IMSA sports cars at Laguna Seca: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

IMSA Laguna Seca start TV schedule
IMSA
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Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will bring a tight DPi championship battle to Laguna Seca this weekend for the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship.

In the premier class, the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura of Filipe Albuquerque and Ricky Taylor have a 41-point lead (less than the difference between first and third) over the No. 31 Action Express Racing Cadillac of Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani.

Nasr and Derani have won the past two races at Watkins Glen International and Road America.

With DPi, LMP2, GTLM and GTD racing at Laguna Seca, here are the championship standings outlooks for the other divisions:

In GTLM, No. 3 Corvette drivers Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor have built a 214-point lead over No. 4 C8.R teammates Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy. The No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Porsche 911 RSR-19 of Cooper MacNeil and Matt Campbell is nine points out of second place.

In LMP2, Ben Keating and Mikkel Jensen (No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports ORECA LMP2 07) are 58 points ahead of Steven Thomas and Tristan Nunez (No. 11 WIN Autosport ORECA).

In GTD, Bill Auberlen and Robby Foley of the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 are 18 points up on Roman De Angelis and Ross Gunn of the No. 23 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at Laguna Seca (all times are ET):


IMSA Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at Laguna Seca start times, schedule, TV info

When: Sunday, 4:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Two hours, 40 minutes on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 66 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 26-car field over four divisions for the IMSA Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at Laguna Seca


RACE BROADCAST IMSA LAGUNA SECA

TV:  4 p.m. ET, NBCSN.

TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold Coverage: Live flag to flag beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Dave Burns is the announcer with analyst Calvin Fish and pit reporters Brian Till and Hannah Newhouse.

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

IMSA.com live qualifying stream: Saturday, Sept. 11, 4 p.m. ET.

IMSA Radio: All sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage will begin Sunday at 4 p.m. (Sirius 216, XM 202, Internet 992).


DAILY SCHEDULE IMSA LAGUNA SECA

Here’s a rundown of the IMSA Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at Laguna Seca in Monterey, California (all times ET):

Friday, Sept. 10

12:50-1:20 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 Cup practice

1:35-2:15 p.m.: Lamborghini Super Trofeo practice

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

4:30-5 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 Cup practice

5:15-5:55 p.m.: Lamborghini Super Trofeo practice

6:10-7:10 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

7:30-8:30 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship practice

Saturday, Sept. 11

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship practice

1:20-1:55 p.m.: Lamborghini Super Trofeo qualifying (two races)

2:10-2:45 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge qualifying

3-3:45 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 Cup, Race 1

4:05-5:10 p.m.: IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship qualifying

5:30-6:20 p.m.: Lamborghini Super Trofeo, Race 1

7:40-9:40 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge race

Sunday, Sept. 12

12:25-1:10 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 Cup, Race 2

1:35-2:25 p.m.: Lamborghini Super Trofeo, Race 2

4:10-6:50 p.m.: IMSA Hyundai Monterey SportsCar Championship at Laguna Seca

 

Jimmie Johnson won’t race full time in 2023; leaves open possibility of returning at Ganassi

Jimmie Johnson race 2023
Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images
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Though he remains uncertain of his plans for next year, Jimmie Johnson won’t race full time in 2023, scaling back his schedule after running a full 17-race NTT IndyCar Series season.

“This was a difficult choice for me, but in my heart, I know it’s the right one,” Johnson said in a statement Monday morning. “I’m not exactly sure what the next chapter holds, but if an opportunity comes along that makes sense, I will consider it. I still have a bucket list of racing events I would like to take part in. Competing at this level in IndyCar has been such a great experience.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better team to race for than Chip Ganassi and Chip Ganassi Racing. Everyone worked extremely hard for the last two seasons, pushing to get the best performances out of me every single week. The support from my crew and teammates Dario (Franchitti), Scott (Dixon), Tony (Kanaan), Marcus (Ericsson) and Alex (Palou) went above and beyond anything I could have ever asked for.”

WHAT’S NEXT FOR JIMMIE JOHNSON: An analysis of his racing options for the 2023 season

Driving the No. 48 Dallara-Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing, Johnson ranked 21st in the 2022 points standings with a career-best fifth place July 24 at Iowa Speedway.

After running only road and street courses for Ganassi in 2021, the seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion added ovals this year. In his Indy 500 debut, he qualified 12th and finished 28th after a late crash.

“I do have a desire to go back (to IndyCar), it’s just at this point, I know what’s required to do a full schedule, and I don’t have that in me,” Johnson told AP. “I don’t have that passion that I need for myself to commit myself to a full season.”

That leaves open the concept of Johnson returning part time with Ganassi, perhaps exclusively on ovals.

“We are fully supportive of Jimmie,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a statement. “He has been a valued member of our team and if we can find a way to continue working together, we would like to do so.”

During IndyCar’s season finale race weekend, Johnson told reporters Sept. 9 that he planned to explore his options with wife Chandra and daughters Evie and Lydia. Johnson told the Associated Press that his family is considering living abroad for a year or two, and he has toyed with the idea of running in the World Endurance Championship sports car series because of its international locales.

Johnson hasn’t ruled out IndyCar, IMSA sports cars or even a cameo in NASCAR next year. Since retiring from full-time NASCAR after the 2020 season, he has entered the endurance races of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the No. 48 Ally Cadillac (including Saturday’s Petit Le Mans season finale). Johnson also wants to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and is a prime candidate for the Garage 56 entry (a joint project of NASCAR and Hendrick Motorsports).

Johnson told the AP he is interested in becoming the latest driver to try “The Double” and run both the Coca-Cola 600 and Indy 500 on the same day (the most recent was Kurt Busch in 2014).

“You know me and endurance sports, and ‘The Double’ sounds awesome,” Johnson, a four-time Coke 600 winner, told AP. “I’ve always had this respect for the guys who have done ‘The Double.’ I would say it is more of a respect thing than a bucket-list item, and I’d love to put some energy into that idea and see if I can pull it off.”

It is less likely that he would return to IMSA’s endurance events because its top prototype series is being overhauled, limiting the amount of inventory available for the new LMDh cars in the rebranded GTP division.

Johnson has confirmed that he would retain primary sponsor Carvana, which has backed him in IndyCar the past two years. He revealed his decision Monday during the last episode of “Reinventing the Wheel,” Carvana Racing’s eight-part docuseries about his 2023 season.

“I’m thankful for the partnership with a company like Carvana for allowing me to take this journey in IndyCar, for seeing the value in our partnership and being open to future opportunities together,” Johnson said. “They have truly showed me that there are no finish lines in life. Along with Carvana, The American Legion, Ally, cbdMD and Frank August were there every step of the way, and I couldn’t have done it without all of them. Most importantly — and the true rockstars in all of this –my family, Chani, Evie and Lydia. They have always allowed me to chase my dreams, and we are all just really excited about what the future holds for all of us. I have enjoyed every minute of these last two years.”

Said Carvana co-founder Ryan Keeton: “During the past two years, Jimmie Johnson has been so amazing to collaborate with. Our team admires his passion, hard work and commitment to continuous improvement while also having fun, and we look forward to continuing to support him next year in this new chapter.”