Twice a year the GTD classes of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship have the opportunity to take center stage in the chase for overall victory. The first of those comes this weekend at Lime Rock Park for the Northeast Grand Prix in Lakeville, Connecticut. The second will come at the penultimate round of the championship at VIRginia International Raceway on August 28. Seen as the “bull ring” of North America sports car racing, the 1.474-mile, seven corner natural terrain road course will host only the GTD Pro and GTD classes for the two-hour, 40-minute race on Saturday, July 16.
Porsche leads the manufacturer standings in GTD Pro by virtue of three Pfaff Motorsports victories in the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R race car.
In addition to the WeatherTech Championship round for GT3-spec machines, the road car-based Michelin Pilot Challenge – which fits international GT4-specific rules – will run a two-hour race earlier on Saturday. The Lime Rock Park 120 will see eight Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport customer-entered race cars in the series’ top category, the GS class.
Porsche has 20 class wins at Lime Rock Park since 1999. The German sports car manufacturer has three overall IMSA victories since 2004: 2007 (Penske RS Spyder), 2010 (Muscle Milk RS Spyder Evo) and 2017 (Porsche GT Team 911 RSR). The 2017 win was a one-two finish in the now shuttered GTLM class and was paired with a GTD class victory by Park Place Motorsports. The most recent class title came in 2019 when Pfaff Motorsports earned the GTD class win with their Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Lime Rock Park was the site of the first Porsche Rennsport Reunion in 2001. The seventh rendition of the celebration of Porsche motorsport and culture will take place next year at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, September 28 – October 1, 2023.
WeatherTech, GTD Pro Class.
Pfaff Motorsports comes into Lime Rock Park searching for its fourth victory of the season in the No. 9 “Plaid Porsche” 911 GT3 R race car. The Canada-based operation opened the year with a victory in a late-race nailbiter at Daytona’s Rolex 24. Porsche factory drivers Matt Campbell (Australia) and Mathieu Jaminet (France) have added two more victories with the sprint round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and the most recent race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The operation has earned four straight podium finishes including a third-place finish at the Six Hours of The Glen enduro.
Pfaff Motorsports enters round seven of GTD Pro class championship with the team and driver championship points lead with four race weekends remaining. Campbell and Jaminet lead the all-pro driver standings 2056 to 1918 while the Canadian team tops all entrants in GTD Pro by the same 138 point margin.
Matt Campbell, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. GTD Pro.
“I’m really looking forward to Lime Rock, it should suit our car well. It’s short, tight and twisty and it’ll also be the first event of the year for us in GTD Pro where it will only be GTD cars, so a bit of a change. Traffic management will be a little bit easier, but still quite difficult being such a tight and technical circuit. After the last couple races, we’ve been really strong with a couple podiums, so hopefully we can continue that way.”
Mathieu Jaminet, Driver, No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. GTD Pro.
“We are in strong form coming from two wins and three podiums out of the last three races. We have great momentum right now coming from Mosport for the team. We should be confident, and we are ready to fight again at Lime Rock. The track is really particular, it’s really small. It could be interesting in the race with traffic, and you could fall a lap down very easily when you pit. Strategy will play a big role and it will be an interesting race. I think the Porsche has al ways been competitive out there. Hopefully we can repeat again, have a good result and score a podium for the team.”
WeatherTech, GTD Class.
Following a one-race respite, Porsche customer stalwart Wright Motorsports returns with drivers Ryan Hardwick (Atlanta, Georgia) and Jan Heylen (Belgium now living in Florida). Buoyed by a third-place finish in the Michelin Pilot Challenge race here a year ago, the two-time winners (Daytona and Laguna Seca) in the No. 16 prepared in Ohio, enter the weekend with a proven entity in the Porsche 911 GT3 R race car in the GTD class. Identical to the GTD Pro class but with a Pro-Am style driver line-up, the Hardwick/Heylen package has shown its tenacity in closely fought duels like those that arise on the bull ring that is Lime Rock Park.
Ryan Hardwick, Driver, No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.
“I’m looking forward to racing at Lime Rock. This race is always super fun because you never really get a break in the action. The lap is so short, you are always pushing. The Porsche has historically been strong here, so we hope to have good pace here and gain some strong points toward the championship.”
Michelin Pilot Challenge, GS Class.
Eight Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport racing machines will contest for GS class honors in Saturday’s Lime Rock Park 120. McCann Racing with Andrew Davis (Athens, Georgia) and Michael McCann (Canton, Ohio) enter the No. 8 Porsche. Hardpoint’s Racing to End Alzheimer’s No. 22 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport with drivers Sean McAlister (Beverly Hills, California) and Nick Galante (Greenfield, Massachusetts) return for Lime Rock. RS1 – who won the season-opener – take the No. 28 to the track with John Dubets (San Diego, California) and Stevan McAleer (Scotland). Team TGM has entered team principal Ted Giovanis (Highland, Maryland) and Owen Trinkler (Nashville, Tennessee) in the No. 64 while brothers Hugh Plumb (Unionville, Pennsylvania) and Matt Plumb (Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania) will campaign the No. 46 for TGM. NOLASPORT takes veterans Matt Tavis (The Woodlands, Texas) and Jason Hart (Flower Mound, Texas) to the Northeast to drive the No. 47. BGB Motorsports has entered drivers Spencer Pumpelly (Atlanta, Georgia) and Thomas Collingwood (Canada) in the No. 83 Porsche. CarBahn with Peregrine Racing has Mark Siegel (Palo Alto, California) and Tyler McQuarrie (Danville, California) entered in the No. 93.
Based on the road-going Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS, the mid-engine Clubsport shares its engine with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car and makes the same approximate 500 HP. Entering round seven, Porsche is third in GS Manufacturer standings having 80-points behind the Aston-Martin and 30 off of AMG-Mercedes.
Timing. (all times ET)
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Friday, July 15 – Practice 1 – 11:25 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Friday, July 15 – Practice 2 – 3:05 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.
Friday, July 15 – Qualifying – GTD/GTD Pro – 5:40 p.m. – 5:55 p.m.
Saturday, July 16 – Warm-Up – 9:05 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.
Saturday, July 16 – Northeast Grand Prix – 3:10 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.
Michelin Pilot Challenge.
Friday, July 15 – Practice 1 – 10:05 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.
Friday, July 15 – Practice 2 – 1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Friday, July 15 – Qualifying – GS – 5:05 p.m. – 5:20 p.m.
Saturday, July 16 – Lime Rock Park 120 – 11:05 a.m. – 1:05 p.m.