IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: How to watch, start times, schedule, entry list

IMSA Road Atlanta start TV schedule
IMSA
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Start times, TV schedule: The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will conclude the 2021 season this weekend at Michelin Road Atlanta as the Motul Petit Le Mans is held under an unusually longer shroud of darkness.

Normally held in late September, pandemic schedule disruptions have pushed the prestigious 10-hour season finale to Nov. 13, which means roughly half of the endurance race will be held at night on a 2.54-mile road course with sparse track lighting.

“The more of the race at night time, the more the chances that contact can happen,” said Filipe Albuquerque of Wayne Taylor Racing. “Going through Sector 1, you dive into that little chicane, and that’s when bad luck happens, that opens more to that contact. You can’t have it. If you’re a a lap down, you’re done. It’s hard to get laps back, and it’s a small lap as well, if you need to come in to replace the nose, you can easily lose a lap. You need to (be) sharp to (avoid) a mistake.”

Albuquerque and co-drivers Ricky Taylor and Alexander Rossi are aiming to be perfect as they try to protect the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura’s 19-point lead in the DPi standings over the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac of Action Express with drivers Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr and Mike Conway.

After teaming with Derani and Nasr last year, Albuquerque moved to WTR in 2021 and drove the final stint of its Rolex 24 at Daytona victory. The team since has added victories at Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca.

But Derani and Nasr (who is in his final race at Action Express) have won three of the past four races (Long Beach, Road America and Watkins Glen) in the premier class to make it a tight battle.

“The championship comes down to so many moving parts, especially on the long races,” Derani said. “We’re coming down to the final race with the slimmest of margins.”

Adding another layer to the drama is that Derani and Taylor (then racing for Team Penske) collided while racing for the lead with 10 minutes left in last year’s Petit Le Mans.

Rossi, the 2016 Indy 500 winner, is one of several endurance drivers from other series in the field. Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will be making his fourth start this season in the No. 48 Cadillac with 2019 Indy 500 winner and 2016 IndyCar champion Simon Pagenaud and two-time Rolex 24 winner Kamui Kobayashi.

Six-time IndyCar champion Scott Dixon will be teamed with Renger van der Zande and Kevin Magnussen in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 01 Cadillac. Four-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves and two-time Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya will join Dane Cameron on the No. 60 Acura of Meyer Shank Racing.

Here are the start times, starting lineup, schedule and TV info for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (all times are ET):


IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta start times, schedule, TV info

When: Saturday, 12:10 p.m. ET

Race distance: Ten hours on the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course

Forecast: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 52 degrees with an 11% chance of rain at the green flag.

Entry list: Click here to see the 43-car field for the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta

Starting lineup: Click here to see the grid for the race


RACE BROADCAST IMSA PETIT LE MANS ROAD ATLANTA

TV:  Noon ET, NBC; 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN

TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold Coverage: Live flag to flag beginning at 12:05 p.m. ET. Leigh Diffey is the announcer with analysts Townsend Bell, Calvin Fish and Steve Letarte and pit reporters Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, Dillon Welch and Kevin Lee.

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

IMSA.com live qualifying stream: Friday, 3:40 p.m. ET.

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


DAILY SCHEDULE IMSA PETIT LE MANS ROAD ATLANTA

Here’s a rundown of the IMSA Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia:

Wednesday, Nov. 10

8:45-9:15 a.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

9:30-10:15 a.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

10:30-11 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 Cup practice

Noon-12:30 p.m.: Prototype Challenge practice

12:45-1:15 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup practice

1:30-2 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 Cup practice

2:15-3:15 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

3-4 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup qualifying

Thursday, Nov. 11

8-8:15 a.m.: Prototype Challenge qualifying

8:30-9 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 Cup qualifying

9:20-10:20 a.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

10:40-11:40 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge practice

12:10-12:55 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup Race 1

1:15-2 p.m.: Mazda MX-5 Cup Race 1

2:20-3:35 p.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

3:55-4:30 p.m.: Michelin Pilot Challenge qualifying

4:45-5:30 p.m.: Porsche Carrera Cup Race 2

6:30-8:10 p.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship practice

Friday, Nov. 12

8-9:45 a.m.: Prototype Challenge, Round 6

10:05-10:50 a.m.: Mazda MX-5 Cup Race 2

11:15 a.m.-noon: Porsche Carrera Cup Race 3

1:10-3:10 p.m.: Fox Factory 120

3:45-5:15 p.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying

Saturday, Nov. 13

9:15-9:35 a.m.: WeatherTech SportsCar Championship warmup

12:10-10:10 p.m.: Motul Petit Le Mans

Houston Supercross by the numbers: Five riders begin to gap the field

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Chase Sexton stumbled in San Diego and Eli Tomac had a hard fall in Anaheim 2, but the Monster Energy Supercross numbers for Houston suggest they will continue to be the ones to beat in Houston. To do so, they will have to turn back challenges from another pair of riders who have swept the top five in the first three rounds and another with a worst finish of sixth.

