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IMSA Michelin GT Challenge at VIR: Burning Questions

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Chip Ganassi Racing (1); Paul Miller Racing (2)

The GT Le Mans and GT Daytona entrants of this year’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship are ready to go at VIRginia International Raceway, as today’s Michelin GT Challenge at VIR marks the latest round of the IMSA season. With the rounds ticking off one by one as we close in on the season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the time is now for any driver or team looking to make a move in this year’s championship.

If you’re watching today’s race, make sure to have your remote ready—after starting on FS1 at 1PM ET/10AM PT, the action moves to FS2 an hour later to make room for the NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals. As the green flag drops, here are the top three stories we’ll be looking at:

Can anyone find a way to dethrone Ford Chip Ganassi Racing?

The beginning of the season was fairly balanced in GTLM, as Ford, Chevrolet, and Porsche all took at least one victory in the first few rounds of the season. But the two Ford GTs have split the past four wins of the 2018 season, making for a dogfight at the front between teammates Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook, Joey Hand, and Dirk Muller. It seems clear that a pair of Blue Oval drivers will stand atop the podium at the end of the year, but can anybody knock them off the top spot in the interim?

Can anyone besides Paul Miller Racing take a repeat victory this year?

There’s nothing better than a class of racing where anybody can win on any given weekend, and that’s what GTD has provided so far this year. Only a single car has won more than once all season long, meaning eight different vehicles, campaigned by 18 drivers from 11 countries, have won races for six different manufacturers. Only Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow, who added Corey Lewis to their driver lineup for the 12 Hours of Sebring, have taken a repeat victory, which came at Lime Rock Park in July.

Are you glad that the Prototypes will be back for the balance of the season after VIR?

Under the current IMSA scheduling format, the series’ 12 races often don’t feature all three classes competing at the same time. VIR joins Lime Rock Park as the two events that run with only GT cars during the season, and while there’s still plenty of star power and manufacturer support in those two classes, there’s still something missing without marquee entrants like Team Penske and Wayne Taylor Racing on the grid, not to mention the Action Express Racing cars leading the points.

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