14

Watkins Glen International Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Road America Sept. 21-22
Grand Finale Oct. 19-20

 

TC America (Touring Car, TCA)

Circuit of The Americas March 2-3
Virginia International Raceway April 27-28
Sonoma Raceway June 8-9
Portland International Raceway

July 13-14

Watkins Glen International Aug. 31-Sept. 1
Road America Sept. 21-22
Grand Finale Oct. 19-20

 

 

2019 Hoosier Super Tour Schedule

- January 11-13: Sebring International Raceway; Sebring, Florida

(Southeast Conf., Central Florida Region)

 

- February 8-10: Circuit of the Americas; Austin, Texas

(Southern Conf., Lone Star Region/Southwest Division)

 

- March 15-17: Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta; Braselton, Georgia

(Southeast Conf., Southeast Division)

 

- March 30-31: Hallett Motor Racing Circuit; Jennings, Oklahoma

(Mid-States Conf./Southern Conf.; Ark Valley Race Group)

 

- April 12-14: VIRginia International Raceway; Alton, Virginia

(Northeast Conf./Southeast Conf., North Carolina Region)

 

- April 26-28: Buttonwillow Raceway Park; Buttonwillow, California

(Western Conf., Cal Club Region)

 

- May 17-19: Portland International Raceway; Portland, Oregon

(Western Conf., Oregon Region)

- May 31-June 2 (tentative date): Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course; Lexington, Ohio

(Northern Conf., Ohio Valley Region)

- June 14-16: Road America - WeatherTech Chicago Region June Sprints; Plymouth, Wis.

(Northern Conf., Chicago Region)

- June 21-23: Watkins Glen International; Watkins Glen, New York

(Northeast Conf., Glen Region)

- July 26-28: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca; Salinas, California

(Western Conf., San Francisco Region)

2019 U.S. Majors Tour Southeast Conference Schedule

- January 4-6: Homestead-Miami Speedway; Homestead, Florida

- January 11-13: Sebring International Raceway; Sebring, Florida

- March 15-17: Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta; Braselton, Georgia

- April 12-14: VIRginia International Raceway; Alton, Virginia

(Dual Southeast/Northeast Conference Event)

- June 8-9: Charlotte Motor Speedway; Concord, North Carolina

- June 29-30: Roebling Road; Bloomingdale, Georgia

2019 Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo series

March 29-31: Tire Rack Crows Landing ProSolo; Crows Landing, California

NASA Crows Landing Airport

 

- April 5-7: Tire Rack Fontana ProSolo; Fontana, California

Auto Club Speedway

 - April 12-14: Tire Rack Grenada ProSolo; Grenada, Mississippi

Grenada Municipal Airport

 - May 3-5: Tire Rack New Jersey ProSolo; East Rutherford, New Jersey

MetLife Stadium

- May 23-25: Tire Rack Spring Nationals ProSolo; Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln Airpark

 

- May 31-June 2: Tire Rack Texas ProSolo; Mineral Wells, Texas

Mineral Wells Airport

 - June 14-16: Tire Rack Peru ProSolo; Peru, Indiana

Grissom Aeroplex

- June 28-30: Tire Rack Blytheville ProSolo; Gosnell, Arkansas

Arkansas Aeroplex

 - July 19-21: Tire Rack Packwood ProSolo; Packwood, Washington

Former Hampton Lumber Mills Packwood

 - August 2-4: Tire Rack Oscoda ProSolo; Oscoda Township, Michigan

Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport

- August 30-September 1: Tire Rack ProSolo Finale; Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln Airpark

2019 Tire Rack CAM Challenge

- March 21-23: Southern States Tire Rack CAM Challenge; Concord, North Carolina

zMAX Dragway

- April 12-14: Gulf States Tire Rack CAM Challenge; Grenada, Mississippi

Grenada Municipal Airport

- April 26-28: Northern Pacific Tire Rack CAM Challenge; Crows Landing, California

NASA Crows Landing Airport

- May 31-June 2: Central States Tire Rack CAM Challenge; Mineral Wells, Texas

Mineral Wells Airport

- June 14-16: Southern Pacific Tire Rack CAM Challenge; San Diego, California

San Diego County Credit Union Stadium (formerly Qualcomm Stadium)

