Start, #7 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi, DPi: Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor, Graham Rahal, #31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi, DPi: Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani, Eric Curran

Entry List Notebook – Michelin Endurance Challenge Weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta


Entry List – TireRack.com Grand Prix at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta

TireRack.com Grand Prix

Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta – Braselton, Georgia

September 4 – 6, 2020

Fast Facts

Race Day/Time: Saturday, September 5 – 11:35 a.m. ET

U.S. Television Coverage (All Times ET):

Saturday, September 5

  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. NBCSN
  • 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. NBC Sports App / TrackPass
  • 2:30 -6 p.m. NBCSN

TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold Coverage: LIVE – Flag-to-flag beginning at 11:30 a.m.

IMSA.com/TVLive Live Qualifying Stream: Friday, September 4 – 6:30 p.m.

IMSA Radio: All sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage begins Saturday at 11:30 a.m. (Sirius channel 217, XM 202, Internet 972)

Circuit Type: 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course

Race Length: Six Hours

Track Social Media: Twitter/Instagram/Facebook: @RoadAtlanta

Event Hashtags: #IMSA, #TireRackGrandPrix

WeatherTech Championship Track Records

Qualifying:

DPi Felipe Nasr, Cadillac DPi, 1:08.457 / 133.572 mph, October 2019

LMP2 Kyle Masson, ORECA LMP2, 1:10.722 / 129.294 mph, October 2019

GTLM James Calado, Ferrari 488 GTE, 1:15.639 / 120.889 mph, October 2019

GTD Corey Lewis, Lamborghini Hurácan GT3, 1:19.530 / 114.975 mph, October 2019

2019 Motul Petit Le Mans Winners:

DPi: Felipe Nasr/Pipo Derani/Eric Curran, No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi

LMP2: Matt McMurry/Gabriel Aubry/Dalton Kellett, No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen ORECA LMP2

GTLM: James Calado/Daniel Serra/Alessandro Pier Guidi, No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE

GTD: Bill Auberlen/Robby Foley/Dillon Machavern, No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3

Storylines

  • Endurance Mindset: It’s been seven months since the WeatherTech Championship has run a race longer than two hours, 45 minutes in duration. By this point in the calendar, teams would have competed in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts (which has been postponed to November), in addition to the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, which has been replaced by the TireRack.com Grand Prix. The 10-hour Motul Petit Le Mans is also still on tap this October, and with 16 hours of racing on tap at Michelin Raceway in less than two months, it will be interesting to see how teams attack this event.
  • Notable Endurance Drivers: A six-hour race means a handful of three-driver lineups and there are several additions of note. IndyCar champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay has been added to the No. 55 Mazda Motorsports Mazda DPi driver lineup; Colin Braun is also back in an LMP2, this time in Era Motorsport’s No. 18 ORECA; and Daniel Morad joins the AIM Vasser Sullivan squad in the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3. The addition of Morad to the No. 14 lineup moves Aaron Telitz back to team’s No. 12 entry for this event – which could make things more interesting in the overall WeatherTech Championship GTD driver standings. Currently, Jack Hawksworth – with whom Telitz has co-driven since the IMSA WeatherTech 240 At Daytona in July and recorded a pair of victories in the No. 14 Lexus – is three points ahead of Telitz, who also drove the team’s No. 12 entry in January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona.
  • Return of the Prototypes: The WeatherTech Championship is coming off its first GT-only event of the season at VIRginia International Raceway. At Michelin Raceway, both the DPi and LMP2 classes return to their championship battles. No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R. co-drivers Renger van der Zande and Ryan Briscoe hold a six-point lead, 124-118, in the DPi standings over Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing w/ JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac, which has finished in the top five in each race so far in 2020.
  • In the LMP2 class, a single point separates Cameron Cassels from Patrick Kelly in the championship hunt. Cassels returns behind the wheel of the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA LMP2 with Kyle Masson, while Kelly is entered in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 with Simon Trummer and series newcomer Scott Huffaker.
  • Cooling Down? For the first time since July 4 at Daytona, a Lexus RC F GT3 was not on the GTD podium at VIR. The No. 12 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus of Frankie Montecalvo and Townsend Bell tumbled to a ninth-place finish after winning at Road America, while Hawksworth and Telitz managed to finish fourth in the No. 14 Lexus. As a result, Hawksworth is now tied with No. 86 Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 co-drivers Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry for the WeatherTech Championship GTD points lead.

