Not just one, but two!
The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge returns to action at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for a unique doubleheader weekend that features Rounds 6 and 7 of the 2020 season. Pilot Challenge first debuted at the Lexington, Ohio circuit in 2001, but did not visit from 2013 through 2017.
A complete grid of 31 cars will participate in both two-hour races, with 20 entries in the GS class and 11 entries in the TCR class.
Race 1 is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 26 at 1:05 p.m. ET, with Race 2 set the following day at 10:35 a.m. ahead of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race later that afternoon. Both races can be streamed live on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
Without further ado, here’s a closer look at the entry list of race cars preparing to take on a challenging weekend ahead.
- Ohio’s own McCann Racing returns for its home track weekend in the No. 8 Audi R8 GT4. Based in North Canton, Ohio, McCann Racing was scheduled for a full-season effort before the pandemic and has only competed at Road America since the racing hiatus concluded. Britt Casey Jr. – the 2018 TCR champion – and Michael McCann Jr. are entered together once again as co-drivers.
- Another Ohioan in the Pilot Challenge field is Ryan Norman, who hails from Chagrin Falls just 90 minutes northeast of Mid-Ohio. Norman, competing in his rookie season in the series, is coming off his second win of the season in the No. 33 Bryan Herta Hyundai Veloster N TCR he shares with Gabby Chaves. The pair previously won at Road America and lead the TCR class point standings.
- Also back on the grid is Fast Track Racing in the No. 26 BMW M4 GT4 for the first time since the season opener in January. Team manager Toby Grahovec is pairing with fellow Texan Christian Hull, who tested the BMW during the racing hiatus to prepare for a European GT4 season. With current travel restrictions, Hull was unable to compete abroad, but finds himself instead making his Pilot Challenge debut.
- James Pesek is one of five full-season drivers in GS who has completed each lap of competition in 2020, with the others being Nate Stacy and Kyle Marcelli in the No. 60 KohR Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT4 and defending champions Tyler McQuarrie and Jeff Westphal in the No. 39 Audi R8 GT4 for CarBahn with Peregrine Racing. While it’s been a rotation of co-drivers for Pesek in the No. 40 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4, Chad McCumbee – the 2015 ST champion – is set to share the seat for the remainder of the season.
- Turning the clock back to 2019, all four winners from last year’s Pilot Challenge race at Mid-Ohio are entered for 2020, albeit with either different looks or different co-drivers. Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson seek to defend their GS victory again in the No. 7 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, although this year under the Archangel Motorsports banner.
- Meanwhile, Michael Lewis and Mark Wilkins return, still with the Bryan Herta Autosport clan but in separate Hyundais for 2020. Lewis retains his seat in the No. 98 Hyundai with Mason Filippi, while Wilkins has shifted to the No. 21 for the season with Harry Gottsacker. Both the No. 98 and No. 21 have wins so far in 2020, with the former coming at VIRginia International Raceway in August and the latter coming at Sebring International Raceway one month prior.