IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: Even more competitive Northeast Grand Prix as GTD Pro class set for Lime Rock Park debut
Fans attending the IMSA Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on July 15-16 will enjoy plenty of great racing action.
LAKEVILLE, CT (11 May 2022)- With four IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races now in the books, the 2022 season has already set new marks for the level of competition in both GT classes. GTD and IMSA’s newest class, GTD Pro, will headline Lime Rock Park’s Northeast Grand Prix July 15-16.
With large entries and razor-close finishes, the new GTD Pro category is already deemed a resounding success. The class replaced the fading GTLM category, with class participation surging from three automakers to nine for 2022 competition.
Pfaff Motorsports led the way after the opening four events, scoring a thrilling down-to-the-wire victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and then winning at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in their distinctive No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3.
It’s been hit or miss for Corvette Racing, the team that dominated at LRP last July with a 1-2 finish, with Lime Rock winners Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia taking their Corvette C8.R – now modified to international GT3 specifications – to victory in the Twelve Hours of Sebring.
With both GTD Pro and GTD using identical GT3-spec cars, several teams have opted to compete in both classes. After fielding two cars in GTD in recent seasons, Vasser Sullivan now runs its No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 in the Pro class, with drivers Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth recording back-to-back runner-up finishes at Long Beach and Laguna Seca.
Aston Martin scored a surprise victory on the streets of Long Beach, with Alex Riberas and Ross Gunn winning in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Vantage GT3 that they drove to victory in GTD at Lime Rock a year ago.
And that’s not all. Mercedes-AMG, BMW, Lamborghini, Acura and Ferrari have all stepped up to the new class.
GTD, which utilizes am drivers as part of the lineup, remains solid, with nine manufacturers battling it out in IMSA’s most competitive category.
Wright Motorsports made the leap from a Michelin Pilot Challenge title to GTD, holding the early class lead with victories by Jan Heylen and Ryan Hardwick at Daytona and Laguna Seca in the No. 16 Porsche. IMSA legend Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley continue to be top contenders for New England’s Turner Motorsport in both GTD and Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Lime Rock Park will also play host to the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at the Northeast Grand Prix, and also promises a thrilling race with more than 40 cars racing in the Grand Sport and TCR.
The expected entry includes cars from Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and Toyota in the faster GS class, and Alfa Romeo, Audi, Honda and Hyundai in TCR.
Early winners this season include the RS1 Porsche at Daytona, Gonzalez Ford Mustang at Sebring, and Volt Racing Aston Martin at Laguna Seca. The defending Lime Rock winning Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG of Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss, and Turner Motorsports BMW of Auberlen and Robby are both among the top contenders in the class.
Taylor Hagler and Michael Lewis return in the Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Veloster N TCR that they drove to victory here last July. The pair took the early-season points lead with back-to-back runner-up finishes at Daytona and Sebring and held the advantage all the way to the season-ending awards banquet with their first IMSA title together.
Two great races – each with two highly competitive classes – certainly adds up to a win-win situation for Lime Rock fans at the IMSA Northeast Grand Prix.
For tickets visit: Northeast Grand Prix – Lime Rock Park