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ACURA SPORTS CAR CHALLENGE AT MID OHIO-ENTRY LIST NOTEBOOK

The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will make its first visit to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, marking IMSA’s first appearance at the circuit since a GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series event in 2013, for the two-hour and 40-minute Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio on Sunday, May 6.

The race features a 35-car entry list across three WeatherTech Championship classes, Prototype (P) with 14 entries, GT Le Mans (GTLM) with eight, and GT Daytona (GTD) – which returns to action after sitting out last month’s BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach – with 13 entries.

The provisional WeatherTech Championship entry list can be viewed here.

*Notes:

– Of the 70 drivers on the entry list, 16 of them have won at least one IMSA race at Mid-Ohio, despite a five-year gap since the last IMSA race at the venue. Each of the three class-leading cars in the WeatherTech Championship point standings has one driver in the lineup with a previous Mid-Ohio win.

– The Prototype class-leading No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R lineup includes Joao Barbosa, who won the last IMSA (GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series) race at Mid-Ohio in 2013 in an Action Express Racing Corvette DP. Barbosa and his current No. 5 co-driver, Filipe Albuquerque, have won two of this season’s first three races, the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona in January and at Long Beach earlier this month.

– In the GTLM class, the points-leading No. 67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT includes driver Richard Westbrook, who won in the GRAND-AM DP class and overall at Mid-Ohio in 2012 in a Spirit of Daytona Racing Corvette DP. Westbrook and his No. 67 co-driver Ryan Briscoe won in GTLM at Daytona this year and earned their second podium result of the season with a second-place result in Long Beach.

– The GTD points-leading No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 includes driver Bryan Sellers, who took an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) GT class win in 2011. So far in 2018, Sellers and co-driver Madison Snow finished third at Daytona and won the GTD class in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts last month. And while he hasn’t won at Mid-Ohio yet, Snow’s mother and father, Melanie and Martin Snow, won the ALMS Challenge class at the track in 2009.

– No. 4 Corvette Racing driver Oliver Gavin and No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 driver Bill Auberlen are the winningest active IMSA drivers at Mid-Ohio with four wins each.

– Gavin is looking for his second consecutive WeatherTech Championship victory after winning at Long Beach alongside No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C7.R driver Tommy Milner earlier this month. Milner also owns one previous Mid-Ohio victory, which came with Gavin in the ALMS GT class in 2012.

– After racing in the GTLM class the past several years with BMW Team RLL, Auberlen is returning to a team with which he’s had considerable success, Turner Motorsport, which fields the No. 96 BMW in the GTD class. Auberlen – who will co-drive at Mid-Ohio with 2017 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport (GS) champion Dillon Machavern – has earned three of his four Mid-Ohio wins with the Turner team, taking GRAND-AM GT class wins in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Machavern is another driver with an IMSA race-winning parent at Mid-Ohio. His father, Dave Machavern, won in the GRAND-AM GTS class in 2003.

– Among drivers in the Prototype class, Johannes van Overbeek has the most previous wins at Mid-Ohio with three, the most recent coming in the ALMS GT2 class in 2007. Van Overbeek and his No. 22 Tequila Patrón ESM co-driver, Pipo Derani, are looking for their second victory of the 2018 season after winning the Prototype class and overall at Sebring last month. The Sebring win was the second for both drivers.

– Another driver with three previous IMSA wins at Mid-Ohio is Wolf Henzler. The German driver will make his first WeatherTech Championship start since the 2017 event at Circuit of The Americas, sharing the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R with Michael Schein in the GTD class. Henzler’s most recent Mid-Ohio win came alongside Sellers in a Team Falken Tire Porsche in the ALMS GT class in 2011.

– Corvette Racing is the winningest active IMSA team at Mid-Ohio with a total of eight victories. Three of the four drivers in the team’s current lineup, Gavin, Milner and No. 3 Corvette driver Jan Magnussen, have previous Mid-Ohio wins. Magnussen will be looking for his third Mid-Ohio victory alongside co-driver Antonio Garcia, who has yet to win at the venue.