Who’s Hot?

  • Corvette Racing: It’s undeniable that the hottest team in the WeatherTech Championship is Corvette Racing. Four consecutive victories between the Nos. 3 and 4 Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs have put the two teams first and third, respectively, in the championship standings. Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia have built a solid 19-point lead over second place drivers Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 912 Porsche GT Team Porsche 911 RSR-19, and a 20-point lead over Corvette teammates Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner.
  • Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley: The Turner Motorsport co-drivers won both races they were entered in at VIR, the WeatherTech Championship Michelin GT Challenge and the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. With the WeatherTech Championship victory in the No. 96 BMW M6 GT3, Auberlen became the winningest driver in IMSA history with 61 wins, breaking his tie with Scott Pruett. Meanwhile, Foley not only collected first-place trophies in both races, but also a third-place trophy in Pilot Challenge having co-driven in both Turner BMW M4 GT4 entries, the second of which he shares with Vin Barletta.
  • 7 Acura Team Penske: Following a pole position and subsequent victory at Road America, the No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura DPi of Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor may be building some momentum after a tough start to the season. Taylor does have one victory at Michelin Raceway from the 2014 Prototype class, while 2008 ALMS LMP2 winner Castroneves’ first WeatherTech Championship pole came in Atlanta competing in the 2017 Motul Petit Le Mans Prototype class.
  • Riley Motorsports: The GTD team delivered Mercedes-AMG’s first podium of the season at VIR in the No. 74 Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Lawson Aschenbach and Gar Robinson. Not only did it move the pair up two places in the full-season standings, just 15 points behind leaders Farnbacher and McMurry, but they’re now fourth in the WeatherTech Sprint Cup standings. Along with their WeatherTech Championship success, Riley Motorsports also moved into the lead in the Pilot Challenge GS standings with Dylan Murry and Jim Cox driving the No. 35 Mercedes-AMG GT4.

Who’s Good Here?

  • Oliver Gavin: The five-time Motul Petit Le Mans winner should be one to watch in the TireRack.com Grand Prix, although it’s been 10 years since his last victory at Michelin Raceway. With Milner as his co-driver in the No. 4 Corvette, the duo will look to extend Corvette Racing’s four-race win streak and add a second victory to their 2020 total after a win at the Cadillac Grand Prix of Sebring in July.
  • Porsche: While Corvette Racing has eight victories at Michelin Raceway, contributing to Chevrolet’s total of 10, Porsche is in a league of its own with 20 wins at the Motul Petit Le Mans. And while next weekend’s enduro is four hours shorter than a standard race, there are three Porsche entries between the GTLM and GTD classes that will be in search of the manufacturer’s 21st win.
  • PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports: The LMP2 team owns four wins at Michelin Raceway, the most recent coming in the 2019 Motul Petit Le Mans. In fact, the team ranks second among active teams in next weekend’s race behind Corvette Racing. Patrick Kelly, Simon Trummer and Scott Huffaker will look to make it back-to-back wins for PR1/Mathiasen in Atlanta.
  • Bill Auberlen: While the winningest IMSA driver is tied with Patrick Long and Nick Tandy for three wins apiece at Michelin Raceway, Auberlen returns as the defending GTD winner alongside Foley and Turner Motorsport endurance driver Dillon Machavern. After a doubly successful weekend at VIR, it would be no surprise to see Auberlen clinch win No. 62 next weekend.

