This weekend’s TireRack.com Grand Prix at Michelin Raceway Laguna Seca was not originally on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship schedule at the start of the 2020 season. It was created to replace the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen at Watkins Glen International, which was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For this weekend’s six-hour race, the entry list originally had 30 cars. That dropped to 29 with Starworks Motorsport pulling back. It’s really going to be 28 cars this weekend.
The Prototype class has the eight full-time entries. Given that this is part of the Michelin Endurance Cup, there are teams taking on extra drivers. JDC-Miller MotorSports has moved Tristan Vautier into the No. 5 Cadillac alongside Joao Barbosa and Sebastien Bourdais. Meanwhile, Stephen Simpson is back in the No. 85 with Matheus Leist.
Filipe Albuquerque, fresh off of two straight European Le Mans Series victories, rejoins Action Express Racing in the No. 31 Cadillac. Finally, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Olivier Pla return to Mazda Motorsports in their roles as third drivers.
LMP2 will have only two cars on the grid, although the current entry list has three. Performance Tech Motorsports announced their withdrawal from the race on Wednesday. Reasoning given is the fact that Cameron Cassels lives in Canada and getting over the border right now is a significant issue. Quarantine requirements and the fact that Georgia is considered a hotspot factored in as well. The team does plan to contest the remainder of the season, though.
That leaves Era Motorsports and PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports as the only teams in the class this weekend. Era Motorsport welcomes Colin Braun back to the team as their third driver, while Scott Huffaker will drive the No. 52.
GT Le Mans has the six full-time teams from Corvette Racing, BMW Team RLL and Porsche GT Team. There are no changes of note.
GT Daytona has 12 entries. Teams that are committed to the WeatherTech Sprint Cup, such as Compass Racing and Hardpoint Motorsports are not entered.
The class mandates three-driver lineups for this race, so there is a fair amount of shuffling. AVS Vasser Sullivan has moved Aaron Telitz back to the No. 12 that he drove in the Rolex 24 at Daytona back in January. Daniel Morad has been drafted in to team with Jack Hawksworth and Michael de Quesada in the No. 14.
Richard Westbrook, most recently of the now-defunct Ford Chip Ganassi Racing, will make his return to IMSA this weekend with GRT Grasser Racing Team in their No. 11 Lamborghini. He’ll be teamed with Richard Heistand and Steijn Schothorst.
Aston Martin Racing factory racer Darren Turner is scheduled to be the third driver in The Heart of Racing’s No. 23 Aston Martin alongside Ian James and Roman DeAngelis. Spencer Pumpelly, who has been driving for Hardpoint Motorsports in the sprint races, returns to GRT Magnus as the team’s third driver.
Coverage of the TireRack.com Grand Prix is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday on NBCSN. The coverage will be split between NBCSN and NBCSports.com.
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