This weekend, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship travels to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the first sports car race featuring prototypes at Mid-Ohio since 2013. 34 teams are entered amongst the three classes.
In the Prototype class, 14 cars are entered. Spirit of Daytona Racing, which missed Long Beach due to crash damage at Sebring, is still not entered. However, the team did test last week at Watkins Glen along with Wayne Taylor Racing. Expect them back soon.
The weekend is a direct clash with the first race of the 2018-19 FIA World Endurance Championship “Super Series.” As a result, a number of drivers were forced to make choices in regards to where they will run. Renger van der Zande chose to race at Mid-Ohio. Mazda Team Joest’s Harry Tincknell chose to race at Spa for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing WEC. Spencer Pigot, the endurance third driver in the No. 55, has been tapped to replace Tincknell for the weekend.
In GT Le Mans, there will be eight entries, two from each of the four manufacturers (Ford, Chevrolet, Porsche and BMW). There are no changes from Long Beach.
GT Daytona has only 12 entries, down significantly from the 18 at Sebring. A number of the teams not present weren’t expected to be at Mid-Ohio because they’re only committed to the Tequila Patron North America. That covers the Acuras of Honda of America Racing Team (HART) and CJ Wilson Racing, Scuderia Corsa’s second Ferrari, the P1 Motorsports Lamborghini, Spirit of Race Ferrari and Park Place Motorsports’ Porsche. In the case of Park Place Motorsports, drivers Patrick Lindsey and Jörg Bergmeister are racing at Spa this weekend for Project 1.
What wasn’t expected was the Montaplast by Land-Motorsport Audi not entering the race. The team had already indicated that they would run the full schedule with assistance from Peter Baron of Starworks Motorsport. However, the first couple of races have been marred by penalties.
Wright Motorsports has expanded to two cars for the weekend with the reintroduction of their No. 16 Porsche that has raced the past couple of years in Pirelli World Challenge. The car will be shared by Wolf Henzler and Michael Schein.
Meyer Shank Racing originally planned to only race the No. 86 Acura in the four endurance races. Local sponsorship has come together to allow the team to field their gray NSX GT3 at their home race. Katherine Legge and Àlvaro Parente will drive.
Another recent move saw BMW make Bill Auberlen available to privateer BMW teams. Turner Motorsport took advantage of that, signing Auberlen to drive their No. 96 BMW M6 GT3. He’ll be joined by current IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge points leader Dillon Machavern in his second career start.