IMSA will move races to Road Atlanta, Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval

IMSA Roval Road Atlanta
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IMSA modified its 2020 schedule Saturday, announcing new race dates at Road Atlanta and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.

The six-hour WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race Sept. 6 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta will replace the previously scheduled event at Watkins Glen International. A four-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race will be held at the track Sept. 5.

The Roval will play host to the GTLM and GTD classes Oct. 9-10 (with practice Friday and a 100-minute race Saturday) ahead of the NASCAR Cup Series racing in the Bank of America Roval 400 on Oct. 11.

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The GTLM and GTD classes had been scheduled to race Sept. 12 at Lime Rock Park. Both Connecticut and New York have quarantine restrictions because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that would have made the races at Watkins Glen and Lime Rock logistically impossible for IMSA and its teams.

In a statement, Watkins Glen said its IMSA races being moved were “a result of the ongoing pandemic and its impact on the state of New York.”

The Roval will mark the first time IMSA and NASCAR have shared a track on a race weekend in six years.

“When Speedway Motorsports CEO Marcus Smith first envisioned the Roval, part of that vision included bringing new series to the track in addition to our classic NASCAR Cup Series events,” Charlotte Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager Greg Walter said in a release. “We look forward to working in partnership with IMSA to provide a unique perspective to race fans and a one-of-a-kind challenge to the drivers who will be tasked with tackling this technically innovative course.”

Here’s the release from IMSA:

IMSA today announced realignment to upcoming dates on its 2020 schedule, which includes shifting of the Labor Day Weekend six-hour race from Watkins Glen International to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, and the GT-only event from Lime Rock Park to the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.

Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta will host the six-hour IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race on Sunday, Sept. 6, with three other IMSA-sanctioned series that all were previously scheduled to compete at Watkins Glen also moving to Michelin Raceway that weekend. A four-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race will be held on Saturday, Sept. 5, with doubleheader races for both the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and Lamborghini Super Trofeo races also planned for the weekend.

The Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL will host the WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes in a 100-minute race as part of the NASCAR event weekend, Oct. 9-10, at the facility. This event will replace the Lime Rock Park race previously scheduled for Sept. 11-12.

Michelin Pilot Challenge, which also was scheduled to race at Lime Rock Park, instead will have a doubleheader of two-hour races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on the weekend of Sept. 25-27. The GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama will have three events per weekend at Mid-Ohio and the Motul Petit Le Mans weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Oct. 14-17.

IMSA continues to monitor state and local COVID-19 guidelines which may make additional schedule revisions appropriate in the coming weeks. Current Provisional IMSA schedules follow below.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.