The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge is settling into its 2020 season and up next for the series is Round 4 at VIRginia International Raceway on August 21-23.
A total of 34 cars between the GS and TCR classes will contest the two-hour Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix, which will be held on Sunday, August 23. The race goes green at 2:55 p.m. ET and can be streamed live, flag-to-flag on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold. IMSA Radio also will provide audio commentary for each session throughout the weekend on IMSA Radio.com.
Here’s a closer look at the Pilot Challenge entry list for next weekend’s event:
- Right at the top of the list are the most recent winners from Road America two weeks ago, Sheena Monk and Corey Lewis in the No. 3 Motorsports In Action McLaren 570S GT4. VIR holds a soft spot in Monk’s heart as it was the site of her first career victory in an IMSA-sanctioned event, winning the second race of the 2018 weekend for Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. After scoring her first Pilot Challenge victory at Road America, VIR would be a fitting place to continue her and the team’s success.
- Third time’s the charm? After finishing runner-up at both Sebring International Raceway and Road America, Kyle Marcelli and Nate Stacy are ready for a win at the venue where they were victorious one year ago. Stacy put the No. 60 KohR Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT4 on pole at Road America before the team finished second. A victory would promote the pair to first place in the championship standings, as they currently sit just three points in arrears of defending titleholders Tyler McQuarrie and Jeff Westphal in the No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 GT4.
- Alfa Romeo enters VIR after its most successful showing as a manufacturer since entering the series in 2019. The No. 5 KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR of Tim Lewis and Roy Block finished fourth at Road America behind a trio of Hyundais. The result awarded 32 points to Alfa Romeo in the manufacturer’s championship, moving them into third place behind Hyundai and Audi.
- Indy Dontje is back in the No. 4 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 with Russell Ward after a one-race absence. The Dutchman missed Road America to compete overseas in the ADAC GT Masters opener with HTP Motorsport, a Winward partner. Russell and his father Bryce – who is entered in the No. 57 Mercedes-AMG with Philip Ellis at VIR – are both ranked high in the GS championship standings, with the younger Ward in fourth and the elder in sixth.
- James Vance and Max Faulkner will share driving duties of the No. 23 FASTMD Racing with Speed Syndicate Audi RS3 LMS TCR entry. Both drivers claimed their first career Pilot Challenge victory at VIR, just not together. Faulkner earned his win in the Street Tuner class in 2018, while Vance returns to Virginia as the defending co-winner in the TCR class. The pair is picking up momentum this season, as Faulkner earned the Motul Pole Award at Road America before finishing fifth.
- It was one year ago at VIR that Team Hardpoint made its Pilot Challenge debut and the team has come a long way. Not only did Rob Ferriol and Spencer Pumpelly finish fourth twice in the final three races of 2019 in their No. 31 Audi R8 GT4, they’ve since expanded to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class in the No. 30 Audi R8 LMS GT3 for the WeatherTech Sprint Cup. While they haven’t had the same luck from 2019 in either championship this year, VIR would be a good place for them to stage a comeback.