Preparations Continue For Number Of Teams In Advance Of IMSA Michelin SportsCar Encore
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The season may be over for some drivers and teams across IMSA’s various series, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any more on-track action before the calendar flips to 2019.

Preparations continue for several teams for the inaugural IMSA Michelin SportsCar Encore at Sebring International Raceway on Nov. 9-11, 2018. After two full days of practice and qualifying on the 3.74-mile, 17-turn track, the featured event takes place on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 12 p.m. with a four-hour race featuring LMP3, GT3, GT4 and TCR race cars.

Drivers and teams will be competing for a $10,000 winner’s prize and a $5,000 Michelin tire credit to apply for the 2019 season. It is also an opportunity for teams to get experience on the new-for-2019 Michelin tires.

One of those such teams is the South Florida-based P1 Motorsports, who has entered an LMP3 car for the event.

“We have a lot of information already on the tires, we were pretty much the first team to have the car in America dating back a couple of years now,” said P1 Motorsports team manager Alberto Peña. “It's still convenient for us to go out and just to get a one up on the tires and see for next year.”

At the IMSA Michelin SportsCar Encore, teams are allowed a minimum of two and a maximum of three drivers per car. Platinum-rated drivers are prohibited, and each car may have a maximum of one gold-rated driver, which cannot participate in qualifying.

The event is an unprecedented opportunity for drivers to experience IMSA in a low-pressure setting at one of North America’s iconic road courses. It’s opportunities like that, Peña believes, that make it so attractive.

“There's no replacement for seat time,” he said. “Any time we don't have to spend a lot of money to run a track, and still have a good time, it is always a plus. So that's what our driver’s really looking forward to more than anything. Just going out there and having a good time.”

In addition to the LMP3 cars that make up the IMSA Prototype Challenge, other cars eligible to compete include GT3 cars, which are the basis for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD class, GT4 cars that compete in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS class, and TCR cars that debuted in the Continental Tire Challenge in 2018.

Tickets will be sold at the gate of Sebring International Raceway each day, and military veterans will be admitted free on Sunday (Veteran’s Day) with proper ID. Following Saturday’s on-track action, there will be a concert at 7 p.m. featuring one of country music’s top artists Love and Theft along with the Dairy Daughters.