Previous Motul Petit Le Mans Winners in 2020 Field (30)

Oliver Gavin (5) – ALMS GTS – 2002, 2004; ALMS GT1 – 2005, 2008; ALMS GT2 – 2010

Bill Auberlen (3) – ALMS GT – 2001, GTLM – 2017, GTD – 2019

Patrick Long (3) – GT2 – 2005, 2006; ALMS P2 – 2007

Nick Tandy (3) – ALMS GT – 2013, GTLM/Overall – 2015; GTLM – 2018

Ryan Briscoe (2) – P2 – 2008, 2013

Joao Barbosa (2) – P2 – 2011, P – 2015

Ryan Dalziel (2) – PC – 2012, P/Overall – 2017

Spencer Pumpelly (2) – GTC – 2013, GTD – 2015

Bryan Sellers (2) – ALMS GT – 2013; GTLM – 2014

Madison Snow (2) – GTC – 2013, GTD – 2015

Jordan Taylor (2) – P/Overall – 2014, P/Overall – 2018

Renger van der Zande (2) – PC – 2014, P/Overall – 2018

Toni Vilander (2) – ALMS GT – 2012, GTLM – 2016

Sebastien Bourdais (1) – P – 2015

Helio Castroneves (1) – P2 – 2008

Connor De Phillippi (1) – GTD – 2017

Pipo Derani (1) – DPi/Overall – 2019

Mario Farnbacher (1) – GTC – 2012

Robby Foley (1) – GTD – 2019

Ryan Hunter-Reay (1) – P/Overall – 2018

Ben Keating (1) – GTD – 2016

Andy Lally (1) – GTC – 2010

Dillon Machavern (1) – GTD – 2019

Cooper MacNeil (1) – GTD – 2018

Fred Makowiecki (1) – GTLM – 2018

Matt McMurry (1) – LMP2 – 2019

Christopher Mies (1) – GTD – 2017

Olivier Pla (1) – P/Overall – 2016

Felipe Nasr (1) – DPi/Overall – 2019

Ricky Taylor (1) – P/Overall – 2014

Previous Motul Petit Le Mans Pole Winners in 2020 Field (15)

Dane Cameron (2) – PC – 2011, 2013

Olivier Pla (2) – P2 – 2012; P/Overall – 2016

Toni Vilander (2) – ALMS GT – 2012, GTLM – 2017

Bill Auberlen (1) – GT3 – 1998

Earl Bamber (1) – GTLM – 2015

Ryan Briscoe (1) – ALMS P2 – 2008

Helio Castroneves (1) – P/Overall – 2017

Pipo Derani (1) – P/Overall – 2018

John Edwards (1) – GTLM – 2018

Oliver Gavin (1) – GTS – 2004

Jack Hawksworth (1) – PC – 2014

Corey Lewis (1) – GTD – 2019

Felipe Nasr (1) – DPi/Overall – 2019

Spencer Pumpelly (1) – GTC – 2013

Nick Tandy (1) – GTLM – 2014

Previous Motul Petit Le Mans-Winning Teams in 2020 Field (12)

Corvette Racing (8) – GTS – 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004; GT1 – 2005, 2007, 2008; GT2 – 2010

PR1-Mathiasen Motorsports (4) – PC – 2011, 2015, 2016; LMP2 – 2019

Penske (3) – P2 – 2006, 2007, 2008

CORE /Porsche GT Team (3) – PC – 2012; GTLM/Overall – 2015; GTLM – 2018

Action Express Racing (2) – P – 2015; DPi/Overall – 2019

Wayne Taylor Racing (2) – P/Overall – 2014, 2018

BMW Team RLL (1) – GTLM – 2017

Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsports – GTD – 2016

Meyer Shank Racing (1) – P/Overall – 2016

Paul Miller Racing (1) – GTD – 2014

Scuderia Corsa (1) – GTD – 2018

Starworks (1) – PC – 2014

Turner Motorsport (1) – GTD 2019

Previous Motul Petit Le Mans Race-Winning Manufacturers in 2020 Field (8)

Porsche – 20

Audi – 11

Chevrolet – 10

Ferrari – 10

BMW – 3

Cadillac – 2

Aston Martin – 1

Mazda – 1