The final WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race of the extended IMSA season is here, and when the field approaches the green flag on Saturday, 31 cars spread across four classes will vie for victory.
Teams and drivers will make their second visit to Sebring International Raceway, having completed a 2h40m race in July, and with March’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring moved to mid-November, the IMSA paddock will farewell a strange year at one of America’s most prestigious motor races.
With championships to settle in two categories, the fight starts in the fastest class as eight Daytona Prototype Internationals, with two Acuras, two Mazdas, and four Cadillacs pursue overall honors at the 12-hour race. The No. 7 Acura Team Penske DPi (242 points) holds a slim margin over Wayne Taylor Racing’s No. 10 Cadillac (240 points), and once the race is over, a number of changes will commence with Penske’s exit from DPi, Mazda’s reduction to a single car, WTR converts to Acura, and Meyer Shank Racing rises up from GT Daytona to DPi with a second Acura.
In LMP2, which has already crowned PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports’ Patrick Kelly as its Drivers’ champion, four cars are entered, featuring the second consecutive appearance by the Inter Europol Competition outfit, and the return of Tower Motorsports by Starworks.
GT Le Mans settled its Drivers’ title at the last round in Monterey with Corvette Racing’s Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor, and with the coveted Manufacturers’ championship awaiting its next winner, the Corvette team will add the trophy to its haul from 2020 when one of its two entries take the start at Sebring.
Six GTLMs will say goodbye to the season. And like DPi, the class will look different when IMSA reconvenes in 2021 after the Porsche GT Team departs. As RACER wrote last week, BMW Team RLL is also leaning towards cutting down from full- to part-time participation.
The changes coming to GTD are too numerous to mention, but with 13 cars headed to Sebring, it remains IMSA’s most popular class. Its championship frame offers less intrigue than DPi. MSR’s No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 (256 points) has a somewhat comfortable advantage over the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (249 points) and the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 (248 points).
Practice for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring begins Thursday morning.