IMSA Championship Battles Firming Up Entering FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix Presented by LIQUI MOLY
LAKEVILLE, CONN. (14 July 2023)- Championship leads will be on the line when IMSA’s production-based classes take the spotlight in the FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix presented by LIQUI MOLY at Lime Rock Park July 21-22.
The weekend marks the first time this season that the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTD Pro and GTD classes hold a stand-alone race, and fans will see tight competition among eight manufacturers in international-spec GT3 machinery.
Also, the TCR division of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge runs its first-ever solo race, while their GS counterparts join the LMP3 prototypes with the Lime Rock Park debut of the VP Racing Sportscar Challenge.
Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia gave Corvette Racing its first GTD Pro victory of the season in the most recent event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The popular No. 3 Corvette C8.R will be racing for the final time at Lime Rock Park, with the team running third in the standings in the class for factory-supported teams using all-professional driver lineups. Next year, Corvette and Ford will have purpose-built GT3 cars for the category.
Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth currently lead GTD Pro on the strength of victories at Long Beach and Watkins Glen in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3. They are followed by Daytona Rolex 24 Hour and Laguna Seca winners Daniel Juncadella and Jules Gounon in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. Other teams to watch are Sebring 12 Hours winners Klaus Bachler and Patrick Pilet in the No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, and No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 drivers Alex Riberas and Ross Gunn.
Paul Miller Racing drivers Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow are off to a strong start in GTD, which also has GT3 race cars driven by Pro-Am lineups. The No. 1 BMW M4 GT3 won at Sebring, Long Beach and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Heart of Racing’s Marco Sorensen and Roman De Angelis are currently second in the standings, winning the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Lexus, McLaren, Porsche, Mercedes-AMG, Acura and Lamborghini also have competed at every event in the competitive class.
Lime Rock will also serve as Round 4 of seven races in the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup. Paul Miller Racing leads Heart of Racing and No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren drivers Brendan Iribe and Frederik Schandorff in that competition among GTD teams.
Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb Agajanian holds the top-two positions in the TCR class of the Michelin Pilot Challenge. IndyCar vet Robert Wickens and Harry Gottsacker have three podium finishes in the No. 33 Hyundai Elantra N TCR, enough to give them a 20-point lead over Laguna Seca winners Mark Wilkins and Mason Filippi in the 98 Elantra. CTMP winners Chris Miller and Mikey Taylor, drivers of the No. 17 Unitronic/JDC Miller Motorsports Audi RS3 LMS TCR, are another 10 points in arrears. Audi also holds a slim 10-point lead in the important manufacturer chase.
The VP Challenge enters the second half of its inaugural six-race campaign. In P3, three-time winner Dan Goldburg in the No. 73 JDC MotorSports Duqueine DO8 leads JR III Racing’s No. 3 Ligier JS P320 of Bijoy Garg by 50 points after six of the 12 races. Other winners include CTMP winner Jonathan Woolridge, who will drive Remstar Racing’s Duqueine.
Kellymoss with Riley’s Sebastian Carazo has four podium finishes in the No. 27 Porsche 718 GT4 RS CS to take a slim 20-point lead in GSX, for cars conforming to GT4 specifications. The entry includes a pair of Turner Motorsports drivers from Massachusetts, Francis Selidorff in the No. 95 and Vincent Barletta in the No. 96 BMW M4 GT4s.
With double the amount of racing held on Saturday (July 22), the on-track activity will start even earlier than in the past. The VP Racing SportsCar Challenge will stage its first of two races starting at 9:05 a.m. on Saturday.
The green flag will drop for the featured WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at its new earlier time of 12:10 p.m. The VP Racing SportCar Challenge finale starts at 3:05 p.m. and the Michelin Pilot Challenge will wrap up the four-race event, featuring a 100-minute endurance race starting at 4:15 p.m.
Practice and qualifying for the three championships will be held throughout the day on Friday (July 21).
General admission tickets for the FCP Euro Northeast Grand Prix presented by LIQUI MOLY start at $40. Car Corral and Saturday hospitality upgrades are still available, all cabana seating and camping for the event is sold out. Children 12 and under, veterans and active military are free.