By the Numbers: IMSA WEATHERTECH Series Sets Sights on Road America
After a brief respite during another busy summer of racing, all four classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship reunite Aug. 2-4 weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
While the GTLM and GTD teams are fresh off a GT-only showdown at Lime Rock Park last weekend, Road America marks the return of the Prototype classes — DPi and LMP2 — to the grid after last competing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on July 7. The entry list shows a total of 35 cars between the four classes competing next weekend.
The two-hour, 40-minute IMSA Road Race Showcase is scheduled for 2:35 p.m. ET (1:35 p.m. local time) on Sunday, Aug. 4, and can be streamed live on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com. The NBCSN broadcast of the IMSA Road Race Showcase will air at 6 p.m. ET.
Jeroen Bleekemolen has five wins at Road America.
As the WeatherTech Championship awaits a return to “America’s National Park of Speed,” here’s a look at some teams and drivers to keep an eye on next weekend, in addition to some familiar faces back on the scene.
— Jeroen Bleekemolen has the most wins by a driver at Road America with five, and he will team with Ben Keating in the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG Team Riley Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3. Three drivers are tied with four wins – Jorg Bergmeister, Timo Bernhard and Oliver Gavin, the latter of whom will be co-driving next weekend in the No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R.
— Speaking of Corvette Racing, the longtime IMSA entrant is the winningest team at Road America with seven victories. The next closest is Audi with five and Ford Chip Ganassi Racing with four wins.
— Only two manufacturers have a double-digit number of wins at Road America – Chevrolet and Porsche. Chevrolet leads Porsche by one, 13-12.
Tommy Milner is expected back with the Corvette Racing team after sitting out Lime Rock with an injury.
— Ford, meanwhile, could hit its stride next weekend at Road America. Ford Chip Ganassi Racing earned its first victory of the season at Lime Rock last week with the No. 67 Ford GT duo of Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook. Elkhart Lake has been kind to Ganassi teams recently as they have won the last two years and earning the pole the last three years.
— Several familiar faces from this season are back on the entry list at Road America after brief hiatuses. Tommy Milner rejoins the GTLM field in the No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R alongside Oliver Gavin after suffering a hand injury two races ago at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in June.
— Starworks Motorsport’s No. 8 Audi R8 LMS GT3 entry with Parker Chase and Ryan Dalziel returns to the GTD field, after missing Rounds 7 and 8 at CTMP and Lime Rock. Patrick Lindsey is back behind the wheel of his No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R after forgoing Lime Rock due to a previous commitment with his company Mira Vista Aviation. Lindsey will be co-driving with last year’s GTD winner at Road America, Patrick Long.
— Wisconsin’s own James French will represent his home state in Elkhart Lake, pairing up for the first time this year in the WeatherTech Championship with Performance Tech Motorsports in the No. 38 ORECA LMP2. French takes the place of Kyle Masson and will join his 2019 IMSA Prototype Challenge co-driver, Cameron Cassels, in the LMP2 class.