Thursday, October 10, 2019

IMSA: Time for the 2019 Petit Le Mans Season Finale

As how many miles have they covered since this past January's Rolex 24?

This weekend features the 22nd running of the Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, for which I'm planning on tuning into on Ye 'Ol Intrawoods', to catch thou wonderful tones of Der Heindenmeier' & Company on IMSA Radio, led by John Hindhaugh, with Jeremy Shaw and Shea Adam calling thou action!

Or Y'all can tune into the race Saturday, October 12th on NBC, beginning at 9AM Pacific with Leigh Diffey, Calvin Fish and A.J. Allmendinger in the Booth.


As the Sports Car race caps the season's long celebrations of IMSA's 50th Anniversary, which has seen several competitors running celebratory liveries. With the two GT Le Mans Porsche's doing so this weekend in Retro Coca Cola paint schemes fashioned after the late Bob Akin's Porsche 962. Whilst I've seen one of his previous Nasty 935 Panzerwagon in thou Flesh at a long ago Monterey Historics event.

As I'm doing my Petit preview a Wee Bitamyte' differently this time round. Focusing upon the IndyCar Teams participants whom also dabble in SportsCarland...

(DPi) Prototypes
As I've previously eluded to here upon No Fenders, Acura leads the way for the first time in series history, already claiming the Manufacturer's title at Laguna Seca I believe. While it's No. 6 entry is poised to claim the Drivers title.

Acura Team Penske
Acura ARX-05
#6) Juan Pablo Montoya, Dane Cameron  and Simon Pagenaud
#7) Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Graham Rahal

Obviously, SNAP! (Where Are Yuhs Jeffie?( the majority of IndyCar Fans tuning in will be paying Attenzione to thou Team Penske boyz' - featuring three Indianapolis 500 winners behind the controls.

As JPM, "Monty" or Juan Pablo Montoya and season Long team-mate Dane Cameron lead the Drivers Championship by 12-points: 274-262 over the reigning Daytona Prototype International (DPi) Champions Felipe Nasr and Pipo Derani in the rival #31 Whelen Engineering  Caddy'. (Cadillac DPI VR) With HULIO' and Ricky Taylor third overall with 254 points.

As hopefully Montoya can redeem himself by not putting a wheel wrong a la his 2015 IndyCar Championship Blunder - en route to claiming the title for El Capitano, nee Roger Penske.

Reigning Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud will fill out the No. 6's Drivers trio, while Graham Rahal will substitute for Alexander Rossi in the Seester' #7 Acura.

As Rossi with his Good Buddy Thee Mayor 'O Hinchtown' (James Hinchcliffe) will be Down Under contesting their first Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercars race. Yeah, it'll always be V8 Supercars to Mwah! In a Wildcard entry for Walkinshaw Andretti United in a (GM) Holden Commodore.

While ironically, Roger Penske also boasts a V8 Supercars Team, known as DJR Team Penske, running Ford Mustang's. With his lead driver Scott McLaughlin having won a record 17 races this year; YEEHAW!

Meanwhile, another ex-IndyCar Driver known in Nofendersville as "Symona-Symona," (Simona de Silvestro( currently races the #78 Kelly Racing Nissan Altima...

Juncos Racing
Cadillac DPI VR
#50) Rene Binder, Will Owen and Spencer Pigot

The 'lil Team from Indianapolis that Could! Has spent it's time since the Mosport round rebuilding its heavily Damaged Cadd-Oh-lacc', which definitely took a licking Up North Eh!

As the team's just announced recently that IndyCar Driver Spencer Pigot will round out Thar Driver's line-up at Road Atlanta. As Spencer's No Stranger to Juncos, having won multiple Road to Indy Championships with them.

GT Le Mans (GTLM)
Porsche has already locked-up the Manufacturer's Crown, and is basically locked into an intra-team scrum for the Drivers Championship. Although think I've read Somewheres' that the #912 tandem of Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor simply need to finish eighth in class to claim the title.

##24) John Edwards, Jesse Krohn and Chaz Mostert
#25) Connor De Phillippi, Philipp Eng and Tom Blomqvist

The Good news is that BMW will return next season with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. The Bad news is that the front engine M8's haven't been ultra competitive this year.

As I've taken my best guess at who'll be piloting Thar two GTLM entries at Road Atlanta. And have Zero clue over whether or not we'll see IndyCar phenom Colton Herta Moonlighting once again this weekend? After all, the teenager grabbed a Rolex wristwatch first time out at Daytona this past January.

Chip Ganassi Racing
Ford GT
#66) Joey Hand, Dirk Muller and Sebastian Bourdais
#67) Ryan Briscoe, Richard Westbrook and Scott Dixon

Once again, ARSE-Sumin' thou Cheepster', nee Chip Ganassi will run his typical Endurance events line-up in what sadly, is the final outing for the iconic Ford GT; BOO, HISS!

As No idea if Ganassi will return to Sports Car competition next year? But hey, why not see Chip fielding a Brace 'O rival GTLM Spec Ferrari's? Or a Big Boyz' DPi entry? Who knows what 'Ol Cheep' will do?

GT Daytona (GTD)
While Meyer Shank Racing's #86 duo of SuperMario' and "Clark Kent" lost the series inaugural Sprint Cup Championship to them Lumberjack Fellahs from Up North Eh! Oh KanaDuh's FAF Motorsports No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 rivals Zachery Robichon and Scott Hargrove. Yet The #86 MSR Duo most likely will win the War Saturday at Hotlanta'.

AIM Vasser Sullivan
Lexus RC F GT3
#12) Townsend Bell, Frankie Montecalvo and Chase Parker
#14) Jack Hawksworth, Richard Heistand and Aaron Telitz

Don't have anything clever to say 'bout the AIM Vasser Sullivan Boyz', other than Toyota's probably happy with the lack of media scrutiny following 'Ol MEATHEADZ', aka Paul Gentilozzi, eh?

And will NBC have T-Bell' doing commentary from the Team's Pit-box once again? While Bloody Union Jack' Hawksworth's gotta be feeling happy to be running Sports Cars vs. the torturous season his past employer A.J. Foyt Enterprises just endured again, this year...

Meyer Shank Racing
Acura NSX GT3 Evo
#57) Katherine Legge, Cristina Nielsen and Ana Beatriz
#86) Mario Farnbacher, Trent Hindman and Justin Marks

Taking a total Flyer upon the No. 57 Drivers roll, other than knowing for certain that Thy Leggy Juan', aka Katherine Legge will be driving. As this All Femme Fatale entry has had a revolving cast 'O females at its keyboard. And I'm guessing that the Dane', aka Cristina who drove at Laguna Seca will return, whilst speculating upon ex-IndyCar Driver Beatriz.

Meanwhile, tend to recall that IMSA Radio's Jeremy Shaw claimed that the MSR's #86 Dynamic Duo of Farnbacher & Hindman held a commanding 31-point lead over Thar nearest rival for GTD Class Honours in the Drivers Championship following Laguna Seca. And theoretically will simply need to motor home to claim this title.

According to the IMSA Standings, Farnbacher & Hindman lead Zach Robichon 264-232, basically a race win ahead - with Turner Motorsports BMW M6 GT3 tandem of 'Ol Billy "Bill Power"" Auberlen and Co-driver Robby Foley in third with 227 markers apiece...