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

Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing
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Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.