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#83: WIN Autosport Duqueine M30-D08, LMP3: Niklas Kruetten, Matthew Bell, Rodrigo Sales

IMSA ICYMI: A Roundup of Happenings Keeping You Up to Speed

WIN Doubles Petit Le Mans Fun, Daytona Record Recollections and More


By Mark Robinson


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – When WIN is in your name, that’s what you want to do. As much as possible.


That in mind, WIN Autosport will enter two cars in next month’s Motul Petit Le Mans – one each in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) and Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) classes.


The No. 11 WIN Autosport ORECA LMP2 07 is smack in the middle of the LMP2 championship battle. Co-drivers Steven Thomas and Tristan Nunez are just 113 points from the lead heading to the season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. As he has done in the previous endurance races this season, Thomas Merrill will join Thomas and Nunez behind the wheel.


For the second time this year, WIN will also run the No. 83 Duqueine D08 in the LMP3 class. Matt Bell and Naveen Rao, who paired to win the IMSA Prototype Challenge LMP3 development series championship last year, head the driver lineup along with Josh Skelton, Bell’s teammate in the Michelin Le Mans Series in Europe.


“This is one of my favorite tracks in the U.S.,” Bell said of Michelin Raceway. “I won here in 2014 in GTD (GT Daytona) and last year finished second in the LMP2 class, so I definitely like this track and want to keep the podium streak going.”


Forbush Racing Enters Toyota Supra for Michelin Pilot Challenge Finale … and More


Forbush Performance announced it will enter a Toyota Supra GT4 in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season finale, the Fox Factory 120 at Michelin Raceway on Nov. 12, as a precursor to a two-car, full-season effort in 2022.


Series veteran and 2018 Touring Car (TCR) class champion Tom Long will drive in the 2021 finale and be in one of the Supras next season. He will share the car at Michelin Raceway with Luke Rumburg as the team gathers data for the 2022 campaign.


The Toyota Supra debuted this season in the Grand Sport (GS) class of the Michelin Pilot Challenge, with a pair of Riley Motorsports entries under the support of Toyota Gazoo Racing. Forbush Racing fielded a Supra in another series, and team owner Matt Forbush is eager to now take on the Michelin Pilot Challenge competition.


“We have learned a lot about this car throughout the course of the 2021 season,” Forbush said. “We have found a great crew and exceptional engineers who are making great strides with the performance each time we get our hands on it. We have a significant amount of testing between now and the start of the 2022 season to ensure we show up in Daytona poised to run up front.”


Speedy Recall for Braun


As he prepares to chase a third IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Colin Braun couldn’t help but reminisce recently about the day eight years ago when he set the lap speed record at Daytona International Speedway in a Ford prototype prepped by Michael Shank Racing.


Braun whizzed around the 2.5-mile oval at 222.971 mph, easily eclipsing Bill Elliott’s Daytona 500 qualifying lap standard of 210.364 mph in 1987. Even “Awesome Bill” would have to admit that Braun’s feat was awesome in more than just Dawsonville.



This Is Only a Test


Multiple teams have been testing at Michelin Raceway in preparation for the 10-hour race on Nov. 13 that has championship ramifications in every class. Some drivers were all too happy to share the fun on social media.


For Simon Pagenaud, the 2016 Indy 500 winner who turned laps in the No. 48 Ally Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R along with Jimmie Johnson, it was a checklist refresher course on what to do since the No. 48 hasn’t raced since late June at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.


Just hope he remembered which pedal means go and which means stop.



Jeroen Bleekemolen provided a sneak peek of the No. 91 Riley Motorsports Ligier JS P320 crossing the Michelin Raceway start/finish line in style.



Anyone Got 1.21 Gigawatts and a DeLorean Handy?


The Motul Petit Le Mans may be three weeks away, but some WeatherTech Championship drivers are itching to go. Take Ricky Taylor, for instance.


The Wayne Taylor Racing driver referenced Dr. Emmett Brown from the “Back to the Future” films fame in his Twitter post hoping for a time machine to get him to Michelin Raceway and race day now.



Sweetest of Birthday Wishes for Derani


Action Express Racing driver Pipo Derani turned 28 on Oct. 12 and celebrated mega-dessert style. Maybe this is the secret to his amped-up on-track attack form that’s helped put the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac in the thick of the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) title hunt.