DPi Has Witnessed a Seesaw Fight atop the Standings
By Mark Robinson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With a short chance to catch our breath before the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season resumes next week, now is a good time to make a quick check on the various championship races taking place throughout the five classes.
While the three prototype classes have but two races remaining, the two GT classes have four events to go – starting with the FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix on July 15-16 at Lime Rock Park. Here’s where all the season championship battles stand at this juncture:
Daytona Prototype international (DPi): Through eight races, the top WeatherTech Championship class has been much like a Triple Crown horse race, with a pair of thoroughbreds battling neck-and-neck and swapping the lead at each post.
The No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-05 bolted to the early lead with the Rolex 24 At Daytona win to open the season. Since then, No. 60 drivers Oliver Jarvis and Tom Blomqvist have swapped the points lead four times with Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura. Even though they haven’t won since Daytona, Jarvis, Blomqvist and the No. 60 have recaptured the lead with five consecutive second-place finishes and are 56 points up on their Acura compatriots.
The No. 01 Cadillac Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R with drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande has recovered from an abysmal season start to move into third in the standings, 148 points behind the No. 60 Acura. The sister No. 02 Cadillac with drivers Alex Lynn and Earl Bamber is in fourth, 190 points back.
Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2): Because the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 is splitting its driver lineups between the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup and sprint races, the car leads the team standings but not the driver points.
The No. 52 holds a 73-point lead over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA, whose lone full-season driver, John Farano, heads the driver standings by 37 points over Henrik Hedman and Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 81 DragonSpeed USA).
Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3): With two wins and a second-place finish in the past three races, Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and the No. 54 CORE autosport Ligier JS P320 have opened a 98-point advantage over Ari Balogh, Garett Grist and the No. 30 Jr III Racing Ligier. Defending class champion Gar Robinson and the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier are in third, 138 points back.
Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO): The No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R is chasing back-to-back championships in different classes. After taking the GT Daytona (GTD) crown last year, the team moved into the new GTD PRO class in 2022 and it’s been a seamless transition.
No. 9 drivers Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell have captured the win in half of the six races to date, building a lead of 138 points over the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C8.R GTD shared by Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor.
Grand Touring Daytona (GTD): It’s not unexpected but this class boasts the tightest points race of them all. Stevan McAleer and the No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 – though winless in 2022 – sit atop the standings, a mere five points better than Ryan Hardwick, Jan Heylen and the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
As usual, Bill Auberlen is always lurking somewhere. IMSA’s all-time wins leader in top-tier series, along with co-driver Robby Foley in the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3, are 44 points behind the leaders. With a recent surge, Roman De Angelis and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 are only 105 points out of first.
IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup: With only the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans left in this four-race championship, all five classes are still up for grabs. No team leads by more than four points heading to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for the Oct. 1 finale.
Current leaders are the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura in DPi, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen ORECA in LMP2, the No. 74 Riley Motorsports Ligier in LMP3, the No. 3 Corvette in GTD PRO and the No. 70 inception racing McLaren 720S GT3 in GTD.
IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup: This championship for the GTD class at non-endurance events has three races remaining. Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow and the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 have built a 118-point advantage on Auberlen, Foley and the No. 96 BMW.