This weekend, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will complete their 2021 season with 10 hours of racing at Braselton, Ga.’s Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. 43 teams in five classes will do battle on the 2.54-mile road course with regular championships and the Michelin Endurance Cup championships on the line.
In the DPi class, there are seven teams entered. This constitutes the six full-time teams, plus Action Express Racing’s No. 48 with Jimmie Johnson, Kamui Kobayashi (fresh off the inaugural FIA World Endurance Championship Hypercar World Championship) and Simon Pagenaud.
Given the 10-hour length, there are additional drivers entered as well. Scott Dixon is back with Chip Ganassi Racing, while Sebastien Bourdais is back with JDC-Miller MotorSports. Juan Pablo Montoya is back with Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian along regular driver Dane Cameron. Helio Castroneves is in the car in place of Olivier Pla.
Also notable is that Saturday will be the final race for the Mazda RT24-P as the Team Joest-run Mazda Motorsports will not be back next season.
At Era Motorsports, team owner/driver Kyle Tilley will be back in the driver’s seat for the first time since suffering an injury back in August. That injury forced Tilley to withdraw from both the Xfinity and Cup races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The LMP3 class has 10 entries, a season-high for the class. FastMD Racing, which has competed in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge the past couple of years, will make their IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut with a Duqueine M30-D08-Nissan. Regular driver James Vance will make his first series start since 2017. One of his previous starts came at Belle Isle Park. It was an interesting time for Vance, as he explained to Frontstretch.
He’ll be joined by Todd Archer and Max Hanratty. Archer will be making his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Hanratty has two previous starts in the PC class back in 2017 with Starworks Motorsport. His best finish was second in class at Sebring.
Forty7 Motorsports has entered their No. 7, but only Mark Kvamme is currently entered. The team is required to have three drivers, so if they do not get those drivers together, they would have to withdraw. We’ll see if they do or not.
United Autosports has entered a Ligier JS P320-Nissan for Tom Gamble, Niklas Kruetten and Andy Meyrick. Meyrick will be making his first WeatherTech start since 2016 when he was driving the DeltaWing. Kruetten has one start this year in WIN Autosport’s No. 83 at Sebring. That team is back for their second start of the year with Matt Bell, Naveen Rao and Josh Skelton driving.
As for Performance Tech Motorsports, they’re back with a new third driver. Malthe Jakobsen will make his WeatherTech debut alongside Rasmus Lindh and Dan Goldburg. Jakobsen comes to Performance Tech after running full-time in the European Le Mans Series’ LMP3 class for RLR MSport. RLR MSport finished seventh in LMP3 points with a second-place finish in the season opener at Barcelona.
This weekend will mark the final race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the GT Le Mans class as it will be replaced by the new GTD Pro class for 2022. Six teams are entered for the final race. Corvette Racing will be joined by BMW Team RLL in the final major race appearance for the BMW M8 GTE. Meanwhile, WeatherTech Racing has expanded to two Porsche 911 RSR-19s for this weekend. The full-time No. 79 will have Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell, who have shared the car with Cooper MacNeil in the sprint races. The No. 97 will be driven by Michael Christensen, Kevin Estre and Frederic Makowiecki. Christensen and Estre are fresh off of a controversial finish Saturday in Bahrain when Christensen was spun out of the class lead with 12 minutes remaining.
The GT Daytona has 15 teams entered. There is one team making their series debut this weekend and that is Inception Racing. They will race their McLaren 720S GT3 in it’s very first IMSA endurance race (previously, the car was only eligible to compete in WeatherTech Sprint Cup races). The No. 70 McLaren will be driven by Ollie Millroy, McLaren factory driver Ben Barnicoat and Brendan Iribe (listed on the entry list as Brendan Trexler). The team has split time between a one-off appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Asian Le Mans Series and SRO America this year. Iribe won multiple races in GT America Powered by AWS.
HTP Winward Motorsport is back with their Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the first time since winning the class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January. Russell Ward, Maro Engel and Philip Ellis will share the car.
Alegra Motorsports will debut sponsorship from Huski Chocolate this weekend in an interesting land and sea sponsorship. Daniel Juncadella will join the team for his first-ever GT Daytona start. He has one previous WeatherTech start in an ORECA 07-Gibson for Jackie Chan DC Racing in the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona
NTe Sport is back with Jaden Conwright and Don Yount listed as drivers. The team’s third driver from Watkins Glen, Andrew Davis, is driving for Hardpoint Motorsports this weekend. Conwright is up for the IMSA Diverse Driver Scholarship, the winner of which will be announced this weekend. Gilbert/Korthoff Motorsports makes their endurance debut with Stevan McAleer joining Mike Skeen and Guy Cosmo in the No. 32 Mercedes.
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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