Black Swan Racing will utilize the four-hour endurance race to reacquaint the Tim Papas (Boston, Massachusetts)-owned program with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The longtime Porsche-entrant has not entered its 911 GT3 R in the GTD class since the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January 2019. He will share the No. 54 with Marc Miller (Grand Rapids, Michigan) and Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia). Wright Motorsports, which campaigned the full SRO GT World Challenge America championship with two Porsche 911 GT3 R this season, also makes its WeatherTech Championship return at Sebring International Raceway. While preparing multiple Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series, the John Wright-owned operation last competed in the WeatherTech Championship’s GTD class in fall of 2018. Recently announced driver Ryan Hardwick (Atlanta, Georgia) will join a regular in Wright’s Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama program, Max Root (San Diego, California), and Jan Heylen (Clearwater, Florida) in the No. 16 Porsche.
For the second consecutive year, the non-points paying event will be held on the 3.74-mile, 17-turn track to provide customer programs an opportunity to race without the faster, high-speed prototype and GTLM classes. The two-day event will offer teams and drivers multiple practice sessions on Friday, November 9 before qualifying and racing on Saturday, November 10. Series’ regulations for the event prevent prototypes from either the DPi for LMP2 classes or the GTLM class factory machines – like the 2019 WeatherTech SportsCar Team Championship-winning Porsche GT Team and its 911 RSR – from entering. This allows the GT3-spec machines, including the Porsche 911 GT3 R, to contend for overall race victory for the only time.
The Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring can viewed live on IMSA.TV beginning at 12:05 p.m. ET, November 10.