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Entry List Notebook – Michelin GT Challenge At VIR

The Grand Touring Classes Headline the IMSA Program At VIRginia International Raceway

By Mark Robinson

Entry List (Click Here)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Michelin GT Challenge At VIR returns to its traditional late August date on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule following last year’s race in October. The Aug. 26-28 event still serves as the penultimate weekend on the calendar and as the second GT-only race of the season.

Eighteen cars are on the pre-event entry list, five in the Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class and 13 in Grand Touring Daytona (GTD). The race airs live on CNBC starting at 2 p.m. ET Sunday, Aug. 28. Here’s other important information you need for the Michelin GT Challenge At VIR:

Fast Facts

VIRginia International Raceway – Alton, Virginia

August 28, 2022

Race Day/Time:  Sunday, August 28 – 2: 10 p.m. ET

CNBC Coverage: LIVE – Flag-to-flag beginning at 2 p.m.

Peacock Streaming Coverage: LIVE – Flag-to-flag beginning at 2 p.m. (available outside the U.S. on IMSA.com/TVLive starting at 2:05 p.m.)

IMSA.com/TVLive Live Qualifying Stream:  Saturday, August 27 – 3:10 p.m.

IMSA Radio:  Select sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 28 (XM 207, Web/App 992)

Circuit Type:  3.27-mile, 17-turn road course

Race Length:  Two hours, 40 minutes

Classes Competing: Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO), Grand Touring Daytona (GTD)

Track Social Media:

Event Hashtags:  #IMSA, #MichelinVIR

 

WeatherTech Championship Track Records

Qualifying:

GTD PRO: new class in 2022

GTD: Ross Gunn, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 1:43.356 / 113.897 mph, October 2021

 

2021 Michelin GT Challenge at VIR Winners:

GTD PRO: new class in 2022

GTD: Zacharie Robichon/Laurens Vanthoor, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R

 

Storylines

  • GT Classes Take Center Stage: The Grand Touring classes of the WeatherTech Championship headline the race weekend at VIR. It’s the last of two races this season (the other came at Lime Rock Park in July) to feature only the GTD PRO and GTD classes.
  • Penultimate Race: The VIR event serves as the next-to-last race on the schedule for GTD PRO and GTD. Only the Motul Petit Le Mans on Oct. 1 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta remains.
  • GTD Points Battle Rages on: While the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, along with drivers Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell, has built a commanding championship lead in GTD PRO, the GTD championship remains wide open. The No. 32 Team Korthoff Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 and driver Stevan McAleer are at the head of the class, but four other teams – the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R and drivers Ryan Hardwick and Jan Heylen, the No. 27 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and driver Roman De Angelis, the No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 and drivers Robert Megennis and Jeff Westphal and the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 with drivers Robby Foley and Bill Auberlen – all lurk within 125 points of the leader. With 13 GTD cars entered at VIR, huge swings are still possible.
  • Sprint Cup Finale: The IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup – a separate GTD championship comprised of the eight non-endurance races – is another matter. Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers and the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 need only to start the VIR race to secure the Sprint Cup title. It’s quite the feat for the team that had to miss the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona waiting on delivery of the new BMW and then having to learn the car’s ins and outs over the course of the season.

 

Who’s Hot?

  • No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports: Jaminet, Campbell and the No. 9 Porsche have a string of five straight podium results (three of them wins) as they enter the race weekend. They can take another step toward locking up the GTD PRO driver, team and manufacturer crowns at VIR.
  • No. 57 Winward Racing: If it weren’t for a faulty fuel pump on the final lap of the race at Lime Rock Park, the No. 57 Mercedes-AMG GT3 would be heading to VIR on the strength of back-to-back GTD wins. As it is, drivers Philip Ellis, Russell Ward and the No. 57 are coming off a victory Aug. 7 at Road America.
  • No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing: Co-drivers Robert Megennis and Jeff Westphal have put together consecutive podium finishes at Lime Rock and Road America. It has moved them and the No. 39 Lamborghini into fourth in the GTD standings, just 98 points from the lead.

 

Who’s Good Here?

  • Bill Auberlen: When you have more wins at the top level of IMSA racing than any driver in history, you tend to lead the pack at a number of tracks. That’s the case with Auberlen, who has four of his 65 career triumphs at VIR – the most recent two years ago in GTD.
  • Antonio Garcia: The Spaniard has three wins since 2016 at VIR, each coming in the former GT Le Mans (GTLM) class. He and co-driver Jordan Taylor are seeking their second win of 2022 in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C8.R GTD in the new GTD PRO class.

 

Previous Michelin GT Challenge Winners in 2022 Field (9)

  • Bill Auberlen (4): GT – 2002, 2004, 2005; GTD – 2020
  • Antonio Garcia (3): GTLM – 2016, 2017, 2020
  • Andy Lally (2): GT – 2006, 2010
  • Jordan Taylor (2): GT – 2011; GTLM – 2020
  • Connor De Phillippi (1): GTLM – 2018
  • Robby Foley (1): GTD – 2020
  • Cooper MacNeil (1): GTC – 2012
  • Bryan Sellers (1): GTD – 2016
  • Madison Snow (1): GTD – 2016

 

Previous Michelin GT Challenge Pole Winners in 2022 Field (5)

  • Robby Foley (1): GTD – 2021
  • Jack Hawksworth (1): GTD – 2018
  • Maxime Martin (1): GTD – 2013
  • Madison Snow (1): GTD – 2016
  • Jordan Taylor (1): GT – 2010

 

Previous Michelin GT Challenge Winning Teams in 2022 Field (5)

  • Corvette Racing (5): GT – 2012; GTLM – 2016, 2017, 2020, 2021
  • Turner Motorsport (2): GTD – 2014, 2020
  • BMW M Team RLL (1): GTLM – 2018
  • Paul Miller Racing (1): GTD – 2016
  • Pfaff Motorsports (1): GTD – 2021

 

Previous Michelin GT Challenge Winning Manufacturers in 2022 Field (6)

  • Chevrolet – 9
  • Porsche – 8
  • BMW – 6
  • Lexus – 3
  • Lamborghini – 2
  • Mercedes-AMG – 1