Porsche Looks To Repeat 1-2 GTLM Finish At Road America In Continental Tire Road Race Showcase
Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Porsche, Ferrari and BMW will be looking to break through with a 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory at Road America in Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase (live, FS1, 4 p.m. ET).

A 1-2 finish in last year’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase was part of a late-season surge that carried Porsche North America to the 2015 WeatherTech Championship team and driver titles. Reigning GTLM champion Patrick Pilet and co-driver Nick Tandy return in the race-winning No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, with 2015 Road America runner-up Earl Bamber, now co-driving the No. 912 Porsche with Frederic Makowiecki.

“Road America is fast and challenging; it’s a racetrack with loads of character,” Pilet said. “Last year, we had a great race there, coming from the very back of the field to win. You don’t experience that every day. I hope we can secure a better grid spot this time – we were very happy with the race result. To win at Road America, you need the best package of car, driver and team. Only then do you have a chance on this circuit.”

Ferrari completed the podium in last year’s event. Third-place finisher Giancarlo Fisichella returns with a new car – the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE – and a new co-driver, Toni Vilander.

Also seeking its first victory of 2016, BMW Team RLL returns to a circuit where it finished second and third in 2014, continuing a legacy that included three class victories in ALMS competition. Bill Auberlen and Dirk Werner are fourth in the standings co-driving the No. 25 IHG Rewards Club BMW M6 GTLM. John Edwards and Lucas Luhr co-drive the No. 100 BMW.

Three-time 2016 winners Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner are coming off a class victory at Lime Rock in the No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R, and enter Road America with a 10-point lead in the GTLM standings, 228-218. Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia were second at Lime Rock in the No. 3 Corvette C7.R and are third in the standings with 197 points.

While Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe saw a three-race winning streak end at Lime Rock Park, they remain second in the standings as the No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT finished on the podium. Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller – class winners at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June – drive the team’s No. 66 Ford GT.

Audi Takes GT Daytona Momentum To Road America

Coming off a 1-2 finish at Lime Rock, Audi carries momentum in the GT Daytona (GTD) class to Road America. Rolex 24 winners Andy Lally and John Potter won at Lime Rock to move into second in the championship in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Audi Tire Center/Auric Solar Audi R8 LMS GT3 behind No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 co-drivers Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan.

“Road America is one of the best tracks to race on, and it gives plenty of opportunities for good dicing and passing,” Lally said. “Our Magnus Racing Audi R8 has been very strong in the last three events. If we can keep that momentum up, hopefully we can continue to eat away at the Ferrari’s points lead. With four races to go and being second in the points, our eye is on the prize – it would be huge winning the championship for Magnus Racing.”

Coming off an 11th-place finish at Lime Rock, Nielsen and Balzan saw their lead in the GTD standings trimmed to 13 points over Lally and Potter, 212-199. Nielsen finished second at Road America in 2015 for TRG-AMR.

Andrew Davis and Lawson Aschenbach finished second at Lime Rock in the No. 6 Stevenson Automotive Group Audi and are now fifth in the standings. Stevenson Motorsports also fields the No. 9 Audi for Lawson Aschenbach and Matt Bell.

Defending Road America GTD winners Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen return in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports ViperExchange.com/Cruising with the Monkey Dodge Viper GT3-R. They will be joined by the No. 80 Lone Star Racing Viper of Dan Knox and Mike Skeen.

Leading the Porsche GTD brigade is a three-car Alex Job Racing entry. Leh Keen and Cooper MacNeil – drivers of the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche GT3 R, will be joined by a second WeatherTech Porsche, the No. 77 for David MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette. Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas share the No. 23 Team Seattle/Heart of Racing Porsche. Patrick Lindsey finished third at Road America last year, and will be joined by Joerg Bergmeister in the No. 73 Park Place/Justice Brothers Porsche.

Lamborghini’s four-car attack includes entries from Paul Miller Racing, Change Racing and Dream Racing and will mark the debut of the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 at the circuit. Turner Motorsport – which earned a GTD victory at Road America in 2014 – brings a two-car BMW entry that includes Canadian Tire Motorsport Park winners Bret Curtis and Jens Klingmann in the No. 96 BMW M6 GT3.

Practice for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase begins at 12:40 p.m. CT on Friday, August 5, with qualifying on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. The weekend also includes the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, racing on Saturday at 11:35 a.m. CT.