Since the latest round of the championship at VIR at the end of August, there has been plenty of news and announcements regarding teams’ decisions for next season, and for the championship into next year and beyond.
Here’s a recap:
Michelin to become IMSA’s official tyre supplier from 2019
One of the most prominent announcements, made earlier this week, was that Michelin would be the official tyre supplier for the series from 2019 onwards.
While GTLM will remain open to a choice of tyre manufacturers, the Prototype and GTD classes will now be running Michelin tyres, having previously used Continental Tire rubber.
Here’s what IMSA president Scott Atherton had to say about the new, multi-year deal: “The significance of this expanded partnership with Michelin, one of the world’s most recognized premium brands, cannot be overstated.
“IMSA has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Michelin, and we are proud to confirm this long-term agreement.”
While Atherton was proud to announce the deal, he praised Continental Tire for their work in recent years: “We are extremely grateful for the role Continental Tire played in helping to grow our racing platforms throughout our partnership dating back to 2010.”
CORE Autosport switches to Prototype with ORECA in 2018
Another announcement made earlier this week was that five-time Prototype Challenge champions, CORE Autosport, would make the switch from PC to P next season.
The team will be running an ORECA 07 LMP2 car and with drivers Jon Bennett and Colin Braun behind the wheel.
After six seasons of running in the PC category alongside a campaign in GTD this season, driver and team owner Jon Bennett announced the switch after some careful consideration, among which the PC class not continuing next season must have been a factor.
He said: “Our start at CORE was with prototypes in 2010. It feels good to get back to our roots and progressing as a team.
“We’ve spent the past season watching with interest how the competition and budgets would shake out in the re-vamped Prototype category.
“We are encouraged to see the growth and competitiveness in this premier class and look forward to our debut at the 2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona.”
Performance Tech Motorsports finalising switch to Prototype
The CORE Autosport annoucement came after fellow PC runners Performance Tech Motorsports also seemed set to make the switch to Prototypes for next year, with team owner Brent O’Niell aiming to run a Gibson-powered Ligier JS P217 chassis next season.
He told RACER: “We’re working on it, and it’s a big jump for everybody. We’re hoping to announce something in the next couple of weeks.”
This weekend’s Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix:
With practice sessions completed for the weekend and qualifying to follow shortly, it was Ryan Dalziel’s ESM Nissan DPi who topped the time sheets in practice two yesterday, with Wayne Taylor Racing quickest in final practice.
In GTLM, Toni Vilander’s Ferrari clocked the quickest time of the practice on the back of a competitive showing for Risi Competizione at VIR last time out.
Look out for more updates this evening, with a qualifying report coming soon.
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