A total of 20 cars are set to take part in next weekend’s Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring, in a Challenge-only field with the absence of GT3 entries.
The entry list for the Nov. 9-11 event was released on Wednesday, comprised of 12 LMP3, five GT4 and three TCR entries.
While initially announced to feature GT3 machinery, the cars will not participate based on “competitor feedback” according to IMSA.
Sportscar365 understands that several GT Daytona class teams had expressed interest in the event but with 2019-spec cars, which the sanctioning body had not initially entertained due to potential inconsistencies with unhomologated machinery.
It’s believed that Acura, Porsche, Audi and Lamborghini had all inquired about running its new-generation cars, with Audi even air-freighting a R8 LMS GT3 Evo to the U.S. that was tabbed to be run by Land Motorsport.
The absence of GT3 cars has resulted in LMP3 taking center stage in the four-hour race, with a grid predominately made up of Ligier JS P3 Nissans.
Atlantic Racing Team, with its ADESS 03 Nissan, is the only non-Ligier entered.
Among the drivers set to take part in the junior prototype ranks include Katherine Legge (Polestar Motor Racing Ligier), Guy Cosmo (JDC Motorsports Ligier) and Bruno Junqueira (Performance Tech Ligier).
IMSA Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama champion Zach Robichon and fellow Canadian Roman DeAngelis, meanwhile, are listed in separate ANSA Motorsports Ligiers.
The five-car GT4 class includes entries from Roush Performance / KohR Motorsports (Ford Mustang GT4), GMG Racing (Audi R8 LMS GT4), NolaSport (Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR) and Carbahm Motorsports (Audi).
TCR, meanwhile, features Audi RS 3 LMS TCR cars entered by JDC-Miller and Mark Motors, along with Rumcastle’s Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
The event will mark the first race on Michelin tires, looking ahead to 2019 when the French tire giant becomes the Official Tire of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and exclusive tire partners for the Michelin Pilot Challenge and IMSA Prototype Challenge.
“The Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore is really the kickoff for Michelin as the Official Tire of IMSA,” said Chris Baker, director of motorsport, Michelin North America.
“We look forward to welcoming and working with our new Challenge class teams and drivers at the Encore event.”