It has been a quick turnaround for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, as the series’ 2020 season restarted two weekends ago at Sebring International Raceway and will be back in action in just five days at Road America.
The fan favorite, 4.048-mile circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin is the destination for Pilot Challenge’s Round 3 of 10 this year and boasts a healthy grid of 33 sports cars split between the GS and TCR classes.
The two-hour Road America 120 is scheduled to go green Saturday at 4:45 p.m. ET and can be streamed live, flag-to-flag on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. NBCSN will televise the race on Saturday, August 15 at midnight ET.
Let’s take a closer look at key storylines in the Pilot Challenge entry list for Road America.
- There’s a handful of drivers and teams returning to the grid this weekend in Pilot Challenge, starting with longtime IMSA racer, Billy Johnson. He will share the No. 4 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 – which has landed on the podium both times so far in 2020 – with Russell Ward after last competing at Watkins Glen International in June 2019. Johnson is currently tied with Hugh Plumb as the winningest driver in Pilot Challenge with 23 wins. In addition, he is seeking his milestone 50th Pilot Challenge podium result.
- Also making its return to Pilot Challenge is rookie team McCann Racing. The No. 8 Audi R8 GT4 finished 10th at Daytona in its debut race but was not present for Round 2 at Sebring. Britt Casey Jr. and Michael McCann will be back behind the wheel at Road America.
- Additional drivers reappearing on the entry list are Ford Development driver and NASCAR Xfinity Series title contender Chase Briscoe running with James Pesek in the No. 40 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4; and Taylor Hagler, who is back in L.A Honda World’s No. 77 Honda Civic TCR after being medically cleared from her coronavirus diagnosis just before Sebring.
- Hagler’s L.A. Honda World teammate Chris Miller is no stranger to Road America. The Minnesotan’s only starts in Pilot Challenge prior to this year all came in Elkhart Lake in consecutive seasons since 2017. Competing in his first full-time season in the series, Miller is looking to top his top finish of eighth (2017 Street Tuner class, 2019 TCR class) in the No. 37 Honda with Shelby Blackstock.
- It’ll be hard to beat the thrilling conclusion to the 2019 Road America 120. Robin Liddell’s last-lap heroics saw the Scot jump from fourth to first in the final four miles, narrowly capturing the victory from Kuno Wittmer who pressed the pit speed limiter button, rather than the radio button to celebrate coming to the checkered flag. As Wittmer slowed, Liddell powered his No. 71 Rebel Rock Racing Camaro GT4.R past Wittmer by .07 seconds, the fourth closest finish in series history. Liddell returns to Road America with co-driver Frank DePew, with whom he won last year.
- Road America was equally special last year for first-time TCR winners and Bryan Herta Autosport teammates Mason Filippi and Harry Gottsacker. The young duo was awarded the win despite crossing the finish line second after the leading car was found to be in violation of drive-time rules. Following a lineup switch for 2020, Gottsacker just scored his second Pilot Challenge victory two weeks ago at Sebring in the No. 21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR with Mark Wilkins and Filippi will be looking to do the same this weekend at Road America in the No. 98 Hyundai with Michael Lewis.