The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to live, broadcast television this Saturday at 3 p.m. ET as FOX will have flag-to-flag coverage of the IMSA WeatherTech Northeast Grand Prix from Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
The two-hour, 40-minute race will feature the WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM), GT Daytona (GTD) and Prototype Challenge (PC) battling wheel-to-wheel for class and overall honors on the fast-paced, park-like 1.5-mile circuit.
“With more than 30 cars on a 1.5-mile racetrack, we expect no shortage of action and excitement for fans tuning into the FOX telecast of the IMSA WeatherTech Northeast Grand Prix,” said David Pettit, IMSA vice president, marketing.
“We’ve got outstanding championship battles among automotive manufacturers and the world’s best sports car racing teams and drivers. We expect this FOX Network telecast will further expose our sport to a wider audience and they will be pleased by what they see.”
Leading the charge in the GTLM class is the stalwart factory-backed Corvette Racing team, with co-drivers Tommy Milner and Oliver Gavin atop the class point standings buoyed by season-opening victories in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.
The team is pursuing its 100th victory in sports car racing, but faces stiff competition in the world’s most competitive GT class.
Ford Chip Ganassi Racing carries a three-race WeatherTech Championship winning streak by co-drivers Richard Westbrook and Connecticut-resident Ryan Briscoe in the team’s No. 67 Ford GT.
The team’s other car, the No. 66, is shared by Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller, who won the GT class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month. The factory-supported class also includes premier programs from Porsche, Ferrari and BMW.
In the GTD class, Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen – who picked up her first WeatherTech Championship victory at Sebring in March and added a second earlier this month in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen – lead the championship standings as co-drivers of the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3.
The GTD class features 15 entries and includes awe-inspiring race cars from Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, Dodge, BMW and Ferrari.
The PC class is a showcase for team and driver skill, as each team fields a similar, open-cockpit Prototype race car powered by Chevrolet V8 engines and riding on Continental tires.
Tom Kimber-Smith – a champion of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans, who makes his home in nearby Pleasant Valley, New York – leads the PC championship standings alongside his PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports co-driver, Robert Alon.
“IMSA puts on a great show week in and week out, and we are thrilled to be able to offer the Lime Rock event Saturday on FOX,” said Bill Wanger, FOX Sports EVP of Programming, Live Operations and Research.
“FOX Sports continues to make motor sports a cornerstone of its programming lineup, and positioning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in front of our largest possible viewing audience reaffirms that commitment.”
The three-hour FOX telecast will feature Greg Creamer and Calvin Fish calling the action from the booth, with Brian Till and Justin Bell reporting from pit lane.