This weekend, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship travels to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) for their sole race outside of the United States, the Chevrolet Grand Prix. There are 34 teams entered in four classes, an increase of 10 teams from last year.
In the GTP class, you have nine teams entered. Since this is a sprint race, there will be only two drivers per car. There are no major driver changes.
For the first sprint race of the year for the LMP3 class, there are only six teams entered, down from 10 at Watkins Glen. Those teams not entered are Andretti Autosport, JDC-Miller MotorSports, MLT Motorsports and Performance Tech Motorsports.
Performance Tech is probably the biggest surprise since they’ve been full-time in the LMP3 class since the beginning of 2021. The team is scheduled to be present at CTMP this weekend, but will only race in the two VP Racing SportsCar Challenge races.
There is a complete lineup change at Ave Motorsports. Trenton Estep, Tonis Kasemets and Seth Lucas are out. In for this weekend are Canadian racers Antoine Comeau and George Staikos. Both drivers have previously raced for the team in IMSA Prototype Challenge (now-VP Racing SportsCar Challenge) when it was LMP3-only, but will be making their WeatherTech debuts.
The GTD Pro class has only the five full-time entries. AF Corse, Risi Competizione and Iron Lynx are not entered, while Turner Motorsport’s second car moves back to the GTD class.
In GTD, there are 14 teams entered, a significant increase over the six that contested the race last year. There are no major changes in the lineup.
For IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge teams, they are scheduled to race for two hours Saturday afternoon on the 2.459-mile road course. 35 teams are entered.
The Grand Sport class has 24 teams entered, up from 22 in Watkins Glen. There are a couple of new teams in the mix.
Hattori Motorsports has entered a Toyota GR Supra GT4 EVO for Billy Johnson and Parker Thompson. Yes, this team is associated with Hattori Racing Enterprises, which competes in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with Tyler Ankrum, but this is their first race in IMSA.
Last year, the team competed in SRO America’s Pirelli GT4 America SprintX with the aforementioned Lucas and Matt Plumb. The team eventually tired of the start-and-stop nature of the GT4-only races and switched to the GT4-class in GT America powered by AWS, where Lucas drove solo.
Johnson drove alongside Todd Coleman at Archangel Motorsports the last time out at Watkins Glen. He has been replaced there by Kyle Marcelli. Thompson, a former champion in what is now Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America, is part-time with VasserSullivan in WeatherTech for the Michelin Endurance Cup races and full-time in Pirelli GT4 America SprintX for Hanley Motorsports in a similar Toyota.
Ave Motorsports has expanded to two cars for the weekend. The new No. 4 Toyota will be shared by Staikos and team owner Tony Ave.
Accelerating Performance is back on the grid with Michael Cooper and Moisey Uretsky in the No. 44 Aston Martin. The car was in Watkins Glen (Frontstretch saw it in the team’s hauler in the paddock), but did not compete.
In TCR, only 11 cars are entered, down from 13 in Watkins Glen. Road Shagger Racing and Honda of America Racing (HART) are not entered.
LA Honda World Racing’s No. 37 was also borderline for being able to race this weekend after Ryan Eversley crashed in Watkins Glen after contact from Bryan Herta Autosport’s Michael Lewis. However, Eversley has indicated that the car will be good to go for this weekend after an extensive amount of work.
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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