IMSA Mid-Ohio iRacing Preview

Last race at Laguna Seca
Last race at Laguna Seca

We’re approaching the halfway mark of the IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational Series next week, with the third of six rounds taking place at the virtual Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Thursday, April 30, at 6 p.m. ET.

The track is a fitting location, as several IMSA racing series would have been onsite next weekend in Lexington, Ohio in real life for the Acura Sports Car Challenge. While racing activities next weekend have turned virtual, the actual event is rescheduled to take place on September 25-27.

The race will be available on the iRacing Youtube and Facebook channels for fans to stream live.

The Torque Show will stream a pre-race showing at 5 p.m. ET on its Facebook page and John Hindhaugh will once again lead the race commentary.

Here’s a closer look at some of the storylines heading into the race.

Newcomers vs. Co-Drivers

[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]A handful of drivers are looking to stir up the pot at Mid-Ohio, and maybe even against real-life co-drivers.

Austin Cindric will be swapping his NASCAR Xfinity Ford Mustang for the No. 22 Ford GT, and could end up in a virtual wheel-to-virtual wheel battle with Sebastian Priaulx, with whom he co-drove to victory at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta last year in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season finale.

Another newcomer is Dylan Murry – Pilot Challenge’s most recent winner at Daytona International Speedway in January – entered in the No. 35 Porsche 911 RSR. Murry will draw experience from his IMSA Prototype Challenge win at Mid-Ohio last year, and this time will be competing against Jeroen Bleekemolen, who was part of the Daytona winning lineup with Murry and James Cox.

From the WeatherTech Championship, Jonathan Bomarito is entered in the No. 3 Ford GT, whereas his real-life Mazda DPi co-driver Harry Tincknell will be aboard the No. 55 Ford GT. The duo’s first WeatherTech Championship win came at Watkins Glen International last year and they followed up with another victory at Road America.

Up-and-Comers Gaining Experience

While lacking real-life WeatherTech Championship experience, two IMSA drivers in Round 2 drove like the pros.

Rodrigo Pflucker – 2019 IMSA Prototype Challenge champion – earned the pole position at WeatherTech Raceway in his No. 47 Ford and led the first half of the race. However, an incident midway through the race took him out of contention.

Meanwhile, Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama driver and recipient of this year’s IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship, Riley Dickinson, drove his way into Round 3 with a 15th-place result in his No. 53 Porsche. In IMSA’s iRacing championship, the top-25 finishers are guaranteed a spot on the starting grid for the next round.

"I’m extremely thankful to have been given the opportunity to compete in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series," Dickinson said. "The level of competition was very high, which I feel led to a great race to watch for the fans. It was really cool to be on the same track for the first time with many of the top IMSA drivers, even though it was virtually.

"On our end, we essentially followed the same race weekend procedures that we do on a normal race weekend and adapted our program for iRacing. To finish the race in 15th after starting in 35th and having a good bit of drama at the start was a great result."

BMW Migration? Not So Fast

With BMW’s winning performances in Rounds 1 and 2, it would come as no surprise to see more drivers choosing the M8 GTE to compete within the remaining four races. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Of the 50 cars ready to race at Mid-Ohio, the number of Ford GT entries remains the same at 15 and the number of Porsche 911 RSRs stays constant at nine. The count of Ferrari 488 GTEs totals to four – only two fewer than last round – and four additional BMW M8 GTEs are listed for a total of 22. All this keeping in mind that only 47 cars made it to the grid at WeatherTech Raceway.

Can BMW make it three-for-three? More than half of the cars in the field will try to stop them.

Entry List

NO. DRIVER HOMETOWN TEAM MAKE
00 Nick Boulle Dallas, TX PR1 Motorsports BMW
3 Jonathan Bomarito Monterey CA Mazda Motorsports Ford
5 Joao Barbosa Davidson, NC Mustang Sampling Racing Ford
6 Dan Goldburg Delray Beach, FL Performance Tech Motorsports BMW
7 Bruno Spengler Montebello, QC BMW IMSA Team Red BMW
8 Matheus Leist Novo Hamburgo, BRA JDC-Miller MotorSports Ford
10 Nicky Catsburg Meer, NDL BMW IMSA Team Black BMW
12 Townsend Bell San Luis Obispo, CA AIM Vasser Sullivan BMW
14 Jack Hawksworth Bradford, UK AIM Vasser Sullivan BMW
16 Ryan Hardwick Atlanta, GA Wright Motorsports Porsche
19 Parker Chase New Braunfels, TX Vertical Bridge BMW
22 Austin Cindric Mooresville, NC Team Penske Ford
23 John Edwards Davidson, NC BMW IMSA Team Black BMW
24 Jesse Krohn Helsinki, FIN BMW IMSA Team Black BMW
25 Connor De Phillippi Cornelius, NC BMW IMSA Team Red BMW
26 Philipp Eng Mondsee, AUT Team Austria BMW
33 Jeroen Bleekemolen Monaco Black Swan Racing Porsche
35 Dylan Murry Cumming, GA Riley Motorsports Porsche
38 Kyle Masson Windermere, FL Performance Tech Motorsports BMW
39 Tyler McQuarrie Danville, CA Carbahn Motorsports BMW
40 James Pesek Harrisonville, MO PF Racing Ford
45 Patrick Long Manhattan Beach, CA Wright Motorsports Porsche
47 Rodrigo Pflucker Lima, PER Precision Performance Motorsports Ford
48 Corey Lewis Nazareth, PA Paul Miller Racing BMW
51 Cody Ware Greensboro, NC Rick Ware Racing Ford
53 Riley Dickinson New Braunfels, TX Moorespeed Porsche
54 Colin Braun Ovalo, TX ERA Motorsports Ford
55 Harry Tincknell Exeter, UK Mazda Motorsports Ford
57 Misha Goikhberg Woodbridge, ON Meyer Shank Racing Ford
60 AJ Allmendinger San Jose, CA Meyer Shank Racing BMW
62 James Calado Cropthorne, UK Risi Competizione Ferrari
63 Kenton Koch Charlotte, NC Kenton Koch Racing Ford
64 Alessandro Balzan Las Vegas, NV Scuderia Corsa Ferrari
67 Richard Westbrook Bath, UK Ganassi Ford
70 Daniel Morad Toronto, ON WRT Speedstar Audi Sport BMW
71 Matt Bell Cornelius, NC Rebel Rock Racing BMW
75 Cameron Cassels Coldstream, BC Performance Tech Motorsports BMW
79 Roman DeAngelis Belle River, ON Heart Of Racing Team Porsche
85 Tristan Vautier Grenoble, FRA JDC-Miller MotorSports Ford
86 Shinya Michimi Cincinnati, OH Meyer Shank Racing BMW
96 Robby Foley Randolph, NJ Turner Motorsport BMW
97 Shane Van Gisbergen Auckland, NZL AIM Vasser Sullivan BMW
98 Mason Filippi Alamo, CA Bryan Herta Autosport Ferrari
111 Sebastian Priaulx Guernsey, UK Multimatic Ford Performance Ford
140 Aaron Telitz Birchwood, WI AIM Vasser Sullivan BMW
198 Michael Lewis Laguna Beach, CA Bryan Herta Autosport Ferrari
888 Mirko Bortolotti Riva del Garda, ITA WRT Speedstar Audi Sport Ford
911 Nick Tandy Bedford, UK Porsche GT Team Porsche
912 Laurens Vanthoor Waiblingen, DEU Porsche GT Team Porsche
913 Ayhancan Güven Istanbul, TUR Porsche Junior Porsche

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