Road America Entry News
Next race on the revised IMSA calendar is Road America and there’s good news and bad news about the entry.
The good news is that the pair of Michael Shank Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evos return after missing the last race at Sebring, the race counting only for Sprint Cup points for GTD for which neither car was registered.
Also back is the #23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin after a two-race hiatus. Roman De Angelis is scheduled to co-drive with team owner Ian James, who takes the spot of the second original full-time co-driver, Alex Riberas, another driver hobbled by ongoing travel restrictions.
Starworks though have confirmed that their #8 Tower Motorsports by Starworks ORECA 07 Gibson will miss Road America and will likely now only contest the remaining trio of endurance races.
“We are sorry to inform our fans that like many other race teams, our 2020 plans have changed due to the current COVID pandemic,” said a team statement on social media.
“We have officially withdrawn from next weekend’s event at Road America, and will likely only run the three remaining endurance events.
“With several European crew members and a Canadian driver, who is also a full-time businessman, the current quarantine mandates in their respective countries make it impossible to able to attend other commitments and maintain quarantine guidelines.
“We are so grateful to everyone at IMSA for all their hard work, consistently rolling with the punches that 2020 has dealt. They’ve done everything to make our return to racing as safe as possible and we applaud them for their successful previous two events.
“We are very sorry to have to deliver this news, and will be sure to keep our fans updated as things progress.”
The news from Starworks is another blow to the IMSA LMP2 entry after DragonSpeed announced that they would prioritise their Le Mans programme.
One piece of brighter news though is that Simon Trummer will rejoin the Sebring race-winning #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA after missing the race in Florida through travel concerns, opting instead to compete in the European Le Mans Series season opener at Paul Ricard. he was replaced at Sebring by Spencer Pigot.
Balance of Performance has already played a substantial role in the season thus far and there are further changes ahead of Road America.
The changes see both the Penske Acuras and the Cadillac DPis given power boosts, with the Acura also given a small (10 kilo) weight break bringing the ARX05 down to 930 kilos.
The Mazda RT24-Ps meanwhile are given a 20-kilo weight break. They’ll start at Road America at 910 kilos, compared to the Cadillacs 960 kilos.
While the Cadillac remains the heaviest DPi at 960 kg, the Mazda RT24-P will lose an additional 20 kg, bringing it down to a minimum weight of 910 kg.
Fuel capacity adjustments have also been made to the Cadillac (-6 litres) and Mazda (-4 litres).
GTLM also gets some changes with all three marques on the entry seeing fuel capacity changes to adjust for the circuit length.
The Corvette C8.R will run with 101 litres of fuel capacity (+5), the BMW M8 GTE with 97 litres (+12) and the Porsche 911 RSR at 97 litres (+3).
The only other adjustments go the way of the BMW which also gets a 10-kilo weight break and a significant turbo boost uptick.
The recently dominant Lexus RC F GT3 gets the predictable BoP response for Road America with a power reduction.
The Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo meanwhile sees a turbo boost cut.
The similarly powered Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo and Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo get a concurrent power boost.
Taylor Hagler Set To Return After COVID Scare
After withdrawing from the last Michelin Pilot Challenge race after testing positive for COVID-19, L.A. Honda World’s Taylor Hagler has now been cleared to return at Road America in the #77 Honda Civic Type R TCR.
“I feel great and am more than excited to get back into a race car,” she said. “It was tough not being able to race at Sebring, but I know that was what had to happen.”