ELKHART LAKE, WI (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Ford Chip Ganassi Racing’s Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook powered to victory in the IMSA Road Race Showcase Sunday at Road America. The win marked the third straight year a Ganassi entry captured the checkered flag and the second straight in the event for Briscoe and Westbrook.
“We always come here with a lot of confidence and know that we’re going to have a good shot a winning,” said Briscoe about the 4.048-mile permanent road course. “It’s just a track that really suits the Ford GT. The long, fast corners and obviously now, it was more about the consistency than outright speed.”
The No. 67 Ford GT victory led a 1-2 finish for the Ganassi GT’s as Dirk Mueller and Joey Hand finished second in the No. 66 GT. Mueller and Hand won in 2017.
“I think we’ve always run strong here and I think we were unlucky not to win the first year (2016) too,” said Briscoe. “To get a 1-2 was just fantastic.”
Briscoe started second in class (GTLM) and passed class pole sitter Oliver Gavin and the No. 4 Corvette Racing C7.R on lap 19, about 40-minutes into the 2-hour, 40-minute race. Westbrook took over six laps later during a pit stop and then double-stinted to the checkered flag in the caution free race.
“I think the yellow-free race played to our strength of long runs,” said Briscoe. “It was a pretty straightforward strategy of two stops. We knew our advantage was going to be on old tires and that showed today.”
“The key was being good on the tires,” said Westbrook. “Really, those last 10 laps on the stint were the most important 10 laps, not the first 10 laps. If you fell off the cliff (in tire performance) like the Corvette’s definitely did 20-laps into the stint, then you were toast.”
The win was also the 2nd straight for Briscoe and Westbrook, who won two weeks ago at Lime Rock Park.
“Polar opposite of Lime Rock when we won on a three-stopper,” said Westbrook comparing the strategies in the victories. “Today we made the two-stopped work. Just feels awesome.”
Three races remain in the WeatherTech Championship season with Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor atop the Championship standings with 248-points. Patrick Pilet and Nick Tandy are second with 234-points. Briscoe and Westbrook are third with 230-points.
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 email@example.com 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.