The entry list is now set for next weekend’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale at Road Atlanta.
2019’s (22nd annual) running of Petit Le Mans, which is both the final race of IMSA’s 50th season and Scott Atherton’s time as president, will run with 34 cars across the four classes.
That is the lowest entry total since the Grand Am-ALMS merger, with no major surprises among the group teams and drivers confirmed to take part in the meeting.
In the 11-car DPi field, the big news is the return of Juncos Racing’s Cadillac DPi, which was forced to miss the trips Road America and Laguna Seca year following Victor Franzoni’s incident at CTMP. Rene Binder, Will Owen and ex-Mazda DPi man Spencer Pigot will drive for the team.
It’s a big weekend for CORE autosport, the team set to race with its Nissan DPi for the final time in Atlanta. Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and Romain Dumas will be hoping for a big result in what could be the final race for the Ligier-based Nissan-powered machine unless a buyer comes from left field.
On the driver front at Acura Team Penske, IMSA DPi returnee Graham Rahal, as expected, is confirmed in the #7 Acura ARX-05 alongside Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves. He fills the seat of Alexander Rossi who competed with the team at Daytona and Sebring.
At Wayne Taylor Racing it is likely to be Jordan Taylor’s final DPi race for the foreseeable future, the American tipped to join Corvette Racing for its maiden season with the C8.R next year. He will race with full-season driver Renger Van Der Zande and Matthieu Vaxiviere who returns to the team after filling in for Kamui Kobayashi at Sebring.
Another Cadillac team with notable driver news is the return of Juan Piedrahita in the #85 DPi. V-R, the Columbian back at the wheel to race with Misha Goikhberg and Tristan Vautier after he made a single start back in January at Daytona.
In LMP2 it’s the usual pair of ORECAs. In at Performance Tech Kyle Masson returns after missing Laguna Seca and Andrew Evans makes his third start of the season after racing at the Sebring and Laguna.
PR1’s line-up comprises of full-season driver Matt McMurry, Endurance Cup racer Gabriel Aubry and Indy Lights racer Dalton Kellett making his first IMSA start.
In GTLM, the third drivers return for the teams, and Risi Competizione is back for its first race in GTLM since Daytona with James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Daniel Serra.
The 2019 running of the 10-hour enduro will also be the last for the Corvette C7.R, its successor, the C8.R now formally confirmed as the team’s 2020 challenger, which will debut at the Rolex 24 next year.
GTD features a low car count, just 12 cars, a far cry from the 23-car entry we saw at Daytona. Key omissions include Starworks Motorsport, Park Place, Wright Motorsports and Black Swan.
Land Motorsport is the only guest entry in the field, and as a result, is the only Audi customer team racing. The German team will race with Chris Mies, Ricky Feller and Daniel Morad.
2019’s Petit Le Mans will run next Saturday. There, the departing IMSA president Scott Atherton will act as Grand Marshal in what will be his final meeting at the helm.
“Scott has been an instrumental partner in the growth of the Motul Petit Le Mans and the ongoing development of Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, including the new Michelin Tower,” MRRA President and General Manager Geoff Lee said.
“We are excited to have him serve as this year’s Grand Marshal as we thank him for all that he has done for both this iconic race and IMSA.”