Only two rounds remain in the 2020 IMSA Prototype Challenge season and up next for the series is the Acura Sports Car Challenge weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
While the 2.258-mile circuit was initially set to be the third of six rounds in 2020, it now hosts the fifth. The season finale will take place at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 15-17 during the Motul Petit Le Mans event.
Fourteen LMP3 machines will roar to life at Mid-Ohio with the field split between Ligier JS P3s and Norma M30s. The cars will compete in a one hour, 45-minute race scheduled for 4:45 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 26. Live, flag-to-flag streaming is available on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
Here’s a closer look at the entry list:
- Mid-Ohio might be the best opportunity for a positive result for Wulver Racing’s No. 60 Ligier. Tonis Kasemets and Bruce Hamilton tied their best finish of the season at Mid-Ohio in 2019 with a third-place finish, which they also achieved earlier that year at the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. A podium result this weekend would be welcomed as the two have not found much success in 2020. Daytona is, again, the site of their best finish this season in seventh.
- At Mid-Ohio in 2019, Dakota Dickerson and MLT Motorsports earned their first career IMSA victory with a Prototype Challenge win in the No. 54 Ligier. Dickerson co-drove to the win with Dylan Murry and while he hasn’t been to victory lane so far in 2020, the San Diego native sits second in the standings. He is nine points behind leaders Naveen Rao and Matthew Bell, 123-114. Dickerson will share driving duties with Dom Cicero this weekend.
- Speaking of the point standings, one team that has been moving up is the No. 40 Norma for Forty7 Motorsports. Keith and David Grant found themselves ninth in the standings after the second round at Sebring. Following finishes of third and fifth and Road America and VIRginia International Raceway, respectively, the duo has worked their way up to fourth place in the standings with 99 points.
- Mid-Ohio marks the first Prototype Challenge round since IMSA announced the 2021 schedule for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the IMSA Prototype Challenge. Beginning next year, LMP3s with a new Evo kit will be allowed to compete in the both the WeatherTech Championship and IMSA Prototype Challenge, which will feature two classes, one with the updated LMP3s and one with the current-generation LMP3s. Dickerson’s winning co-driver, Dylan Murry, is one driver already planning to move up the prototype ladder into the WeatherTech Championship next season.
- Another team interested in running its LMP3s in the WeatherTech Championship, Performance Tech Motorsports, continues to place its full attention on its Prototype Challenge program and will run two Ligiers at Mid-Ohio. The No. 6 LMP3 will feature Blake Mount and Jon Branam- the latter of whom made his season debut at VIR – while the No. 75 returns with Max Hanratty and Cameron Cassels. The team did not participate with its LMP2 in the most recent WeatherTech Championship race, citing travel restrictions and its focus on LMP3. The LMP2 class is not running this weekend’s WeatherTech Championship race at Mid-Ohio.
- Mid-Ohio will feature the final one hour, 45-minute race of the 2020 IMSA Prototype Challenge season. The season finale at Michelin Raceway will see the LMP3 field compete for three hours to conclude the year. In 2021, all races will be one-hour and 45-minutes in length. The introduction of the LMP3 class into the WeatherTech Championship allows for those teams interested in endurance racing to do so in 2021.