There will be 31 cars on track Sunday for the Road Race Showcase, the fourth round of the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. This is up two teams from Sebring, mainly due to the fact that this is a full round of the championship for the GT Daytona class.
In the Prototype class, the team lineup is unchanged from Sebring. There will be eight cars on the grid (four Cadillacs, two Acuras and two Mazdas). The only driver change in the class is that Chris Miller will be back in the No. 85 Cadillac DPi-V.R. for JDC-Miller MotorSports in place of Stephen Simpson. Simpson will still be competing for the team in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Road America 120 on Saturday.
LMP2 originally had five teams entered. However, Tower Motorsport by Starworks announced a change to their schedule as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
[THREAD] We are sorry to inform our fans that like many other race teams, our 2020 plans have changed due to the current COVID pandemic. We have officially withdrawn from next weekend’s event at Road America, and will likely only run the three remaining endurance events. pic.twitter.com/TAUqvMrQnC
— Starworks Motorsport (@starworksmotor) July 24, 2020
The team hopes to be back at Watkins Glen in September. We’ll see if that happens, or if the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen even happens as scheduled.
The other four teams that competed in the class at Sebring will be back to race this weekend. With the European Le Mans Series being off this weekend (their next race is the 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on Aug. 9), Simon Trummer is back with PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports in place of Spencer Pigot and Ben Hanley replaces Gustavo Menezes at DragonSpeed.
In addition, James French will return to Performance Tech Motorsports this weekend to drive the No. 38 ORECA 07-Gibson in place of Kyle Masson. No reason has been given by the team for this move, but Road America is French’s home track.
GT Le Mans will have six entries this weekend from Porsche GT Team, BMW Team RLL and Corvette Racing. There are no changes from Sebring.
GT Daytona has 13 entries this weekend. Returning to the grid are the two Meyer Shank Racing-run Acura NSX GT3s. They skipped Sebring due to it not being run for regular points towards the season-long championship (it was a WeatherTech Sprint Cup race). Alvaro Parente and Misha Goikhberg will be back in the Heinricher Racing No. 57, while Mario Farnbacher and Matt McMurry will be in the No. 86.
The Heart of Racing will make their sprint race debut this weekend after missing both Daytona and Sebring earlier this month. However, there has been a driver change. Alex Riberas is out for this weekend and Ian James will take his place.
We’re back baby!! @HeartofRacing23 will race at Road America on August 2nd! Wishing them the best of luck from New Zealand 🇳🇿 I’ll be staying here to work on a new THOR project. Stay tuned for more details & thank you for support! Excited for the future of this organization ♥️🏁 pic.twitter.com/OkcLyKdW7F
— Alex Riberas (@AlexRiberas) July 24, 2020
The team has not indicated what the THOR project is as of yet However, Riberas (despite originally being from Spain) is currently based in Auckland, New Zealand. Getting in and out of New Zealand at this point is very difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic. James is actually The Heart of Racing’s team principal, so he is already a known quantity to the team.
Coverage of the Road Race Showcase will air live Sunday at Noon ET on NBC. Check your local listings to see if your affiliate will be carrying the race.