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Michelin Pilot Challenge

49 Entries for Pilot Challenge Season-Opener

Bumper field for four-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge round at Daytona…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

A total of 49 cars are entered for next weekend’s BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona, in the season-opener for the new-look IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.

The bumper grid for the four-hour enduro sees 35 GT4-spec cars and a class-high 14 TCR entries, including the series debuts of Hyundai, Honda and Alfa Romeo.

The entry list, released on Wednesday by IMSA, marks a nine-car increase from the Roar Before the Rolex 24 pre-season test, which was not mandatory for Pilot Challenge teams.

Among the additions in GS include a second eEuroparts Audi R8 LMS GT4 for Gunnar Jeannette and 2018 TCR runner-up Rodrigo Sales, a PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 with James Pesek, Jade Buford and Patrick Gallagher and Paul Holton and Kuno Wittmer in Compass Racing’s McLaren 570S GT4.

BimmerWorld’s previously announced second BMW M4 GT4 for Aurora Staus and Kaz Grala is also now listed, along with Automatic Racing’s all-new Aston Martin Vantage GT4

The TCR class also expands from the Roar, with the two recently unveiled Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCRs set for its competition debuts. 

A second Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR will be on the grid for Alex Popow and Alex Papadopulos, along with the newly announced FastMD Audi team.

LA Honda World Racing, meanwhile, expands to a three-car operation, despite its two Honda Civic Type-Rs being thrown out of the Roar due to a minimum weight violation. 

Porsche Slowed in Post-Roar Balance of Performance

The new Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which set the pace at the official pre-season test, has received a  30 kg weight addition following the issuing of the event’s Balance of Performance on Wednesday.

Among the other changes in GS include a 2.0 mm larger air restrictor for the Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R, as well as fuel capacity increases for the majority of the field. 

The new-for-2019 Aston Martin GT4, which Automatic will debut, will compete with a minimum weight of 1490 kg and an ECU calibration that’s been approved by IMSA.

Hyundai’s new TCR car, which also wasn’t present at the test, has also been given its initial BoP, weighing in at 1325 kg and with an engine map consistent of the previous-generation i30N model by WSC.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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