IMSA Returns to the Brickyard for the First Time since 2014
By Mark Robinson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – IMSA racing returns to the hallowed and historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time in nine years with the TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks from Sept. 15-17.
All five IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship classes will be in action on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. The race is the penultimate event of the 2023 season as well as the finale to decide the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup title in the GT Daytona (GTD) class.
Forty-eight cars are entered across the five classes for this celebrated return to one of the most storied venues in motorsports. The two-hour, 40-minute race will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 1 p.m. ET Sunday, Sept. 17.
Here’s a primer for what you need to know ahead of the race weekend:
TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks
Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Indianapolis, Indiana
Sept. 15-17, 2023
- Race Day/Time: Sunday, Sept. 17, 1:10 p.m. ET
- NBC Network Coverage: LIVE – 1-4 p.m.
- Peacock Streaming Coverage: LIVE – Flag-to-flag beginning at 1:05 p.m. (available outside the U.S. on IMSA.com/TVLive)
- Live Qualifying Stream: Saturday, Sept. 16 – 12:55 p.m. on Peacock (in the U.S.) and IMSA.com
- IMSA Radio: Select sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage begins Sunday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. (XM 207, Web/App 992)
- Circuit Type: 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course
- Classes Competing: Grand Touring Prototype (GTP), Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3), Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO), Grand Touring Daytona (GTD)
- Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Track Social Media:
- X/Twitter: Twitter.com/ims
- Instagram: Instagram.com/indianapolismotorspeedway
- Facebook: Facebook.com/IndianapolisMotorSpeedway
Event Hashtags: #IMSA, #BattleOnTheBricks, #ThisIsIndy
WeatherTech Championship Track Records
- GTP: First time racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
- LMP2: First time racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
- LMP3: First time racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
- GTD PRO: First time racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
- GTD: Dane Cameron, BMW Z4, 1:26.058 / 102.029 mph, July 2014
- Back Home Again in Indiana: IMSA’s top-tier series raced on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course from 2012-14 as part of the NASCAR Brickyard 400 weekend. The WeatherTech Championship returns for the first time since then, this time as the headliner of a race weekend that includes four IMSA-sanctioned series.
- Reborn GTP Class Continues to Impress and Grow: The innovative Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class has been an unqualified success in its first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. GTP prototypes feature hybrid-electrified powertrains paired with internal combustion engines in each car. Each of the four competing manufacturers – Acura, BMW, Cadillac and Porsche – has won at least one race this season and each has one car in the top four in the championship standings (all within 98 points) with two races to go. Ten cars will battle on the bricks for the GTP win at IMS.
- Three-Way Fight in LMP2 Standings: Three teams are within 97 points atop the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) standings and each has won once in the last three races. Ben Keating, Paul-Loup Chatin and the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07 are 45 points ahead of Mikkel Jensen, Steven Thomas and the No. 11 TDS Racing ORECA, with Ben Hanley, George Kurtz and the No. 04 Crowdstrike Racing by APR ORECA another 52 points back.
- Parity in GTD PRO: Just how close is the competition in the GT Daytona Pro (GTD PRO) class? All five manufacturers racing full-time – Aston Martin, Chevrolet, Lexus, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche – have won at least once through the first nine races, but none more than twice.
- IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup Finale: In addition to its place in the season-long championship, the TireRack.com Battle on the Bricks is the last of seven races making up the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup schedule for the GT Daytona (GTD) class. Each Sprint Cup race is two hours, 40 minutes or shorter in length. With four Sprint Cup wins already in 2023, Madison Snow, Bryan Sellers and the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 just need to finish 16th or better on Sept. 17 to clinch the title.
Who’s Good Here?
- It’s Been Such a Long Time: It’s been nearly a decade since IMSA raced at IMS, so it’s difficult to say who might be good in the 2023 race. Past winners from the three races held from 2012-14 who are back this year include Sebastien Bourdais, Joao Barbosa, Ryan Dalziel and Jack Hawksworth.
- No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Acura ARX-06: Tom Blomqvist and Colin Braun have put together three straight GTP podium finishes, including a win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, to quietly creep back into championship consideration. They sit fifth in the standings, 118 points from the lead, as they look to back up the Daytona Prototype international (DPi) title they captured in 2022.
- No. 74 Riley Ligier JS P320 in LMP3: Gar Robinson has won every points-paying LMP3 race this season, teaming with Felipe Fraga, Josh Burdon or both this season. Robinson and Fraga aim to keep that perfect record intact at Indianapolis but have eight LMP3 competitors aiming to halt their streak.
- No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3: Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth have finished on the GTD PRO podium in all but one of the nine class races in 2023 to build a 144-point lead. While they haven’t won since Watkins Glen in June, they’re on a string of three consecutive runner-up finishes.
- No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3: Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow set a GTD single-season record with their fifth victory of 2023 on Aug. 27 at VIRginia International Raceway. They’ve established a massive 375-point lead in the standings. If they can increase that advantage by at least 10 points at Indy, they will clinch the GTD title outright with still a race to go.