IMSA Spotlight: Kenton Koch
Driver: No. 8 P1 Motorsports Ligier JS P3
How has your first season competing in IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda gone based on your expectations?
“I didn’t know what to expect but I definitely expected to be up there in the battle and it’s been nice to find myself in the battle for race wins. So far we have the most race wins and that’s definitely a pro.
“I’m really happy about that. With P1, they are a very young team and they have reached maturity quite quickly, to be honest. The team has put something together that’s pretty unbelievable in a short amount of time.”
What is your mentality headed into the final two races?
“We’ve just got to go out and win. At this point, it’s going to take a miracle to win the championship. Colin [Thompson] would basically have to not start one of the races for me to have a shot. Obviously that’s not always likely.
“We can try to hope for a championship but all we’re hoping for is to try to beat the Norma at track where I think it’s going to be very fast.
“We’ve got some tricks up our sleeve and I think we can get the car a little bit better, find some straight-line speed compared to the Norma, but we’ll see how it goes when we get there.”
Has you success in the Prototype Challenge series helped open up opportunities for next year?
“It’s been good for just networking opportunities and staying current. As any race driver knows, it’s best to always be in a seat and even though I did LMPC last year and this year is technically a step down from that, I don’t think of it as a step down. I consider it another option and moving forward.
“I’m pretty happy about being current and other opportunities have brought themselves to light for next year.
“It’s nice to be able to contact teams and they know who you are and what you’ve done rather than having to explain it to them. If you have to explain it to them, good luck! In short, this year has definitely helped for next year.”
IMSA recently announced some changes to the format for Prototype Challenge starting next year. What are your thoughts on the future of the series?
“It’s definitely a step in the right direction. The first year is going to be interesting to see what happens but I can tell right now that there’s going to be more people running next year than there was this year just because of the format change.
“I think with it being a two-driver format it’s going to be great. I hope that all of the pre-race sessions will be longer too to accommodate two drivers, and maybe test days would be available to help with that as well.
“As long as they do all the right things, everyone is going to be really happy just because of the price point for the track time you get. I think it’s a way better value proposition than this year. It will be cool to see at Daytona what’s going to happen.”
What do you do to stay busy in the long gaps between races on the schedule?
“I do driver coach quite a lot with other clients of mine. I keep busy by trying to stay fit, driver coaching, and having a good time with my fiance. We’re going to be married in November.
“It’s going to be a busy time. It feels like I’m never not busy! This year has been pretty crazy and I’ve been very thankful to have been busy with driver coaching and driving, and next year is going to be more of the same.”