2016 Rolex 24 car-by-car preview: PC

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MotorSportsTalk’s Tony DiZinno takes a look through the entries for the 2016 Rolex 24 at Daytona, car-by-car. Here’s a look through the Prototype Challenge (PC) class, with order done by the Roar Before the Rolex 24 times and then second car in team, if applicable.

Note, all cars are the Oreca FLM09:

No. 8 Starworks Motorsport
Drivers: Renger van der Zande, Alex Popow, Chris Cumming, Jack Hawksworth
Roar Time: 1:42.118 (1)

Outlook: Led the Roar test and due for a bit of luck at a race that has consistently eluded Peter Baron, most notably in 2012 for the overall win. Outside of CORE’s No. 54 car, this is the strongest lineup in the pro-am class, and will be a win contender.

No. 88 Starworks Motorsport
Drivers: Maro Engel, Mark Kvamme, Sean Johnston, Felix Rosenqvist
Roar Time: 1:42.458 (3)

Outlook: Baron has also assembled a sneaky good lineup here with three de facto pros, albeit a lineup down on prototype experience. Engel and Rosenqvist should star in their stints, Johnston could surprise in his, and gentleman driver Kvamme helped RG Racing to a top-10 finish last year.

No. 54 CORE autosport
Drivers: Colin Braun, Jon Bennett, Mark Wilkins, Martin Plowman
Roar Time: 1:42.423 (2)

Outlook: On paper, the class favorites and keen to avenge their late-race heartbreak of a year ago. Braun, Plowman and Wilkins are three top-level pros – even if Wilkins has secured the “prestigious-in-rating-but-doesn’t-really-want-be-referred-to-as-a-fake-Silver” Silver rating – and Bennett is a dependable, if not the fastest, true am.

No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports
Drivers: Marc Drumwright, Johnny Mowlem, Tomy Drissi, Ricardo Vera, Brendan Gaughan
Roar Time: 1:42.658 (4)

Outlook: Mowlem returns to defend his pole position and Gaughan will be fun to watch, but the rest of the lineup isn’t stellar on paper. That said, half the battle in PC is finishing, and if BAR1 gets either or both of its cars to the morning they’ll be in with a podium shout.

No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports
Drivers: Ryan Eversley, Ryan Lewis, Adam Merzon, Don Yount, John Falb
Roar Time: 1:44.848 (8)

Outlook: Eversley and Lewis will be fun to watch and all three gentlemen drivers have the potential to punch above their weight. Like their sister car, avoid trouble, keep it running, and a podium is more than possible.

No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports
Drivers: Tom Kimber-Smith, Robert Alon, Jose Gutierrez, Nick Boulle
Roar Time: 1:42.986 (5)

Outlook: Bobby Oergel’s team makes a late return to PC after a possible LMP2-spec program fell through. As such, the lineup leaves a bit to be desired after “TKS,” the team’s lone experienced ace. But few would have pegged this car a race winner last year given the lack of driving experience, so PR1 won’t give up its crown without a fight.

No. 85 JDC/Miller Motorsports
Drivers: Chris Miller, Mikhail Goikhberg, Stephen Simpson, Kenton Koch
Roar Time: 1:43.491 (6)

Outlook: The John Church-led squad has a respectable lineup and Simpson and Koch, in particular, have the potential to star in their stints. Would be a podium finisher on merit, and a potential winner if the class favorites hit any trouble.

No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports
Drivers: James French, Jim Norman, Josh Norman, Brandon Gdovic
Roar Time: 1:44.848 (8)

Outlook: Probably will go for the tortoise beating the hare strategy in class with an inexperienced, all-gentlemen lineup. That said, French was respectable in the 2015 season and Jim Norman is a past class winner at the Rolex 24, so there is slight experience there.

IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

AUTO: NOV 13 IMSA - Motul Petit Le Mans
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Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will conclude the 2022 season this weekend with the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta, which also will mark the end of the line for the DPi class.

The premier Daytona Prototype international category, which started in 2017, will be replaced by the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class with its LMDh cars that will establish a bridge to Le Mans.

For the third time in four years, an Acura will be crowned the champion in DPi as the No. 10 of Wayne Taylor Racing holds a 19-point edge over the No. 60 of Meyer Shank Racing.

Last year, WTR’s No. 10 entered the season finale with a 19-point lead but lost the title to the No. 31 Cadillac of Action Express.

Full-time WTR drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor (who will be joined by Brendon Hartley in the No. 10 this weekend) have a series-leading four victories this season. The MSR duo of Tom Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves this weekend) won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and have five runner-up finishes this year.

Championship scenarios in the other four categories:

GTD Pro: Points leaders Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet will clinch the title by starting in their No. 9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

–GTD: There are 140 points separating the top four teams with Roman De Angelis and the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 leading by 45 points.

–LMP2: John Farano is first in the driver standings by 33 points over Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel. In the team standings, the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports leads by 19 points over the No. 8 Tower Motorsport (Farano’s team).

–LMP3: No. 54 CORE autosport drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun lead by 83 points over the No. 74 Riley Motorsports of Gar Robinson.

With the 10-hour race requiring an extra driver, several stars from other racing series have been added. In addition to Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Ryan Hunter-Reay will serve as third drivers in Chip Ganassi Racing’s pair of Cadillacs.

Jimmie Johnson also will be making his last DPi start in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac with Mike Rockenfeller and Kamui Kobayashi. Petit Le Mans could mark the last start in an IMSA prototype for Johnson, who has said limited inventory likely will keep him out of the GTP category in the Rolex 24 next year.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (all times are ET):


Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 12:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Ten hours on the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course

TV: Noon-3 p.m., NBC; 3-10:30 p.m., USA Network. Peacock, the NBC Sports App,and NBCSports.com will have streaming coverage of the event from flag to flag beginning at noon. Leigh Diffey and Dave Burns are the play by play announcers with analysts Calvin Fish, Townsend Bell, James Hinchcliffe and Brian Till. The pit reporters are Kevin Lee, Hannah Newhouse, Dillon Welch and Matt Yocum.

IMSA.com live TV qualifying stream: Friday, 3:35 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions are live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Saturday at noon (XM 207, Internet/App 992).

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 63 degrees with an 85% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 48-car field for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta


Daily schedule IMSA Petit Le Mans

Here’s a rundown of the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia:

Wednesday, Sept. 28

9:30 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 practice

10:25 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup

12:30 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

1:15 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 practcice

2 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

3:30 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

Thursday, Sept. 29

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

9 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

9:50 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

11:40 a.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

12:10 p.m.: Michelin Challenge practice

1:50 p.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 1

2:55 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

5 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 1

6 p.m.: Michelin Challenge qualifying

7:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Friday, Sept. 30

8 a.m.: Prototype Challenge race

9:50 a.m.: Mazda MX-5, Race 2

10:55 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup, Race 2

1:10 p.m.: IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race

3:40 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, Oct. 1

9:15 a.m.: IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

12:10 p.m.: Petit Le Mans