LAKEVILLE, CT (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Richard Westbrook passed Earl Bamber with a tick over 6-and-a-half minutes remaining to win IMSA’s Northeast Grand Prix Saturday afternoon at Lime Rock Park.
The victory was the first IMSA WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) victory of the season for Westbrook, co-driver Ryan Briscoe and the No. 67 Ford GT of Ford Chip Ganassi Racing team.
“I had to pick my moment,” Westbrook said. “I just had to be patient with the 912 and when the opportunity came, it was a matter of taking it. There was a lot of marbles off-line. I got it just right.”
The Ganassi team utilized a three-stop strategy whereas Bamber and his Porsche GT team opted for a two-stop strategy and for a large portion of the race it looked like it would pay off. The Porsche GT teams combined to lead 140 of the race’s 182 laps around the 1.474-mile circuit.
“We didn’t think we’d have the pace, so we went into the race with the goal of doing a three-stop strategy,” said Briscoe. “We knew the tire life on two stops was going to be really difficult for everyone, so we just committed to it and knew we had to put the lap time in on fresh tires when everyone else was falling off and it worked out.”
Bamber and co-driver Laurens Vanthoor wound up second for their fifth podium result in seven races on the season.
The No. 66 Ford GT made it a double-podium for the Ganassi team as co-drivers Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller, the defending race winners, finished third.
“It was just an amazing race to be part of, fighting with two Porsches and my teammate, it was really close out there,” said Westbrook.
Bamber and Vanthoor’s second place finish extended their Championship lead in the GTLM standings to 8-points, 218-210, over their No. 911 Porsche teammates Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet, who finished fourth.
The next race for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the IMSA Road Race Showcase at Road America on Sunday, August 4th.
Chip Ganassi Racing Begins “Best Paint Scheme” Contest
CONCORD, NC (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Chip Ganassi Racing is starting a cool contest where fans can pick the “Best Paint Scheme” that has appeared on one of the CGR cars over the 30-year history of the organization.
The contest started Wednesday on Twitter and features 32-paint schemes that have appeared on the teams NASCAR, INDYCAR and IMSA race cars.
Ready to begin determining the best-ever Chip Ganassi Racing paint-scheme!? 🙌🏼
• TODAY: Round of 32 👊🏻
• Check out the matchups 👀
• Vote for your favorites 📝
• Share with your friends! 👨👩👧👧
• Come back in 24 hours & see who advanced to the Round of 16! 🤩#CGR30 | 🏎🏁 pic.twitter.com/wGL5bvzZxj
— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) March 25, 2020
Fans can vote on their favorites in a bracket style elimination tournament where one paint scheme will be crowned the winner.
Cars involved include some favorites driven by Scott Dixon, Alex Zanardi, Juan Pablo Montoya, Sterling Marlin, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Scott Pruitt, Felix Rosenqvist, Memo Rojas, Steve Arpin, Jamie McMurray, Joey Hand, Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Dirk Mueller.
IMSA Reschedules Acura Sports Car Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) is moving the Acura Sports Car Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio to the weekend of September 25-27, 2020.
The race was originally scheduled for the weekend of May 1-3 but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic that is affecting the World. Ohio has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19.
The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course released the following statement in regards to the announcement:
The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course announced today that the 2020 Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio originally set for May 1-3, 2020, has been rescheduled to Sept. 25-27, 2020.
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series are confirmed to run on the new September weekend. Additional series updates, broadcast information and event schedules will be announced as they become available.
The rescheduled date is subject to the ongoing guidance and mandates of national, state and local authorities regarding public gatherings. The health and safety of all associated with this event remain our priority.
Previously purchased tickets will be honored on the rescheduled Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course dates of Sept. 25-27, 2020. Email for additional information at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions on ticket purchases, or visit midohio.com/imsafaq for further details.
The rescheduled race at Mid-Ohio is one of three rescheduled events announced on Tuesday by IMSA. Also moving is The IMSA Monterey SportsCar Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which has been moved up one weekend and is now scheduled to run on September 4-6, 2020. It was originally scheduled to run the weekend of September 11-13. The date adjustment was made to accommodate IMSA teams planning to run in the 24-Hours of Le Mans, which Pittsburgh Racing Now reported was moving to the weekend of September 19-20.
The other race that is moving is The 23rd annual Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Originally scheduled to run October 7-10, that race is moving back one weekend and is now scheduled to run October 14-17, 2020.
IMSA will provide additional series updates, broadcast information and event schedules as they become available. For more information fans should visit www.imsa.com.
Racing Notebook – Friday, March 20: IndyCar going iRacing; NASCAR eRacing on Sunday
PITTSBURGH, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – The NTT INDYCAR SERIES is going iRacing and NASCAR is getting ready for their first round of eRacing on Sunday plus no racing in Central Pennsylvania this weekend.
INDYCAR Going iRacing:
- The NTT INDYCAR SERIES and iRacing, the world’s premier motorsports racing simulation, are partnering to currently stage six virtual race events. The events will feature a stellar lineup of current NTT INDYCAR SERIES drivers and possibly some special guests. The events begin ing on beginning Saturday, March 28. Fans will have an opportunity to choose the inaugural INDYCAR iRacing Challenge race venue through bracket voting starting today through Thursday. Fans can vote daily on the track match-up in the bracket to determine which venue will advance to the next round. The voting, which has a 12-hour window beginning 10 a.m. daily after today, is available through the @INDYCAR Instagram or Twitter handle and online at indycar.com/iracing.
You’ve probably been wondering how we were going to do this. We’re partnering with @iRacing and we’re asking for your input. Check the details below⬇️ #INDYCAR // #INDYCARChallenge pic.twitter.com/NddSBCHBy5
— NTT IndyCar Series (@IndyCar) March 20, 2020
Drivers Getting Ready For First eNASCAR Race:
- Drivers from all three NASCAR touring series: Cup, Xfinity and Gander Outdoors & RV Truck Series are preparing for this Sunday’s eNASCAR race, which is going to be televised by FS1. The full 35-car field will be announced on Sunday. NASCAR Cup Series drivers have been allotted spots, and qualifiers across a group of Xfinity and Gander Trucks drivers will set the final grid. Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin, current NASCAR Cup Series points leader Joey Logano, reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch and fan favorites such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell are participating along with NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Labonte. Driver and NBC Sports analyst Parker Klingerman is also scheduled to compete. The virtual race will take place at Homestead Miami Speedway and starts at 1:30 ET.
IMSA Holding Sebring SuperSaturday on iRacing:
- The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) is holding Sebring SuperSaturday on iRacing. A huge, 50-car field made up of real-life, professional drivers will take to the 3.74-mile Sebring International Raceway iRacing circuit at 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 21. All of the cars in the field will be recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race cars – the Porsche 911 RSR, BMW M8 GTE, Ford GT and Ferrari 488 GTE. There will be no driver changes. The race will be available on the iRacing eSports Network on YouTube and Twitch.
Central PA Tracks Cancel Weekend Races:
- If you were planning on getting out of the house this weekend to take in some dirt track racing in Central Pennsylvania, Williams Grove, Lincoln and Port Royal have cancelled their races. Read our full report here.