It may be hard to believe, but the upcoming IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America marks the halfway point of the 2020 IMSA Prototype Challenge season.
The series held its first of six races at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona in early January and made its return two weeks ago at the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring. Now, it’s time for the third IMSA Prototype Challenge race of the season, a one-hour, 45-minute sprint that is the first of five races across four IMSA-sanctioned series competing at Road America throughout the weekend.
A 13-car field featuring a mix of Ligier JS and Norma M30 LMP3 machines will take to the track beginning Friday at 9:45 a.m. ET with a first practice, followed by a second at 1:45 p.m. Qualifying will take place later that day at 4:30 p.m.
The green flag will fly for the IMSA Prototype Challenge race on Saturday at 11:35 a.m. ET and can be streamed live, commercial free on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. IMSA Radio will also have live coverage throughout the weekend on IMSARadio.com.
Here’s a closer look at the IMSA Prototype Challenge entry list for Road America:
- This is the first time the series has visited Road America since 2015 and four drivers on this year’s entry list competed in that event. The highest-finishing driver was Jon Brownson in fifth, followed by Max Hanratty in sixth. Brownson switches from the absent Gilbert/Korthoff Motorsports team to the new No. 74 Forty7 Motorsports Norma entry with Wyatt Schwab, while Hanratty continues in the No. 75 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier with Cameron Cassels.
- Coincidentally, two winners already in 2020 also were in the 2015 field. Sebring winner Gerry Kraut returns with co-driver Scott Andrews in the No. 9 JDC Motorsports Norma, while Daytona victor Joel Janco is back with JJ Jorge in the No. 47 Forty7 Motorsports Norma.
- The aforementioned Schwab is competing in his Prototype Challenge race of the season. Schwab competed in five of six rounds in 2019, with his best finish of ninth coming at Sebring in March.
- A new entry to the grid is the No. 86 One Motorsports Ligier, which did not compete at Sebring. Currently the only listed driver is Paul LaHaye who finished ninth with the team and then-co-driver Dave House at Daytona.
- Blake Mount returns to the No. 6 Performance Tech Ligier following a similar one-race absence. The Silver-rated driver was replaced by Swedish racer Rasmus Lindh at Sebring but returns to the cockpit alongside Dan Goldburg.
- Taking a look at the point standings approaching the halfway mark of the season, Matthew Bell and Naveen Rao are currently leading the way, but not by much. They have a four-point advantage, 62-58, over Dakota Dickerson and a seven-point lead on third-place drivers Joel Janco and JJ Jorge.