The 23rd annual IMSA Petit Le Mans is underway!

One of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s marquee races, the 23rd annual Motul Petit Le Mans has taken the green flag at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

The 23rd annual IMSA Petit Le Mans is underway!

Acura Team Penske’s Dane Cameron led the race from teammate Ricky Taylor at the start with Action Express Racing’s Felipe Nasr third in the Cadillac DPi-V.R chased by the Mazda RT24-Ps of Harry Tincknell and Tristan Nunez, and the Wayne Taylor Racing of Ryan Briscoe.

In LMP2 Patrick Kelly of PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports led Hodes in the Inter Europol Competition entry.

In GT Le Mans, the two Rahal Letterman Lanigan-run BMW M8s of Connor De Phillippi and John Edwards surged to the front, with the Porsche 911 RSR of Laurens Vanthoor also deposing class polesitter Antonio Garcia in the #3 Corvette C8.R.

In GT Daytona, Jeff Westphal steered the Ferrari 488 of Scuderia Corsa into the lead ahead of Frankie Montecalvo in #12 Lexus RC F of AIM Vasser Sullivan, Madison Snow in Paul Miller Racing’s Lamborghini Huracan, and polesitter Shinya Michimi’s Meyer Shank Racing Acura NSX which had started on pole.

Form guide

The 10-hour race was initiated by Don Panoz in 1998, and has featured some breathtaking action in recent years, especially given there are four classes, the fastest of which – the DPi Prototypes – are capable of lapping the beautiful undulating 2.54-mile course in under 70sec.

Of the teams starting today’s race, only one – Wayne Taylor Racing – has won it twice, in 2014 with the Chevrolet Corvette DP and ’18 with the car it still uses today, the Cadillac DPi-V.R. Full-timers Ryan Briscoe and Renger van der Zande are joined this weekend by five-time (soon to be six-time) IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, with whom they won January’s Rolex 24 Hours.

The similar car of Action Express Racing won last year’s race with Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani and Eric Curran at the wheel. This year the #31 Whelen Engineering car started from third on the grid but with Filipe Albuquerque replacing the retired Curran.

It was the Acura ARX-05s that locked out the front-row – reigning champion Dane Cameron took pole in the #6 car he shares full-time with Juan Pablo Montoya, and on this occasion with one of Penske’s current IndyCar ace Simon Pagenaud. Alongside them is their Acura Team Penske teammates, Ricky Taylor and Helio Castroneves joined by one of Honda’s favorites, Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport IndyCar fame.

There are four LMP2 Orecas in the race, with three regular entrants – PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports, Performance Tech Motorsports and Tower Motorsport by Starworks – joined by series debutant Inter Europol Competition from Poland.

The GT Le Mans competition is between six cars, with the mid-engined Corvette C8.R of Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg – which has won five races this year – starting from pole ahead of the two BMW M8s and two Porsche 911 RSRs.

In GT Daytona, the Balance of Performance geeks appear to have done their job to perfection, with five different marques populating the top five spots on the grid Acura NSX (Meyer Shank Racing), Ferrari 488 (Scuderia Corsa), Lexus RC F (AIM Vasser-Sullivan), Lamborghini Huracan (Paul Miller Racing), BMW M6 (Turner Motorsports).

With the GTD field also containing Audi R8, Porsche 911 GT3 R, Aston Martin Vantage and Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3 entries, there are a total of 31 cars in the race.

 

shares
comments
Petit Le Mans: Acura Team Penske, Corvette, MSR take poles

Previous article

Petit Le Mans: Acura Team Penske, Corvette, MSR take poles

Next article

Petit Le Mans: Acura leads Cadillac, Mazda after three hours

Petit Le Mans: Acura leads Cadillac, Mazda after three hours
Load comments
The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence Prime

The significance of the next step in WEC/IMSA convergence

Following the latest convergence connection permitting Le Mans Hypercars from the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete against LMDh entries in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship from 2023, it could open up enticing options not only to manufacturers but also for the calendar and race formats

WEC
Jul 13, 2021
Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy Prime

Why a Mazda IMSA Prototype title would bring bitter joy

Can Mazda win this year’s IMSA Prototype championship? Undoubtedly. But it will be the culmination of an achingly hard struggle, after which the brand has decided to quit. David Malsher-Lopez tells the story of a bizarre blend of heartache and positivity.

IMSA
Apr 6, 2021
The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC Prime

The GTE dilemma that IMSA has created for the WEC

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s decision to scrap its GT Le Mans class for 2022 raises the question of whether the FIA World Endurance Championship should phase out GTE cars. But it's a much harder decision than it appears on the surface.

WEC
Feb 3, 2021
Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prime

Nine things to watch at the 2021 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona

After a 100-minute sprint race to whet the appetite, the 2021 IMSA SportsCar Championship gets underway properly this weekend. With plenty of significant changes during the winter, here are the key points you need to keep an eye on

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars Prime

Why Magnussen is relishing a fresh start in sportscars

Having gone over seven years without a race win through spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas, Kevin Magnussen's departure from Formula 1 for IMSA with big-hitters Chip Ganassi Racing could give him what he craves most - a chance of success

IMSA
Jan 29, 2021
Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights Prime

Oliver Gavin's Corvette Racing highlights

Oliver Gavin has stepped down from the full-time Corvette Racing line-up after a stellar career with the team spanning nearly 20 years. He looks back on a stint that encompassed, among other successes, five Le Mans 24 Hours victories.

Le Mans
Jan 28, 2021
How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends Prime

How Tandy joined an exclusive club of endurance legends

Victory at last year's Spa 24 Hours meant Nick Tandy had completed the unofficial sextuple crown of the world's six biggest endurance races, becoming the first Briton to do so. Ahead of his fresh start with Corvette Racing, he explains how he did it…

Le Mans
Jan 24, 2021
The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked Prime

The 12 greatest Sebring 12 Hours ranked

The 2020 edition of the Florida sportscar classic is finally taking place this weekend, eight months after its traditional date in March. That meant there was plenty of time for Motorsport.com to pour over its previous 67 races and select the best.

IMSA
Nov 11, 2020