IMSA Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sunday: How to watch, start times, schedule, TV, entry list

IMSA Mid-Ohio start TV schedule
IMSA
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After a two-month break (because of the rescheduling of Long Beach and Laguna Seca), the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will return this weekend with a full schedule of racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the Acura Sports Car Challenge.

Practice will begin Friday on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course that also will play host to the MX-5 Cup, Michelin Pilot Challenge and Prototype Challenge series.

Sunday will feature the 2-hour, 40-minute race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with the DPi, LMP3 and GTD classes. There are 26 cars entered in the event. After winning last year’s race at Team Penske with Helio Castroneves (who has returned to a partial IndyCar schedule this season), Ricky Taylor will be paired with Felipe Albuquerque in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing. In GTD, Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz return to defend their win in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3

STARING LINEUP: The grid for the Acura Sports Car Challenge

Mid-Ohio marks the beginning of the IMSA Sprint Cup for GTD after endurance races at Daytona and Sebring. Hawksworth and Telitz won the 2020 Sprint Cup title.

Through the first two races in 2021, there have been no repeat winners in any IMSA class.

Here are the start times, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (all times are ET):


IMSA Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course start times, schedule, TV info

When: Sunday, 2:40 p.m.

Race distance: Two hours, 40 minutes on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 64 degrees with a 39% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the field for the Acura Sports Car Challenge


RACE BROADCAST

TV:  2:30 p.m., NBCSN; NBCSports.com, NBC Sports App. Dave Burns will be on play by play with analysts Calvin Fish and Steve Letarte. Parker Kligerman and Dillon Welch are the pit reporters.

TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold Coverage: Flag to flag beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Race streaming: NBC Sports App, NBCSports.com and TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold

IMSA Radio: All sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin May 16 at 2:30 p.m. (XM392, Internet 992)


DAILY SCHEDULE

Here’s a rundown of the IMSA Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course schedule:

Friday, May 14

9:15-10:15 a.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

12:20-12:50 p.m.: MX-5 Cup practice

1:15-2:15 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

2:35-3:20 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

3:40-4:10 p.m.: MX-5 Cup practice

4:30-5:30 p.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

5:50-6:05 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR qualifying

6:10-6:25 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge GS qualifying

Saturday, May 15

8-8:30 a.m.: MX-5 Cup qualifying

8:50-10:05 a.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

10:20-10:55 a.m.: Protoype Challenge practice

11:15 a.m.-noon: MX-5 Cup Race 1

12:20-1:50 p.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

2:10-2:25 p.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

3:35-5:35 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge race

Sunday, May 16

9:00-9:20 a.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship warmup

9:40-11:25 a.m.: Prototype Challenge race

11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: MX-5 Cup Race 2

2:40-5:20 p.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race

AJ Foyt Racing promotes Benjamin Pedersen from Indy Lights to IndyCar for 2023 season

Benjamin Pedersen AJ Foyt
AJ Foyt Racing
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Benjamin Pedersen is the first driver to land a promotion from Indy Lights into IndyCar for next season as AJ Foyt Racing confirmed Wednesday he’ll be part of its 2023 lineup.

Pedersen, a 23-year-old dual citizen of Denmark and the United States, spent last season running the full Indy Lights schedule for HMD Motorsports. Linus Lundqvist, his teammate, won the Lights title, and Pedersen finished fifth in the final standings. Pedersen earned his only win earlier this month when he led every lap from the pole at Portland.

Pedersen also ran four races for HMD in 2021 with back-to-back runner-up finishes in his debut. Pedersen landed on AJ Foyt Racing team president Larry Foyt’s radar through a “trusted colleague” and Pedersen spent most of last season shadowing the IndyCar team.

His promotion to IndyCar comes ahead of all four drivers who finished ahead of him in the Indy Lights standings, including champion Lundqvist.

“We are really looking forward to having Benjamin as part of the team,” Larry Foyt said. “His enthusiasm is infectious, and he is 100 percent committed to IndyCar, AJ Foyt Racing, and doing the best he can to win races.

“It’s been great to have him embedded with the team this past season, and everyone is excited to hit the ground running when testing begins. It is also great to have a multi-year program in place, which will help him and the team grow together.”

Foyt did not announce a car number for Pedersen. Kyle Kirkwood spent his rookie season driving AJ Foyt’s flagship No. 14 but Kirkwood is moving to Andretti Autosport. The team has not yet announced if Dalton Kellett will return for a fourth season, and a third car for Tatiana Calderon was pulled from competition after seven races because of sponsorship non-payment. Shutting down Calderon’s team removed the only semi-regular female driver from the IndyCar field.

Pedersen, however, was signed to an agreement Foyt said “spans multiple seasons as the team plans to develop the young rookie and is aligned to a longer-term plan for AJ Foyt Racing.”

Pedersen was born in Copenhagen but raised in Seattle and currently lives in Indianapolis. He said his time shadowing the IndyCar team has given him a jump on his rookie preparations.

“I’ve spent a lot of time this season with AJ Foyt Racing learning the ins and outs of making the jump to IndyCar and it’s been really nice to do that in conjunction with my Indy Lights season,” Pedersen said. “IndyCar has been my target goal since I started open wheel racing in 2016. The racing, atmosphere, fans, events, tracks, etc. are all awesome.”