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IMSA Northeast Grand Prix: Burning Questions

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Michael Shank Racing (1); CORE autosport (2)

It was just two weekends ago that we last saw the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship compete at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park with the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix. This Saturday, however, the most hectic span of the North American sports car racing schedule winds down with the Northeast Grand Prix, as the series returns to Lime Rock Park for the fourth straight year since the unification of the discipline.

It’ll be a unique round of action this weekend, as the headlining Prototype cars take their first of two rounds off this year; the latter will come in mid-August at Virginia Motorsports Park. As the GT Le Mans and GT Daytona cars take center stage this weekend, we take a look at some of the storylines to watch:

With her season secured, can Katherine Legge earn the GT Daytona title?

Meyer Shank Racing has been putting piecemeal deals together all season long to keep Legge in a car, after initially committing only to North American Endurance Cup rounds. But a win in Detroit and four podiums in six rounds have her within only three points of Paul Miller Racing for the GTD championship lead; ironically, her win came in her only race paired with Mario Farnbacher, while Alvaro Parente has shared the car in the other events. A win by Legge would make her 2018’s first repeat GTD winner.

Which IMSA team can say they had the best month of July?

With three rounds in a four-weekend span, July is the busiest month of the IMSA season. Between a full slate for both GT classes and back-to-back rounds for the Prototypes, doing well this month has huge championship implications. CORE autosport bested the Protoype class in July with dual podiums at Watkins Glen and CTMP, including its first-ever class win in the latter; Ford Chip Ganassi Racing will look to sweep all three GTLM rounds this month between its two cars with a win at Lime Rock.

Will we see yet another different GT Le Mans winner at Lime Rock?

It wasn’t until CTMP that the GTLM class saw a repeat winner, as Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook took their first victory since pairing with Scott Dixon to take the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona. Since then, both Porsche GT Team entries have won, Corvette Racing triumphed at Long Beach, and their Ford Chip Ganassi Racing teammates, Joey Hand and Dirk Muller, came out on top at Watkins Glen. Of the full-timers, only BMW Team RLL has yet to secure a victory.

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