After nearly a one-month break, the Prototype class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to headline a four-class race at the four-mile Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Sunday, Aug. 6. The two-hour, 40-minute Continental Tire Road Race Showcase will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET, with live IMSA Radio commentary also available on IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com and SiriusXM Radio.
The Prototypes last raced on July 9 in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in a race won by No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R co-drivers Eric Curran and Dane Cameron. It was the second consecutive CTMP victory for Curran and Cameron, who also won the 2016 WeatherTech Championship Prototype championship.
The No. 31 duo will be going for their third consecutive Road America victory, winning overall in both 2015 and last year. Cameron is riding a three-race Road America win streak, as he also won the GT Daytona (GTD) class at the venue in 2014. Therefore, the No. 31rates among the one of the favorites in the eight-car Prototype field.
The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase kicks off the final third of the WeatherTech Championship season and will go a long way toward identifying potential championship contenders in all four classes.
By virtue of their five victories to open the season, No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R co-drivers Jordan and Ricky Taylor hold a comfortable, 19-point lead in the Prototype driver standings over No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac co-drivers Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi – who won at Road America in 2014. However, the Taylor brothers will be looking to rebound after back-to-back difficult races at Watkins Glen and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The GT Le Mans (GTLM) class championship battle is considerably closer, with seven points separating co-leaders and teammates Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia in the No. 3 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R from second-place Alexander Sims and Bill Auberlen in the No. 25 BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM, with third-place teammates Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller 15 points back in the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT.
Last year’s epic GTLM battle at Road America had huge implications on the final championship standings. Tommy Milner went from fifth place – and what would be a deficit in the championship standings – on a restart with five minutes remaining to Victory Lane in the No. 4 Corvette alongside co-driver Oliver Gavin. The win gave them a points lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the season. GTLM also features eight entries for Road America.
The GTD class brings a wide-open battle and a 16-car field to Road America. Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen won last year in a Dodge Viper and return this year sharing the No. 33 Riley Motorsports-Team AMG Mercedes-AMG GT3 looking to add a third victory to their 2017 win total. They won earlier this year in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and the Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown at Circuit of The Americas.
Leading the GTD standings are defending series champions Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3. The No. 63 teammates are 17 points ahead of Keating and Bleekemolen.
Local race fans will have one of their own to root for in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class, as Sheboygan, Wisconsin – resident James French will team with Pato O’Ward in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA FLM09. French and O’Ward have won every race the PC class thus far in 2017.
Practice for the WeatherTech Championship Continental Tire Road Race Showcase gets under way Friday, Aug. 4, with the first of two, hour-long practice sessions starting at 12:20 p.m. ET (11:20 a.m. local time). Friday’s second session starts at 5:10 p.m. ET.
Saturday, Aug. 5 opens with another WeatherTech Championship practice from 9:55 to 10:55 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying from 1:35 to 3:05 p.m. ET. Saturday’s schedule also includes the two-hour Road America 120 for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET.
The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase takes the green flag at 2:35 p.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 6. The weekend schedule also includes a tripleheader of races for the IMSA-sanctioned Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, one of which being the postponed event from Watkins Glen International back in July, as well as a doubleheader for Lamborghini Super Trofeo.
WeatherTech Championship qualifying and all of the weekend’s races will be streamed live on IMSA.com with IMSA Radio commentary. Tickets for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase are available now at RoadAmerica.com.