IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge teams will race Saturday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for two hours in the third race of their season. 41 teams are scheduled to take the green.
In the Grand Sport class, there are 28 teams entered, down from 30 at Sebring. Teams that are not entered include Black Swan Racing, which crashed in Sebring and had to withdraw, FCP Euro and FASTMD Racing.
Likely the biggest news in the class is that Infinity Autosport appears to be done for the season. This comes after the team’s Toyota GR Supra GT4 was totaled when Kyle Marcelli and Bryan Herta Autosport’s Mason Filippi collided and crashed hard at Sebring. Luckily, both Filippi and Marcelli walked away from this big wreck.
For Marcelli and his teammate Sheena Monk, the 2022 season is not over. Last week, PF Racing announced that Marcelli and Monk will join the team for the remainder of the 2022 season.
They’ll drive the No. 42 Ford Mustang GT4 that was driven by Chase Briscoe and Hailie Deegan (pictured above) at Daytona back in January. As you can see, JG Wentworth will continue as primary sponsor.
Absolute Racing has entered a Porsche Cayman GT4 RS CS for Anderson Tanoto and Lars Kern. This team debuted their car in the Pirelli GT4 America SprintX opener at Sonoma Raceway recently. The duo finished 21st (14th in Pro-Am) in Race No. 1 and 37th (17th in Pro-Am) in Race No. 2. The team showed pace, but was hampered by mechanical issues and an avoidable contact penalty for Tanoto.
Tanoto has one previous start in the series in an Aston Martin for Automatic Racing last season at WeatherTech Racing Laguna Seca. That race ended early with a mechanical failure. Kern has no previous starts in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, but is running the Michelin Endurance Cup races for Andrew Wojteczko Autosport in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s LMP3 class. Previously, Kern drove endurance races for PFAFF Motorsports in the GT Daytona class.
In the TCR class, 13 cars are currently entered, down two teams from the 15 that raced at Sebring. The teams that are not entered that raced in Sebring are New German Performance with their Audi and Honda of America Racing Team (HART) with their Honda Civic Type-R TCR.
The aforementioned wreck above is causing additional issues for Bryan Herta Autosport. SportsCar365.com reported Friday that the team has swapped in one of their Hyundai Veloster N TCRs for Filippi and Tyler Maxson to drive for Laguna Seca and Mid-Ohio. This is due to a lack of body parts. The team is currently waiting for parts to be delivered.
At Belgard & Techniseal Racing, Denis Dupont will drive the No. 15 Audi alongside Eric Rockwell. Dupont replaces Preston Brown in the car. Dupont drove full-time for Van der Steur Racing last season and finished 13th in TCR points with a best finish of second at Road America.
The WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 is scheduled to go green at 7 p.m. ET (4 p.m. local time) Saturday. The race will be streamed live on Peacock. Tape-delayed coverage of the race will air May 6 at 2 p.m. ET on USA.
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.