Motorsport News

IMSA at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

Renger van der Zande leads both BMW M Hybrid V8s during the Motul Course de Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, 5/14/2023 (Photo: Courtesy of IMSA)

This weekend is shaping up to be an interesting affair at a revamped WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Since last year, the 2.238-mile road course has been completely repaved. The pedestrian bridge at the start-finish line has also been replaced. The race weekend promises some of the fastest laps ever turned by sports cars at the 67-year-old facility.

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Motul Course de Monterey

For Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship sprint race, there are 34 teams entered in three classes. Those classes are GTP, GTD Pro and GTD.

In the GTP class, there are once again 10 cars entered. There is one TBD on the list. That is the second seat in Proton Competition’s Porsche. At Long Beach, that seat was taken by Mike Rockenfeller. Rockenfeller is back in his normal seat with Ford Multimatic Motorsports.

On Tuesday, reported that the seat will be filled by Bent Viscaal, who will be making his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut. Viscaal is currently full-time in the European Le Mans Series for Proton Competition in the LMP2 Pro-Am class. Prior to switching to sports cars, he reached Formula 2, where he finished 14th in points for Trident in 2021.

The GTD Pro class has nine entries, down from 12 at Sebring. Teams that are not entered include both of the Iron Lynx Lamborghinis and the Risi Competizione Ferrari. These teams are running only the Michelin Endurance Cup races.

Alex Riberas was originally announced as a full-time driver in The Heart of Racing’s No. 23. However, the FIA World Endurance Championship is racing this weekend in Belgium. The WEC race is taking priority for him, so he’s out of the car in favor of Mario Farnbacher.

At VasserSullivan, Jack Hawksworth and Ben Barnicoat are back together in the No. 14 Lexus. For Long Beach, which the GTD Pro class did not participate, the drivers were split into separate GTD entries. Barnicoat won the GTD class with Parker Thompson.

There are 15 teams entered in the GTD class, down from 17 at Long Beach. Teams that are not entered are VasserSullivan’s race-winning No. 89 Lexus and Flying Lizard Motorsports’ No. 28 Aston Martin. Both cars were considered to be one-off entries.

With the WEC racing Saturday at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, this is the second straight GTD race with a conflict. As a result, Spencer Pumpelly will remain in the No. 27 Aston Martin alongside Roman DeAngelis.


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