31 cars at Sebring

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 2020 season finale will have thirty-one entries. The race will be run this coming Saturday at Sebring International Raceway.

There are just two championships that already have been decided, so there are plenty to race for.

The DPi category will once again have eight cars. Those eight cars have done the full season, and there are only changes in two of the twenty-four seats in total.

Gabby Chaves will be the third driver at Whelen Engineering Cadillac #31, since Filipe Albuquerque will be running in the FIA World Endurance Championship in Bahrain on the same day. Chaves has raced for Action Express team in the past, and did help them out at Daytona in January this year.

The JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac #85 will be raced by Matheus Leist and Stephen Simpson, and a third driver that hasn’t been revealed just yet. That seat is usually taken up by Gabriel Aubry, but he will also be in Bahrain.

Tower Motorsport by Starworks #8
Photo Courtesy of IMSA / Richard Dole

The LMP2 category is back up to 4 cars, just like at Petit Le Mans last month. But it’s been a big shuffle amongst the drivers in this category.

Tower Motorsport by Starworks #8 has John Farano and Mikkel Jensen back in the car, while David Heinemeier Hansson has bought a spot, so he will do one more race in 2020 after all. DHH was on the Sebring entry list in March, but decided to pull out due to the COVID-19 situation – prior to the race being cancelled. The race cancellation wasn’t down to DHH pulling out, but the health advisors. Farano/Jensen won the PLM race, with Job van Uitert as the third driver, so the car won’t be quite as fast this time around, but hopefully still fast enough to have a shot at winning again.

They will be joined by an all-new Performance Tech Motorsports #38 combination, where Don Yount will share the car with Patrick Byrne and Guy Cosmo. Byrne and Cosmo have worked together for several seasons, with the latter coaching Byrne. The pair won the Asian Le Mans Series in 2018/19, but were not able to use the Le Mans entry, since they didn’t have the budget for it. Yount raced for the team earlier this year, but with other teammates.

Inter Europol Competition #51 have Jakub Smiechowski as the constant in the car, while the Polish driver will be joined by Naveen Rao and Matt Bell. Rao and Bell just won the IMSA Prototype Challenge for LMP3 drivers this year, and want to try an LMP2 car ahead of the 2021 season.

PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports #52 will stick to the same three drivers, as they had at Petit Le Mans. Patrick Kelly won the LMP2 championship last time out, and he will be sharing the car with Simon Trummer, just like he has done for most of the year, plus Scott Huffaker, who is a very rapid talent, that we surely will hear a lot more about in the coming years.

The GTLM category is the big farewell to Porsche, who only have named four drivers for the Sebring 12 Hours so far. Their problem is that most of their drivers are in either Bahrain or Paul Ricard, to drive Porsches there.

There are talks about BMW Team RLL pulling their full-season try, and only entering the Endurance rounds, but that hasn’t been confirmed by BMW just yet.

Corvette Racing #3 with Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor already won the title at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, while their teammates in #4 still have a good chance of beating the BMW drivers. Porsche is already out of the podium fight in the Championship.

Unfortunately, there is no Risi Competizione Ferrari, since all the Ferrari works drivers are busy in Bahrain and France.

Riley Motorsports Mercedes #74
Photo Courtesy of IMSA / Richard Dole

There are thirteen cars on the GTD entry list, but with various other faces and cars than we saw at PLM.

GRT Grasser Racing Team Lamborghini #11 is back in the field, with their European drivers Steijn Schothorst and Franck Perera finally concluding their seasons. And Richard Heistand is back from the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Pierre Kaffer replaces Spencer Pumpelly in Team Hardpoint Audi #30, next to Rob Ferriol and Andrew Davis. Pumpelly will race the GRT Magnus Lambo #44, just like he has done by the other endurance rounds this year.

Joey Hand will have his GTD debut, where he will be the third driver of the Heinricher Racing Acura #57, next to Trent Hindman and Misha Goikhberg. Alvaro Parente has duties at Paul Ricard. Hand was last racing at Petit Le Mans 2019, where Ford Chip Ganassi Racing concluded their GTLM programme.

Marc Miller will race in the Riley Motorsports Mercedes #74 replacing Ben Keating, who is racing in the FIA WEC finale in Bahrain. Gar Robinson and Lawson Aschenbach will remain unchanged.

There isn’t any Pfaff Motorsports Porsche #9, since they have opted to stay at home in Canada, since they can’t get any results in the championship, and has opted to save the car for next year, plus they avoid all the travel issues going in and out of Canada.

The 12 Hours of Sebring will be run on Saturday 14 November.

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