Next weekend’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season opener at Daytona is set to see a near-record grid in the GS class, with 31 GT4-spec cars entered for the BMW Endurance Challenge.
The four-hour round will also feature the debut of the new-for-2018 TCR class, as well as the final expected outing for ST class machinery on the Daytona high banks.
ENTRY LIST: CTSC Daytona
Following a 28-car entry at the Roar Before the 24, an additional four cars have been added to the GS class since the pre-season test.
Winward Racing/HTP Motorport has confirmed a third Mercedes-AMG GT4 entry, with Murillo Racing doubling its GS class effort with the German manufacturer and new entries for Stephen Cameron Racing and the Eric Bachelart-led Quest/Ramsey Racing squad.
It brings the total of Mercedes GT4s to a class-high ten entries.
GMG Racing has also added a third Audi R8 LMS GT4 to the mix, with Ashley Freiberg so far the only listed driver, while Classic BMW has opted to enter only a single BMW M4 GT4 for the race after having two cars at the Roar.
Mercedes, Audi and BMW will all make its GT4 debuts in top-level North American competition next weekend.
In all, seven GT4 manufacturers will be represented on the grid in Daytona, with seven Ford Mustang GT4s entered alongside four Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MRs, two McLaren 570S GT4s and a pair of Aston Martin Vantage GT4s.
The TCR class sees a seven-car entry, following the addition of a third Audi RS 3 LMS for Compass Racing but the withdrawal of JDC-Miller Motorsports’ Audi following Michael Johnson’s heavy accident at the test that left Johnson with a broken leg.
Only five cars, meanwhile, are listed in ST, three being MINI JCW entries, alongside a Porsche Cayman from Bodymotion Racing and BimmerWorld’s BMW 328i.
The most notable absence is Freedom Autosport and Mazda, which are not currently entered for the season-opener.
Aston, Mercedes, BMW Get BoP Adjustments
A handful of GT4 cars have been handed Balance of Performance adjustments since the Roar.
It includes 15kg minimum weight increases for both the Aston Martin and BMW, while the Mercedes is now required to run in ECU “Map 1” as an IMSA revision.
Additionally, fuel capacity adjustments have been made to the Audi (+5 liters), BMW (+7 liters) and Mercedes (+6 liters) GT4 cars and associated refueling restrictor changes.
All three IMSA-approved TCR models have also been given fuel increases of 6 liters each.