- August 9-11: Eastern States Tire Rack CAM Challenge; Peru, Indiana

Grissom Aeroplex

- September 3-4: Tire Rack CAM Challenge Finale; Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln Airpark West

 2019 U.S. Majors Tour Mid-States Conference schedule

- March 30-31: Hallett Motor Racing Circuit; Jennings, Oklahoma

(Dual Mid-States/Southern Conference Event)

 - April 13-14: Gateway Motorsports Park; Madison, Illinois

 - May 18-19: Heartland Motorsports Park; Topeka, Kansas

 - May 25-26: Pueblo Motorsports Park; Pueblo, Colorado

 - July 6-7: High Plains Raceway; Deer Trail, Colorado

 - August 10-11: Raceway Park of the Midlands; Pacific Junction, Iowa

Track Night in America Driven by Tire Rack

Atlanta Motorsports Park; Dawsonville, GA

April 3, May 8, June 5, July 10, August 7, September 11

Auto Club Speedway; Fontana, CA

February 23, April 5 (Full Sports Car Course), June 22, August 24

Blackhawk Farms; South Beloit, IL

May 2, June 12, July 16, August 7, September 11

Carolina Motorsports Park; Kershaw, SC

May 10, June 26, August 6, September 10, October 16

Charlotte Motor Speedway; Concord, NC

April 26, June 6, July 19, August 16

Dakota County Technical College Driver Training Facility; Rosemount, MN

May 17, June 21, July 25, August 15, September 13

Dominion Raceway; Woodford, VA

April 18, May 17, June 27, August 15, September 19

GingerMan Raceway; South Haven, MI

May 16, June 13, July 17, August 8, September 12

Harris Hill Raceway; San Marcos, TX

March 20, April 10, May 8, June 5, September 18, October 16

Heartland Motorsports Park; Topeka, KS

April 25, May 17, June 13, July 12, August 8, September 19, October 17

High Plains Raceway; Deer Trail, CO

May 29, July 17, August 14, September 18

Lime Rock Park; Lakeville, CT

May 22, May 23, June 13

 

Memphis International Raceway; Millington, TN

March 26, April 23, May 14, June 11, July 9, August 13, September 10

 

MotorSport Ranch; Cresson, TX

March 19, April 9, May 7, June 4, September 17, October 15

 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway; Loudon, NH

May 24

 

New Jersey Motorsports Park; Millville, NJ

April 23, May 21, June 25, July 24, August 13, September 10

 

NOLA Motorsports Park; Avondale, LA

March 21, April 11, May 16

 

Pacific Raceways; Kent, WA

May 24, June 21, July 17

 

Palm Beach International Raceway; Jupiter, FL

February 19, March 19, April 23, May 21, June 18, August 20, Sept 17, Oct 22, Nov 12, Dec 10

 

Palmer Motorsports Park; Palmer, MA

May 2, June 6, June 27, July 18, August 8, September 5

 Pittsburgh International Race Complex; Wampum, PA

April 24, May 22, June 6, June 22, July 23, August 14, September 11

 Pocono Raceway; Long Pond, PA

April 17, May 9, June 13, July 11, August 27, September 16

 Portland International Raceway; Portland, OR

May 17, June 7, July 5, August 9

 Ridge Motorsports Park; Shelton, WA

May 16, June 6, July 23, August 7, September 12

 Road Atlanta; Braselton, GA

April 24, June 27, July 26

 Sebring International Raceway; Sebring, FL

September 12

 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park; Thompson, CT

April 23, May 9, June 18, July 11, July 30, August 22, September 12, October 3 

Thunderhill Raceway Park; Willows, CA

March 21, April 18, May 23, June 13, August 15, September 12

 VIRginia International Raceway; Alton, VA

July 25

- August 24-25: High Plains Raceway; Deer Trail, Colorado

 

 

2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule:

Date

Venue

Classes/

 
 

usac

ASCS

ALL STARS

fast 410 sprints

carolina sprints

PIRELLI WORLD CUP

IMSA

SCCA

southern all stars

Rush late models

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