IMSA Wire: Entry List Notebook – Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio

Entry List NotebookAcura Sports Car Challenge Presented by the TLX Type S
May 5, 2021By Mark RobinsonIMSA Wire ServiceMid-Ohio Sports Car CourseLexington, Ohio
May 14-16, 2021
Entry List (Click Here) Fast FactsRace Day/Time: Sunday, May 16 – 2:40 p.m. ET
NBCSN Coverage: LIVE – Flag-to-flag beginning at 2:30 p.m. (also available on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold and IMSA.com/TVLive (outside the U.S.)
IMSA.com/TVLive Live Qualifying Stream: Saturday, May 15 – 12:15 p.m.
IMSA Radio: All sessions live on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com; SiriusXM live race coverage begins May 16 at 2:30 p.m. (XM 392, Internet 992)
Circuit Type: 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course
Race Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Track Social Media: Twitter: @Mid_Ohio; Instagram: @officialmidohio;Facebook: @MidOhioSportsCarCourse
Event Hashtags: #IMSA, #IMSAatMO WeatherTech Championship Track Qualifying RecordsDPi:       Oliver Jarvis, Mazda DPi, 1:10.705 / 114.967 mph, May 2019LMP3:  none (class is new in the 2021 WeatherTech Championship)GTD:     Jack Hawksworth, Lexus RC F GT3, 1:19.317 / 102.484 mph, May 2018 2020 Acura Sports Car Challenge Presented by the TLX Type S Winners:DPi:       Helio Castroneves/Ricky Taylor, No. 7 Acura Team Penske Acura ARX-05 DPiLMP3:  none (class is new in the 2021 WeatherTech Championship)GTD:     Aaron Telitz/Jack Hawksworth, No. 14 AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 Storylines·        Back to Work: After a break of nearly eight weeks, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to racing this weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The extended gap in the schedule is due to the postponement of the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach events from April until September.·        Three Classes in Action: Three of the WeatherTech Championship’s categories will compete this weekend, led by the top-tier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) class. Also joining the action will be Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3), a new class for 2021, and the ultra-competitive GT Daytona (GTD) class. In all, 26 cars are entered.·        IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup Season Begins: Following endurance races at Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International Raceway to open the 2021 season, Mid-Ohio marks the opening round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup for GTD competitors. Drivers and teams will accumulate points in eight non-endurance races to determine the Sprint Cup champions. Aaron Telitz and Jack Hawksworth, co-drivers of the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3, are the defending Sprint Cup champions as well as the reigning GTD winners at Mid-Ohio.·        New Points Format: The WeatherTech Championship points structure has changed for 2021, with each race finishing position earning 10 times the points it received last season. Where a class winner took home 35 points in 2020, the reward is now 350 points. In addition, points are now distributed in qualifying, with 35 going to the pole winners in DPi and LMP3 and to the fastest car in the second GTD qualifying session (see below). Points descend from second downward through the qualifying results.·        Revised GTD Qualifying Format: The qualifying session to determine the race starting grid has changed for 2021, with the GT Daytona (GTD) class featuring two segments. The first will see a Silver- or Bronze-rated driver in each GTD car battling for 15 minutes to decide race starting position. Following a mandatory driver change, another 15-minute GTD session will take place to decide qualifying points for the class. The other two classes in action this weekend – Daytona Prototype international (DPi) and Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) will each have a single 15-minute session to determine both points and starting position. Who’s Hot?·        Parity Rules: The first two races of the season have resulted in a different winner in every class. In fact, of the cars racing at Mid-Ohio this weekend, only two – the No. 55 Mazda Motorsports DPi and the No. 74 Riley Motorsports LMP3, have reached the podium in both previous races in 2021. Cadillacs have won the first two DPi races of 2021 but haven’t reached victory lane at Mid-Ohio. The best gauge might be last season in DPi, which saw an Acura win the last three sprint races (2 hours, 40 minutes or less) on the schedule. Who’s Good Here?·        Acura’s Home Cookin’: The title sponsor of the race has taken overall and DPi honors at Mid-Ohio each of the last three years. Those all came, however, by the Acura Team Penske group that no longer competes. Filling the Acura DPi shoes this year are the No. 10 Konica Minolta driven by Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque, and the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian entry shared by Dane Cameron and Olivier Pla. Taylor was part of the winning Acura entry in 2018 and 2020; Cameron in 2019.·        Lexus and the Hawk: Just as Acura in DPi, Lexus has owned Mid-Ohio in GTD with a three-race win streak heading into race weekend. Jack Hawksworth teamed with Aaron Telitz to win in a Vasser Sullivan Lexus last year. Hawksworth also owns the GTD qualifying track record set in a Lexus in 2018.·        Auberlen, Auberlen, Auberlen: The guy with the most IMSA wins all-time, Bill Auberlen is also the active leader in Mid-Ohio victories with four. He’s hungry for another, though, since he hasn’t had one since 2013.·        Porsche of course-uh: The German manufacturer has amassed 24 class wins at Mid-Ohio, dating to the first IMSA event on the circuit in 2000. Porsche has three entries in the GT Daytona (GTD) class this year. BMW is a distant second of the manufacturers participating this year with eight Mid-Ohio victories.
Previous Acura Sports Car Challenge Presented by the TLX Type S Winners in 2021 Field (11)Bill Auberlen (4) – GT – 2004, 2010, 2012, 2013Jack Hawksworth (2) – GTD – 2019, 2020Andy Lally (2) – SRPII – 2001; GT – 2007Ricky Taylor (2) – P – 2018; DPi – 2020Laurens Vanthoor (2) – GTLM – 2018, 2019Joao Barbosa (1) – DP – 2013Dane Cameron (1) – DPi – 2019Richard Heistand (1) – GTD – 2019Patrick Long (1) – GT2 – 2009Bryan Sellers (1) – GT – 2011Aaron Telitz (1) – GTD – 2020 Previous Acura Sports Car Challenge Presented by the TLX Type S Pole Winners in 2021 Field (8)Patrick Long (2) – LMGT2 – 2006; DP – 2006Bill Auberlen (1) – GT – 2004Dane Cameron (1) – DPi – 2020Jack Hawksworth (1) – GTD – 2018Richard Heistand (1) – GTD – 2019Oliver Jarvis (1) – DPi – 2019Andy Lally (1) – SRPII – 2001Aaron Telitz (1) – GTD – 2020 Previous Acura Sports Car Challenge Presented by the TLX Type S Winning Teams in 2021 Field (5)Chip Ganassi Racing (3) – DP – 2004, 2009, 2010Turner Motorsport (3) – GT – 2010, 2012, 2013Archangel (2) – SRII – 2000; SRPII – 2001Vasser Sullivan (2) – GTD – 2019, 2020Action Express Racing (1) – DP – 2013 Previous Acura Sports Car Challenge Presented by the TLX Type S Winning Manufacturers in 2021 Field (6)Porsche – 24BMW – 8Lexus – 6Acura – 5Audi – 5Mazda – 1

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