***This weekend’s Acura Sports Car Challenge features an atypical weekend schedule for IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competitors, with an opening practice session having been held Friday evening followed by a single practice session on Saturday morning in the only track action of the day for the series.
***Qualifying is set for 8 a.m. EDT on Sunday prior to two-hour and 40-minute race in the afternoon.
***A total of 6,000 fans have been permitted on-site this weekend in the second spectator event of the season for Mid-Ohio following the NTT IndyCar Series double-header earlier this month. As has been the case with other IMSA events this year, paddock access is not allowed.
***BMW Team RLL’s John Edwards, Connor De Phillippi, Bruno Spengler and Jesse Krohn have been keeping a close eye on this weekend’s Nürburgring 24 from afar, a race they were all slated to take part in prior to the rescheduled dates for both the German endurance classic and the Mid-Ohio IMSA round, which were both originally scheduled on different weekends in May.
***Both BMW and Porsche are understood to have pressured IMSA to change the Mid-Ohio date but were unsuccessful.
***The No. 30 Team Hardpoint Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo and No. 85 JDC-Miller Motorsports Cadillac DPi-V.R are sporting new liveries this weekend, with both cars moving to a grey-color base. The Hardpoint entry turned its first laps of the weekend in Saturday’s practice session after electrical issues on Friday.
***MRS GT Racing could make its WeatherTech Championship debut in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, with the German squad looking to run its BMW M6 GT3 around a potential Michelin Endurance Cup program according to team boss Karsten Molitor, who is on-site this weekend at Mid-Ohio.
***The team is also plotting a two-car effort in the newly announced Porsche Carrera Cup North America next year.
***IMSA President John Doonan has revealed that the newly announced LMP3 class in the WeatherTech Championship is currently only confirmed for the 2021 and 2022 seasons. “We’ll see what happens from there,” he told Sportscar365.
***Drivers for the new Wayne Taylor Racing and Meyer Shank Racing Acura DPi programs will be announced by the teams themselves, according to Honda Performance Development President Ted Klaus, who indicated that Acura and HPD would have some input in the makeup of the driving squads.
***Sportscar365 understands that current HPD-contracted drivers Ricky Taylor and Dane Cameron are likely to be part of the lineups, with Taylor poised to return to his family’s WTR operation and Cameron linked to MSR.
***Klaus said both WTR and MSR programs will remain single-car efforts for now due to the limited number of tubs available by the manufacturer. It’s believed Team Penske will only relinquish the ORECA-built cars following November’s season-ending Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
***MSR will be breaking ground on a new 50,000 square-foot shop next week in Pataskala, Ohio, roughly a half-mile behind its current headquarters, according to team co-owner Mike Shank.
***In a statement provided to Sportscar365, Jim Campbell, GM’s VP of Performance and Motorsports, has thanked WTR for its association with Cadillac and GM as a driver and owner, amid the team’s move to Acura for 2021.
“We appreciate all the race wins and championships over the years, including DPi team championships and marque wins at 24 Hours at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, Petit Le Mans and Detroit Grand Prix,” said Campbell. “We know Wayne and his team will keep racing hard with Cadillac through the end of the 2020 IMSA season.”
***Cadillac is likely to be represented on the DPi grid next year by Action Express Racing and JDC-Miller Motorsports, which are both expected to continue with at least one car in 2021.
***Porsche Motorsport North America President and CEO Dr. Daniel Armbruster said there’s no current plan to support a team in the GT Le Mans class next year, stating it would be “more of a distraction” to its customer support architecture which is focused on GT3, GT4 and its single-make series.
***Mazda’s Cosgrove admits that he “almost feels safer” in an IMSA paddock than “anywhere else” right now, having praised the sanctioning body’s COVID-19 operations protocol.
“From what I know, we haven’t had a lot of COVID cases within the IMSA paddock,” said Cosgrove. “We really try to go by the protocol. We’re masked up in the trucks and I’m a bit of germ freak anyway, which I think people know.”
***NBCSN’s coverage of the Acura Sports Car Challenge will air Sunday at 11 p.m. ET, with live coverage available on Trackpass on NBC Sports Gold at 2 p.m. ET. Leigh Diffey will return to the booth, alongside Calvin Fish and AJ Allmendinger, with Dillon Welch and Parker Klingerman reporting from pit road.