– Four of the eight cars in the GTLM class have drivers with previous Mid-Ohio victories, including the aforementioned No. 67 Ford GT and the Nos. 3 and 4 Corvette. Both of the No. 66 Ford GT co-drivers also have won previously at the venue. Dirk Mueller won the ALMS GT2 class in 2008, while Joey Hand won the GRAND-AM GT class in 2010 alongside Auberlen. Hand also managed to avoid injury in a spectacular, end-over-end crash in the 2006 GRAND-AM race at Mid-Ohio.

– Porsche is the winningest manufacturer at Mid-Ohio with 22 victories since 2000, leading its next-closest competitor, Chevrolet, by eight victories. Ten of the 13 participating manufacturers in this year’s race have won previously at Mid-Ohio.

Previous Mid-Ohio Race-Winning Drivers in 2018 Field (16)
Oliver Gavin – (4) GRAND-AM SRP/Overall – 2001 ALMS GT1 – 2006, 2007, ALMS GT – 2012
Bill Auberlen – (4) GRAND-AM GT – 2004, 2010, 2012, 2013
Johannes van Overbeek (3) ALMS GT – 2004, ALMS GT2 – 2006, 2007
Wolf Henzler – (3) ALMS GT2 – 2006, GRAND-AM GT – 2006, ALMS GT – 2011
Jan Magnussen – (2) ALMS LMP900/Overall – 2001, ALMS GT1 – 2008
Andy Lally – (2) GRAND-AM SRPII – 2001, GRAND-AM GT – 2007
Jeroen Bleekemolen – (2) ALMS GTC – 2010, 2012
Justin Marks – (1) GRAND-AM GT – 2004
Dirk Mueller – (1) ALMS GT2 – 2008
Patrick Long – (1) ALMS GT2 – 2009
Joey Hand – (1) GRAND-AM GT – 2010
Ryan Dalziel – (1) GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2011
Bryan Sellers – (1) ALMS GT – 2011
Tommy Milner – (1) ALMS GT – 2012
Richard Westbrook – (1) GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2012
Joao Barbosa (1) GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2013

Previous Mid-Ohio Pole Winners in 2018 Field (10)
Oliver Gavin – (3) ALMS GTS – 2004, ALMS GT1 – 2005, 2007
Patrick Long – (2) GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2006, ALMS GT2 – 2006
Jordan Taylor – (2) GRAND-AM GT – 2010, GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2013
John Edwards – (2) GRAND-AM GT – 2012, 2013
Andy Lally – (1) GRAND-AM SRPII – 2001
Bill Auberlen – (1) GRAND-AM GT – 2004
Justin Marks – (1) GRAND-AM GT – 2005
Lawson Aschenbach – (1) GRAND-AM GT – 2008
Jeroen Bleekemolen – (1) ALMS GTC – 2010
Joey Hand – (1) ALMS GT – 2011

Previous Mid-Ohio Race-Winning Teams in 2018 Field (7)
Corvette Racing – (8) ALMS GTS – 2001, 2002, 2004; ALMS GT1 – 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008; ALMS GT – 2012
Acura Team Penske – (3) ALMS LMP2/Overall – 2006, 2007; ALMS LMP2 – 2008
Chip Ganassi Racing – (3) GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2004, 2009, 2010
Turner Motorsport – (3) GRAND-AM GT – 2010, 2012, 2013
AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports – (1) ALMS PC – 2012
Action Express Racing – (1) GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2013
Spirit of Daytona Racing – (2) GRAND-AM AGT – 2000, GRAND-AM DP/Overall – 2012

Previous Mid-Ohio Race-Winning Manufacturers in 2018 Field (Since 2000)
Porsche – 22
Chevrolet – 14
BMW – 8
Audi – 5
Lexus – 3
Mazda – 3
Acura – 2
Ferrari – 2
Ford – 2
Nissan – 2

Source. IMSA

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