Houston Supercross numbers
Cooper Webb’s ability to close races makes him a Houston favorite. – Feld Motor Sports

Despite an accident in his heat in San Diego that sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ), Sexton recovered to score a top-five that weekend. His podium finish in Anaheim 1 and overall win last week in Anaheim 2 makes him one of the three riders with a perfect top-five record. He is joined by Cooper Webb, who finished second in the first two rounds and fourth last week, and Ken Roczen, whose consistency in the first three races contributed to him grabbing the top spot in this week’s NBC Supercross Power Rankings.

There are reasons to believe Webb and Roczen can keep those streaks alive.

Webb is the only multiple winner at Supercross’ current Houston stadium. His pair of wins came in 2019 and 2021, the same year he won his two 450 championships.

Clinton Fowler points out this week, that Webb has carried that strength into 2023. Webb had a late surge in Anaheim 1, advancing from fifth to second in the final six laps. In San Diego, he set his ninth fastest lap with two to go and his eighth fastest on the final lap. He posted his fastest lap of Anaheim 2 on Lap 12 while the rest of the field did so on Lap 6 on average.

By comparison, Tomac set his 14th fastest lap on the final circuit in route to winning the Main at San Diego while he was trying to keep Webb at bay.

With a sixth at San Diego, Dylan Ferrandis barely missed sweeping the top five in his first three races as did Tomac with a sixth last week at Anaheim 2.

This will be the 46th year Supercross has visited Houston and with 55 races the city is tied for the second-most with Detroit.

Jim Pomeroy won the first race in the Astrodome during the inaugural season of 1974 on a 250, which was the premiere class at the time. Houston was one of three races held that year along with events at Daytona International Speedway and the Los Angeles Coliseum. All three venues return in 2023 with the first SuperMotocross championship finale returning to the famed LA Coliseum in September.

Webb won most recently in 2021 in the final race of three held there that year as the series executed a strategy of racing in residencies to limit travel during height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tomac and Justin Barcia also won in Houston in 2021.

Two privateers have started the season on a high note.

Joshua Cartwright and Joshua Varize have each made the last two Mains. Cartwright finished 18th in San Diego and 21st last week in Anaheim 2 – all while working fulltime as a Business Intelligence Analyst at the University of Texas, Dallas. Varize earned a top-15 (12th) in San Diego and was 21st in Anaheim 2 in his third season on a 450.

Michael Mosiman scored his first 250 win last year in San Diego. – Feld Motor Sports

The numbers show none of the active 250 Supercross East riders have won in Houston, so no matter who steps on top of the box, there is going to be a fresh face. That is not surprising since most of the top competitors have not raced at this venue yet.

Michael Mosiman has a pair of top-fives there, however. His best finish was a second in the second 2021 race. Garrett Marchbanks scored a top-10 in his rookie season of 2019 in Houston.

In the 250 East division, Hunter Lawrence is one of the favorites to win the title now that Christian Craig has moved to 450s. Last year he had four wins and nine podiums, but failed to set a fast lap in a race.

The other 250 riders with 2022 wins this week are Mosiman, who earned his first Supercross win last year in San Diego, and Nate Thrasher, who became the fifth new class winner at Daytona.

Jeremy Martin will attempt to extend a record this week in Houston. His division leading SuperMotocross podiums number 65. He has 26 wins in the combined sessions, which ranks fourth all time.

Last Five Houston Winners

450s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Cooper Webb
2021, Race 2: Eli Tomac
2021, Race 1: Justin Barcia
2020, no race
2019, Cooper Webb
2018, Jason Anderson

250s
2022, no race
2021, Race 3: Colt Nichols
2021, Race 2: Jett Lawrence
2021, Race 1: Christian Craig
2020, no race
2019, Dylan Ferrandis
2018, Aaron Plessinger

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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