IMSA Petit Le Mans: Burning Questions

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via CORE autosport (1); IMSA (2)

With just one race left in the 2018 WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, IMSA fans have plenty to be excited about today. Not only is today race day at Road Atlanta for the Motul Petit Le Mans, the 10-hour race that caps off the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, but it’s also going to be the day that three incredibly close class championship battles are settled.

If you’re watching on TV, you won’t need to bounce around too much: tune in first at 10:30AM ET/7:30AM PT to FS1 for the start, and then switch over at noon ET/9AM PT to FS2 for the remainder of the race. Without having to juggle channels all day, you’ll have enough time to stay focused on three of the top storylines coming into the season finale:

Can CORE autosport chase down Whelen Engineering for the Prototype title?

Only four points separate Colin Braun and Jon Bennett, longtime driving partners who moved up into the Prototype class this year, from Felipe Nasr and Eric Curran atop the championship standings. It’s been an amazing year for CORE, who scored back-to-back wins at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Road America to get here. Curran and Nasr, meanwhile, took their lone victory in Detroit, but have five podiums and no finishes worse than eighth in a season of championship-caliber consistency.

Could we see a winless champion in GT Le Mans?

Eight GTLM cars—two each from Ford, Chevrolet, Porsche, and BMW factory-backed squads—have run the full 2018 IMSA season. Six have taken a race win. Unsurprisingly, one of them is last in points: the BMW Team RLL M8 GTE of John Edwards and Jesse Krohn. But the other, the Corvette Racing C7.R of Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen, leads Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook’s Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT by nine points. How? The Chevrolet squad has only missed the podium twice in 2018.

Will Katherine Legge’s solo hunt for the GT Daytona title turn out victorious?

Thanks to multiple driver switches in 2018, Legge stands alone in second place in GTD points, just four points back of Paul Miller Racing’s Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow. Coming off a win at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian driver will partner with Alvaro Parente and Trent Hindman in pursuit of the championship. She would be the first solo class title winner in IMSA since Patrick Pilet did it for Porsche North America in GT Le Mans in 2015.

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