For most IndyCar competitors, this weekend will be the final one off before a grueling five consecutive weeks of racing that includes the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 (May 26 on NBC).
For Sebastien Bourdais and Ryan Hunter-Reay, however, Sunday afternoon will be another one spent at the office.
Both former NTT IndyCar Series champions will be competing in Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio, the fourth round of IMSA’s 2019 WeatherTech Sports Car Championship, with Bourdais once again behind the wheel of the No. 66 Ford Chip Gannasi Racing entry in GTLM and Hunter-Reay in the No. 55 Mazda Team Joest machine in DPi.
Bourdais will once again share the No. 66 Ford GT with Dirk Mueller in substitution for Joey Hand, who will miss his second-consecutive race due to suffering flu-like symptoms. Bourdais also subbed for Hand three weeks ago at Long Beach, where he helped propel the team to a fourth-place finish.
Hunter-Reay, who will race in place of Harry Tincknell, will be making his first WeatherTech Sports Car Championship start since last year’s Petit Le Mans at Road America, where he won alongside Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande driving for Wayne Taylor Racing.
The 2014 Indianapolis 500 champion has already shown speed early in the weekend, finishing second to teammate Oliver Jarvis in the second practice session of the weekend Friday afternoon.
Bourdais and Hunter-Reay will join three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Helio Castroneves, who will compete in the IndyCar Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500 later this month for Team Penske, as well Kyle Kaiser, who previously competed in the IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas for Juncos Racing.
NBC Sports analyst Townsend Bell will also once again be behind the wheel of the No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 alongside teammate Frank Montecalvo.
Coverage of the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio begins Sunday at 1:30 p.m. E.T. on NBCSN.