GT Classes Headline the Show at Historic Lime Rock Park in Connecticut
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The GT classes take center stage for the first of two times in the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with the Northeast Grand Prix at historic Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on July 16-17.
Seventeen cars are on the pre-event entry list – three in GT Le Mans (GTLM) and 14 in GT Daytona (GTD). Drivers, teams and manufacturers will be competing for points that count toward both the season-long championship and the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup.
Here’s what you need to know in advance of race week:
Lime Rock Park – Lakeville, Connecticut
July 16-17, 2021
Entry List (Click Here)
Race Day/Time: Saturday, July 17 – 3:10 p.m. ET
TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold Coverage: LIVE – Flag-to-flag beginning at 3:10 p.m. (available on IMSA.com/TVLive outside the U.S.)
NBCSN Coverage: 5:30 p.m. ET
IMSA.com/TVLive Live Qualifying Stream: Friday, July 16 – 5:10 p.m.
IMSA Radio: All sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage begins Friday, July 2 at 6 p.m. (XM 202, Internet 992)
Circuit Type: 1.474-mile, seven-turn road course
Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Event Hashtags: #IMSA, #NorthEastGP
WeatherTech Championship Track Records
GTLM: Laurens Vanthoor, Porsche 911 RSR, 49.133 seconds / 108.000 mph, July 2019
GTD: Trent Hindman, Acura NSX GT3, 51.456 seconds / 103.124 mph, July 2019
- Welcome Back to Lime Rock: One of the oldest natural terrain road courses in the United States, Lime Rock Park was built in 1956. It has hosted IMSA events for most of the past two decades, but last year’s race was canceled due to the pandemic.
- Season Championship Midpoint: The Northeast Grand Prix will be the fifth of 10 races counting toward season WeatherTech Championship honors for both the GTLM and GTD classes. Current leaders are Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R in GTLM and Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 in GTD.
- Sprint Cup Battle Continues: The Lime Rock race also will count toward the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup in the GTD class – the fourth of eight non-endurance races that decide this title. No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 drivers Roman De Angelis and Ross Gunn have a 27-point lead over Frankie Montecalvo (No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3) heading into race weekend.
- New Points Structure for 2021: The WeatherTech Championship and Sprint Cup points structure has changed this season, with each race finishing position earning 10 times the points it received a year ago. Where a class winner took home 35 points in 2020, the reward is now 350 points. Second place in a race now earns 320 points, third place nets 300 and downward from there. In addition, points are now distributed in qualifying, with 35 going to the pole winner in GTLM, as well as to the fastest car in the second GTD qualifying session (see below). Points descend from second downward through the qualifying results.
- Revised GTD Qualifying Format: Starting this season, the GT Daytona class conducts two qualifying sessions. The first is for the Motul Pole Award and starting grid position, with a Silver- or Bronze-rated driver in each car. Following a mandatory driver change, another 15-minute session will take place to decide qualifying points for the class. The GTLM class will have a single 15-minute qualifying session that determines both grid position and points.
- 3 Corvette: Garcia and Taylor swept two weekends of competition at Watkins Glen International, taking the GTLM pole position and class win for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen on June 27 and the IMSA WeatherTech 240 on July 2. They’ve won three of the season’s four points-paying races, including the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.
- 96 Turner BMW: Auberlen and Foley have driven to victory in three of the last four GTD events. De Angelis and Gunn won the other race, and the No. 23 Aston Martin drivers are just 61 points behind the No. 96 in the GTD season standings.
Who’s Good Here?
- Lally and Long: The veteran drivers each have four wins at Lime Rock. Andy Lally’s most recent win was in 2016, Patrick Long’s in 2012. They’ll square off in the GTD class for the July 17 race, with Lally in the No. 44 Magnus with Archangel Acura NSX GT3 and Long in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3R.
- Pfaff Motorsports: Zacharie Robichon is back to defend the 2019 GTD win he claimed with Pfaff Motorsports in a near photo finish with then-co-driver Dennis Olson. Robichon is paired with Laurens Vanthoor in the No. 9 “Plaid” Porsche 911 this year.
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Winners in 2021 Field (10)
- Andy Lally (4): SRII – 2001; GT – 2006; GTC – 2010; GTD – 2016
- Patrick Long (4): GT2 – 2006, 2009; GT – 2010, 2012
- Bill Auberlen (1): GTU – 2000
- Cooper MacNeil (1): GTC – 2012
- Tommy Milner (1): GTLM – 2016
- John Potter (1): GTD – 2016
- Zacharie Robichon (1): GTD – 2019
- Bryan Sellers (1): GTD – 2018
- Madison Snow (1): GTD – 2018
- Jordan Taylor (1): DP – 2013
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Pole Winners in 2021 Field (7)
- Patrick Long (3): GT2 – 2005; GT – 2010; GTD – 2018
- Bill Auberlen (1): GT – 2012
- Antonio Garcia (1): GTLM – 2018
- Trent Hindman (1): GTD – 2019
- Madison Snow (1): GTD – 2017
- Jordan Taylor (1): GT – 2010
- Laurens Vanthoor (1): GTLM – 2019
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Winning Teams in 2021 Field (5)
- Corvette Racing (5): GTS – 2004; GT1 – 2005, 2007 2008; GTLM – 2016
- Archangel (3): SRII – 2000, 2001-Race 1, 2001-Race 2
- Magnus (1): GTD – 2016
- Paul Miller Racing (1): GTD – 2018
- Pfaff Motorsports (1): GTD – 2019
- Turner Motorsport (1): GTD – 2015
Previous Northeast Grand Prix Winning Manufacturers in 2021 Field (7)
- Porsche – 20
- Chevrolet – 12
- Audi – 6
- BMW – 5
- Acura – 2
- Aston Martin – 1
- Lamborghini – 1