Motul Petit Le Mans Preview

Championship leading Cadillac. [Photo by Jack Webster]

Championship leading Cadillac. [Photo by Jack Webster]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

Wayne Taylor Racing is pulling out all the stops to win the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the DPi class, with only three races remaining in the unique (and COVID-19 altered) 2020 racing season. For this week’s Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Taylor has added Indy Car ace Scott Dixon to the driver lineup, joining Renger van der Zandre and Ryan Briscoe in the championship leading Konica Minolta Cadillac for the 10 hour race this Saturday.

Dixon, who is fighting for the 2020 IndyCar Championship (which would be his 6th) and will race in the season ending IndyCar race at St. Petersburg the weekend following Petit Le Mans, is no stranger to Wayne Taylor Racing, having been added to the roster at the season opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, along with Kamui Kobayashi. It was a successful partnership – The Konica-Minolta #10 Cadillac won the Rolex 24.

Said Dixon: “I’m excited to be back in the car. This has been a crazy year, and Daytona was the last race that felt somewhat normal, especially with all the victory celebrations and things like that. It’s great to see that the Number 10 team is still leading the championship, just the way it started off. Hopefully, I can add to the championship fight, keeping it clean and helping these guys on to another victory.”

In GTLM, Corvette Racing has to be counted as the favorite to win the class, as their drivers are dominating the championship standings, with Antonio Garcia and Jordon Taylor of the #3 car sitting on top, with #4 drivers Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner close behind in the points. It has been an excellent debut season for the all new Corvette C8.R, and they hope to continue it at Motul Petit Le Mans. To help their chances, they have added Nicky Catsburg (for the #3 car) and veteran driver Marcel Fassler to the #4 car line up.

BMW is looking to lock up third place in the championship behind the dominating Corvettes, while Porsche is having one of their worst seasons in memory, with 2020 sadly being their last one in GTLM for the foreseeable future.

LMP2 will feature four entries, with championship leading driver Patrick Kelly aboard the #52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07. A good result for Patrick at Motul Petit Le Mans should put him in a very strong position for winning the championship.

In GTD, Acura, Lexus and Porsche look to duke it out for class honors, with the top three in the championship separated by only a few points. As usual, the GTD class will provide some of the closest racing. This class also features the most cars in the race: 13.

Considering all the trials and tribulations the teams (along with IMSA) have endured this strange season of 2020, it is an outstanding achievement to get 31 of the finest sports cars on the planet together for the running of Motul Petit Le Mans. In addition to the 13 entries in GTD, DPi features 8 cars, LMP2 features 4, while GTLM contains 6 factory entries.

There are a lot of changes coming to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for 2021 and beyond – new cars, new drivers, new teams, new classes. In the meantime, enjoy one of the finest endurance races on one of the finest racing circuits in the US – Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

Follow all the action this week on NBCSN beginning at 12:30 PM on Saturday or on IMSA TV.

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