IMSA GT Silly Season
The news and changes have been flowing, including some surprises.
Christina Nielsen is moving to Scuderia Corsa to drive a Ferrari 488 in the IMSA GTD category. She is moving from The Racers Group and the Aston Martin. She finished just behind the Scuderia Corsa car in the 2016 GTD championship.
The 2016 IMSA GTD championship winning drivers for Scuderia Corsa, Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler are moving to O’Gara Motorsports to drive a brand new Lamborghini Huracan GT3 in the IMSA GTD class. The team hasn’t yet taken delivery of the car, but they’ve been busy winning the 2015 2015 Lamborghini Super Trofeo championship. A single Lamborghini Huracan has been shared by multiple customer teams and drivers, steadily putting on mile after mile.
Somehow Dion von Moltke still doesn’t have a ride for 2016. He tied for third in the GTD standings with the Paul Miller Audi. The Paul Miller team is joining the move to the Lamborghini Huracan platform for 2016. For a driver line-up, Brian Sellers, Madison Snow and Bryce Miller will drive the Paul Miller Lamborghini. Miller joins for the endurance races. The pairing of Sellers and Snow is a very potent combination.
Meanwhile, the Porsche ranks are starting to become more clear. Cars for Alex Job and Black Swan are coming. Park Place Porsche is also reportedly going to run in 2016 with a brand new 911RSR, but driver Patrick Lindsey will not be continuing with the team. Could there be more?
As if the IMSA GT class isn’t busy enough, the Pirelli World Challenge is busy on its own. Somehow, Andy Pilgrim Andy Pilgrim has been dropped by Cadillac in PwC. Could he find his way to an IMSA ride? Gainsco/Bob Stallings, historically associated with the IMSA series, will be entering a McLaren 650 in the PWC series with Jon Fogarty at the wheel. Sadly, McLaren is not an authorized manufacturer partner with IMSA, so the car is ineligible to run in 2016 IMSA events.
How about another Viper in the form of Lone Star Racing? The team ran at COTA and expects to run the 2016 season with Dan Knox and Marc Goosens. The ViperExchange 2016 details were released in October, so there should be at least two Vipers on the grid in 2016.
In the meantime, Risi expects to take delivery of its brand new Ferrari 488 in December. Perhaps not a surprise at this point, but still worth a note that timing may be tight to get the car and get it prepared for the Roar prior to the Rolex 24.
Audi will be represented by several customer teams, including Magnus Racing with John Potter and some guy named Andy Lally. Stevenson Racing is not only making the move to the Audi R8 platform, but took home the shared Audi test vehicle after the Daytona test. Don’t think there has been a public announcement, but rumor suggests Flying Lizard will be running a new Audi (or two?) as well.
Is there more? Undoubtedly. Lots of work for teams as they start to take delivery of new cars and get them prepared for the Roar and the Rolex 24. It still would have been more fun at Daytona with Aston Martin and Mercedes. Stay tuned…