IMSA Petit Le Mans entry list will feature many IndyCar stars for 10-hour race at Road Atlanta


The longest race of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season since the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona in January will draw many big names to the entry list at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta this weekend as teams expand their lineups for Saturday’s 10-hour Petit Le Mans.

Team Penske’s DPi teams will have Indianapolis 500 winners Alexander Rossi and Simon Pagenaud back in the mix. Rossi will join the division’s hottest team, joining the duo of Helio Castroneves and Ricky Taylor on the No. 7 Acura that has won three consecutive races. Pagenaud will be paired with defending series champions Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya on the No. 6 Acura. Petit will mark the first IMSA starts for Rossi and Pagenaud since the Rolex 24.

Points leaders Renger van der Zande and Ryan Briscoe will be joined by five-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon, who helped the Wayne Taylor Racing duo win this year’s Rolex 24 in the No. 10 Cadillac.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, the 2014 Indy 500 winner and 2012 IndyCar Series champion, will return to the No. 55 Mazda, joining Jonathan Bomarito and Harry Tincknell for the third time this season.

ENTRY LIST: Click here to see who is entered in the Petit Le Mans

Other third drivers in DPi entries:

–Loic Duval with Tristan Vautier (who replaced Joao Barbosa for the remainder of the season last week) and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 5 Cadillac of Mustang Sampling Racing / JDC-Miller MotorSports;

–Filipe Albuquerque with Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani in the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Racing.

–Olivier Pia with Oliver Jarvis and Tristan Nunez in the No. 77 Mazda.

In the GTLM category, IndyCar winner Colton Herta will return to the BMW Team RLL (which he has driven for at the Rolex 24 and other endurance events).

There are 31 cars entered in the Petit Le Mans across four classes: eight in DPi, four in LPM2, six in GTLM, 13 in GTD.

This will mark the second race in six weeks at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, which also played host to a six-hour race Sept. 6 with IMSA.

Saturday’s coverage of the Petit Le Mans will begin from 12:30-6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 6:30-9:30 p.m. on the NBC Sports App, and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and concluding from 9:30-11 on NBCSN.

Jack Miller wins the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo stops his downward points’ slide


Jack Miller ran away with the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi as Fabio Quartararo stopped his downward slide in the championship when a last-lap accident from his closest rival in the standings caused Francesco Bagnaia to score zero points.

Starting seventh, Miller quickly made his way forward. He was second at the end of two laps. One lap later, he grabbed the lead from Jorge Martin. Once in the lead, Miller posted three consecutive fastest laps and was never seriously challenged. It was Australian native Miller’s first race win of the season and his sixth podium finish.

The proximity to his home turf was not lost.

“I can ride a motorcycle sometimes,” Miller said in NBC Sports’ post-race coverage. “I felt amazing all weekend since I rolled out on the first practice. It feels so awesome to be racing on this side of the world.

“What an amazing day. It’s awesome; we have the home Grand Prix coming up shortly. Wedding coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m over the moon; can’t thank everyone enough.”

Miller beat Brad Binder to the line by 3.4 seconds with third-place Jorge Martin finishing about one second behind.

But the center of the storm was located just inside the top 10 as both Quartararo and Bagnaia started deep in the field.

Quartararo was on the outside of row three in ninth with Bagnaia one row behind in 12th. Neither rider moved up significantly, but the championship continued to be of primary importance as Bagnaia put in a patented late-race charge to settle onto Quartararo’s back tire, which would have allowed the championship leader to gain only a single point.

On the final lap, Bagnaia charged just a little too hard and crashed under heavy braking, throwing away the seven points he would have earned for a ninth-place finish.

The day was even more dramatic for the rider who entered the MotoGP Japanese Grand Prix third in the standings. On the sighting lap, Aleix Espargaro had an alarm sound, so he peeled off into the pits, dropped his primary bike and jumped aboard the backup. Starting from pit lane, he trailed the field and was never able to climb into the points. An undisclosed electronic problem was the culprit.

For Quartararo, gaining eight points on the competition was more than a moral victory. This was a track on which he expected to run moderately, and he did, but the problems for his rivals gives him renewed focus with four rounds remaining.

Next week, the series heads to Thailand and then Miller’s home track of Phillip Island in Australia. They will close out the Pacific Rim portion of the schedule before heading to Spain for the finale in early November.

It would appear team orders are not in play among the Ducati riders. Last week’s winner Enea Bastianini made an aggressive early move on Bagnaia for position before the championship contender wrestled the spot back.

In his second race back following arm surgery, Marc Marquez won the pole. His last pole was more than 1,000 days ago on this same track in 2019, the last time the series competed at Motegi. Marquez slipped to fifth in the middle stages of the race, before regaining a position to finish just off the podium.

In Moto2 competition, Ai Ogura beat Augusto Fernandez to close the gap in that championship to two points. Fernandez holds the scant lead. Alonso Lopez rounded out the podium.

Both American riders, Cameron Beaubier and Joe Roberts finished just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th respectively.