Friday, November 12, 2021

IMSA: 2021 Petit Le Mans Season Finale


As Class titles are on the line in what surely, No Don’t Call Me Shirley Jokes Here, Hya! Typical Fisticuffs, Donnybrook Firecracker racing will be Action Ah-Plenty at Road Atlanta!


This year’s 24th Motul Petit Le Mans has announced a robust 43 Car entry list, Hmm? Where have I heard that 43 number before, Psyche!


The race will Air live on both Big NBC and the fleeting NBC Sports TV channels this Saturday, Nov 13th, beginning on NBC at 9AM Pacific before shifting to NBCSN for the final seven hours at Noon, but as Always, Check your local listings!


There will be a total of 22 Prototypes divided by three classes, with the Top flight DPi (Daytona Prototype International) class fielding it’s normal six entries, plus a second AXR Caddy’.


The LMP2 Class will have five runners, including a single entry from United Autosport, who’ll also bring a single LMP3 entry to the Petit party, where a total of ten entrants will take the Green Flag.


Former IndyCar Driver Spencer Pigot will Moonlight for JR III Racing in the Prototypes bottom rung, i.e.; LMP3 alongside the team’s Garett Grist and Ari Valogh in the #30.


While keep your eye upon that #36 Andretti Autosport entry with Jarett Andretti, Australia’s Josh Burton, No relation to those RASSCAR’ Roundy round burton’s Yeehaw! And Oliver Askew at it’s controls.


The Tintops’, Err Saloon Boys and Girls will see GT Le Mans going out in style with a 50% increase with a total of six entries, with Corvette leading a two-by-two Coomb by Yah…


As once again, the GT LM Championship will be decided between the two Corvette C8.R’s, most likely going to Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia, albeit Tommy Milner and Nick Tandy, who’ve won the last three races in-a-row have an outside chance.


Rahal Letterman Lanigan will run it’s brace ‘O BMW M8 GTE coupes for their final time, along with a second #97 Weatherteck Racing Porsche 911RSR-19 wit it’s Drivers to be announced (TBA) in the category.


Per usual, the largest Class will be the GT Daytona (GTD) field with 15 cars ready to Rock ‘N Roll.


And although I’ll be rootin’ for multiple cars in this category, naturally my ‘Ol Homeboyz’ (Team Seattle) Heart of Racing’s No. 23 Aston Martin Vantage, the reigning GTD Sprint Cup Champions, it’s another name from the Evergreen State that caught my Attenzione.


As the IMSA Pre-Entry list says that the #12 Vasser Sullivan Racing (VSR) Lexus RC F GT3 is sponsored by Bayside Recycling, Huh? Since I know the name well from the ‘Ol Bayside Disposal Racing days of Bruce Leven and his iconic #86 Porsche 962’s and later those sleek black #86 Texaco/Havoline IndyCar’s with Dominic Dobson and Jeff Andretti at their keyboards.


But I’ll be pullin’ more for the No. 14 VSR Seester Lexus since it’s got some reigning Indy Lights Champion named Kyle Kirkwood as part of it’s Driver’s lineup.


Yet I suppose Mucho noise will be being made over some Indy 500 winner named Helio Castroneves as Meyer Shank Racing’s (MSR) #60 Acura ARX-05 Daytona Prototypes (DPi) third Driver. Uhm, Check that, Hulio’s actually replacing Olivier Pla and the car’s third endurance driver will be somebody known here at No Fenders as Monty’, JPM or once upon a time Mac Montoya! As Juan Pablo will reunite with his IMSA Prototypes Championship winning Co-Driver Dane Cameron and ex-Team Penske teammate for MSR.


Jimmie Johnson and other members of his All Star Cast will be back aboard the No. 48 Action Express Racing’s (AXR) second Part-time (Endurance Rounds Only) Cadillac DPi VR entry. As K-Squared’, aka Kamui Kobayashi and “Simone,” Err Pageantry’, nee Simon Pagenaud will join Johnson once again.


While it’s Seester AXR entry the No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadd-Oh-lacc’ will have Pipo Derani, Felipe Nasr and Mike “Ice Ice, Baby!” Conway as it’s Chauffeurs.


The Championship leading No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing’s Acura ARX-05 of Ricky Taylor and Felipe Albuquerque will be joined by Alexander Rossi.


While Cadillac has the most entrants with four to choose from three teams. As Scott Dixon will Moonlight aboard the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Renger Van der Zande and the departing Kevin Magnussen.


JDC Miller Motorsports “Mach 5, Mustang Sally,” Err #5 Mustang Sampling will have it’s winning Sebring 12 Hours “Band” back together when Sebastien Bourdais rejoins Tristan Vautier and Loic Duvall.


Whilst the Sleeper of the DPi Class will be the “Double Nickel” #55 Mazda RT24P entry with Oliver Jarvis, Harry Tincknell and Jonathan Bomarito possibly giving Mazda a Fond Farewell with another victory?


Apparently (Townsend) T-Bell’ won’t be doing his usual Double Dipping, since the No. 12 GTD entry has Franky Montecalvo, Zach Veach and Robert Megennis listed as it’s drivers. While it’d would be nice to “See” Thee Mayor ‘O Hinchtown’, aka James Hinchcliffe warming up with his potentially future GT Daytona team in this year’s field, although He’s always a great Addition to the Commentary Booth! Where may be A.J. Allmendinger will also be haunting, provided his RASSCAR Cup-lite’ duties Don’t get in the way?


And speaking of Haunting, I’ll probably primarily listen to the race via IMSA Radio and John Hindhaugh instead, since I haven’t Gory missed “Oh No Mr. Bill!” Err Kevin “The Wherewolf!” Lee for quite some time now, albeit I suppose I’ll wanna hear Keigh Diffey’s “Pipes” one last time this year.


Also, the Petit Le Mans season ending enduro’ serves as the fourth and final round of this year’s Michelin Endurance cup, where separate points will be awarded to All Classes at various points of the race; giving us another race inside the race…