The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to action Saturday (March 20) at Sebring International Raceway for the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Advance Auto Parts. There will be 36 cars on the grid for the 12-hour classic, split between five classes.
With Action Express Racing confirming a couple of weeks ago that their second car with Ally sponsorship will do the full Michelin Endurance Cup, all seven cars that participated in Daytona are back. All seven teams are running three-driver lineups. That means that drivers such as Helio Castroneves, Mike Rockenfeller and AJ Allmendinger are not entered.
The LMP2 class has five entries, down from 10 at Daytona. The European entries from High Class Racing, Racing Team Nederland and Cetilar Racing aren’t entered, along with both of DragonSpeed’s cars.
A somewhat surprising no show on the list is RWR-Eurasia, which was announced as a full-time entry for 2021. We contacted RWR-Eurasia and they explained that their intention was to continue in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Unfortunately, “…we could find the right [driver] line-up going forward.”
The team has also been granted an entry to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. As of now, the team plans to run the race in collaboration with Racing Team India as Racing Team India Eurasia. Former Formula 1 and Camping World Truck Series racer Narain Karthikeyan and Arjun Maini are confirmed for that program.
With RWR-Eurasia not being entered, only four teams from Daytona will contest Sebring. Those teams are Tower Motorsport by Starworks, WIN Autosport, Era Motorsport (which will contest the full season) and PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports.
They’ll be joined by United Autosports, which will make their first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship start since the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona. They will field an ORECA 07-Gibson for Wayne Boyd, Jim McGuire and Guy Smith. Smith is a longtime veteran of sports car racing, having competed in prototypes for Dyson Racing in the American Le Mans Series. Boyd is the defending champion in the European Le Mans Series’ LMP3 class and claimed the Asian Le Mans Series title in LMP3 earlier this year. In Daytona, Boyd competed with Sean Creech Motorsport and finished second in the LMP3 class. McGuire has previous experience racing LMP3 cars in IMSA Prototype Challenge, but will be making his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut.
The LMP3 class has six entries. The only team that is not entered from Daytona is Muhelner Motorsports America, which competed in the IMSA Prototype Challenge race last weekend at Sebring.
LMP3 teams are mandated to run three drivers at Sebring. As a result, drivers such as the aforementioned Boyd, Oliver Askew, Matt McMurry and Ayrton Ori are not entered.
Forty7 Motorsports has an unclear driver lineup. As of this writing, the team’s only listed driver is Austin McCusker, who drove for Riley Motorsports during the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January. McCusker has previously raced for the team in IMSA Prototype Challenge with a fair amount of success.
The GT Le Mans class has five teams entered. Risi Competizione has not entered their Ferrari.
Corvette Racing has their two Corvette C8.Rs along with BMW Team RLL’s M8 GTEs. The only driver changes here are with WeatherTech Racing, which does not have a set lineup of drivers to partner Cooper MacNeil. For Sebring, MacNeil has two new teammates in Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet. Jaminet was forced to miss Daytona after testing positive for COVID-19. He was originally scheduled to drive for RWR-Eurasia in the LMP2 class. Campbell drove for PFAFF Motorsports in the GT Daytona class in Daytona, finishing 12th in class.
Finally, the GT Daytona class has 13 entries, down six from Daytona. Teams that are not entered include the class winners from Daytona from HTP Winward Motorsport, the European entries from TF Sport and AF Corse, NTe Sport and TeamTGM. In addition, the No. 111 GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini is not entered.
As previously announced, Team Hardpoint/EBM has expanded to two cars. The linked entry list does not indicate this, but the team has announced their third drivers. The No. 88 Porsche will have Ana Beatriz (also known as Bia Figueriedo) alongside full-time racers Katherine Legge and Christina Nielsen. This will be Beatriz’s first race back in IMSA since 2019. She was originally announced as one of the drivers for the GEAR Racing program last year, but she had to opt out. It was for a good reason, though. The Monday before practice started for last year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, Beatriz announced that she was pregnant. Now, Beatriz is the mother of a healthy infant and ready to return to the driver’s seat.
In the No. 99 Porsche, Trenton Estep will join team co-owners Earl Bamber and Rob Ferriol. Estep drove for Forty7 Motorsports in the LMP3 class back in Daytona, running competitively before mechanical issues ended his race early.
At Wright Motorsports, Ryan Hardwick was originally entered to return to the car, but the team announced Tuesday (March 16) that he will once again sit out. The current plan is for Hardwick to return to the seat at Mid-Ohio in May. Trent Hindman, who successfully filled in during the Rolex 24, will be back in the No. 16 Porsche.
IMSA WEATHERTECH SPORTSCAR CHAMPIONSHIP MOBIL 1 12 HOURS OF SEBRING PRESENTED BY ADVANCE AUTO PARTS ENTRY LIST
Coverage of the 12-hour race will be split between basic cable and streaming. It will begin on NBCSN at 10 a.m. Saturday morning and run until Noon. From then until 7 p.m., the race will be available on NBCSports.com and NBC Sports’ TrackPass. From 7 p.m. to the finish, the race will be back on NBCSN>
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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