We gave it our best today but came up short. On for a podium finish but didn' happen. On to the next one .
Via IMSA NEWS
Even with the shaky weather Friday at VIR, the status remained pretty much quo through opening practice for the IMSA Prototype Challenge. The No. 9 JDC MotorSports Norma M30 LMP3 5.0L V8, winner of the last two races this season, set the pace in what became an abbreviated session due to heavy rain.
The 45-minute practice began with a wet track following a rain shower prior to the session’s start, but VIRginia International Raceway showed signs of drying as some cars tested the 3.27-mile, 17-turn circuit. Scott Andrews was the first driver to tour the course in less than two minutes, posting a lap of 1:59.776 (98.283 mph) in the No. 9 he shares with Gerry Kraut.
Soon after, the skies opened again and the cars sat idle for the last half of the soggy session. Only nine entries turned laps at speed, with Andrews more than four seconds quicker than the No. 47 Forty7 Motorsports Norma piloted by Kyle Kirkwood (2:03.780).
Prototype Challenge competitors will have a final, 30-minute practice session starting at 8:50 a.m. ET Saturday, ahead of qualifying at 11:20 a.m. Sunday’s race, timed at one hour, 45 minutes, streams live at 9:35 a.m. ET on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
The VIR round is the fourth of six on the 2020 Prototype Challenge schedule. Naveen Rao and Matthew Bell, drivers of the No. 64 K2R Motorsports Norma, lead the standings by two points over Dakota Dickerson, who rides in the No. 54 MLT Motorsports Ligier JS P3 with co-driver Dom Cicero.
Congratulations to the winners Scott Andrews and Gerry Kraut for the IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Road America #IMSA / #RoadAmerica
Gerry Kraut and Scott Andrews picked up their second consecutive IMSA Prototype Challenge win on Saturday, but not without some drama, confusion, momentary deflation and eventual elation.
Andrews was behind the wheel of the No. 9 JDC MotorSports Norma M30 for the final stint at Road America, nursing his fuel to the finish 1.837 seconds ahead of the No. 74 Forty7 Motorsports Norma driven by Wyatt Schwab and Jon Brownson.
The drama and confusion erupted when the field was shown the white flag instead of the checkered as Andrews crossed the finish line. Based on IMSA’s lap-time average predictor, the race leader was expected to cross the line before the one-hour, 45-minute time limit ran out, necessitating one more lap. But since Andrews’ pace had slowed dramatically in fuel-saving mode, he crossed start-finish a few seconds after time had expired.
The extra lap that wound up not counting saw a five-car thrash around the 4.048-mile road course for what they thought would be the win. Dakota Dickerson maneuvered from fifth place to first in the No. 54 MLT Motorsports Ligier JS P3, but he was returned to fifth in the official result.
The victory for Kraut and Andrews comes two weeks after they won at Sebring International Raceway, though neither was sure initially if they had won Saturday.
“I was on the timing stand and the clock had run out,” said Kraut, who drove the opening stint but was among the first to pit 45 minutes into the race. “(Andrews) was coming out of (Turn) 14, we assumed they were going to throw the checker and they threw the white. We went like, ‘What?!’ Obviously, they did the right thing to reverse that.”
Andrews said he would’ve been delighted with third place, where he was when the extra lap was completed. Then he received the good news over the team radio on the cooldown lap.
“They said, ‘Hang tight, we may have won this thing,’” Andrews said. “So, I was super happy and celebrating the whole time. It was good.
“We came into the race probably knowing we didn’t have the pace, so we had to do a risky and aggressive strategy on fuel if we had any chance to win. As far as strategy and teamwork and just the driving for both of us, I think we did a really awesome job collectively.
“I’m stoked. Two in a row is awesome. It’s not something we expected but we’re very grateful we have the opportunity to do it.”
An additional post-race reshuffling occurred in technical inspection where a fuel capacity infraction was revealed on the No. 74 of Schwab and Brownson. The car was moved to the bottom of the finishing order as a result.
The penalty moved Dan Goldburg and Blake Mount into second in the No. 6 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier. David Grant and Keith Grant, who started on pole in the No. 40 Forty7 Motorsports Norma, wound up third overall but claimed victory in the Bronze Cup class.
“It was great,” Keith Grant said. “David put down some good qualifying laps and was able to start from the pole for us. He led the whole first stint and did a good job of getting us a gap. We had a good pit stop this time; we had troubles last time at Sebring. I just had to put my head down.”
IMSA Prototype Challenge returns to action Sunday, Aug. 23 at VIRginia International Raceway. The race streams live at 9:35 a.m. ET on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.
"We had a great day of testing yesterday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with the Norma Automotive P3 car, I absolutely love this thing." ~ John Walko
Norma Auto Concept Engineering (or Norma) is a French manufacturer of racing cars based in Saint-Pé-de-Bigorre (in the Hautes Pyrenees - France) and founded by Norbert Santos in 1986.
The European Le Mans Series is a European series of endurance races reserved for cars such as "Le Mans Prototypes" and "Le Mans Grand Touring". In 2017, the ELMS presents three different categories : LMP2, LMP3, LMGTE.
In order to strengthen the pyramid of endurance racing which was introduced in 1999 by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest, the ACO has launched in 2015 a new category of junior sports-prototype for endurance racing, LMP3.
In the pyramid of "Le Mans Prototypes," LMP3 becomes the first step on the ladder before moving up to the LMP2 and LMP1 classes (the latter in the FIA WEC and 24 Hours of Le Mans).
The thinking behind this car is that there should be fewest number of constraints possible, whether those are budgetary, technical, driving or operation. The sale price of the new car, complete, must not exceed €206,000.
The LMP3 is a closed car. The chassis and bodywork of LMP3 can be built by six manufacturers which have been designed by the ACO : Ginetta, Ligier, Adess, Dome, Riley and Norma. They are very close to those of the current LMP2 (closed cockpit, carbon chassis with tubular steel roll cage). The powertrain consist of a Nissan 420 bhp normally aspirated V8 engine, and an X-Trac gearbox. It is identical for all chassis, and marketed by the ORECA company which also provides specific assistance to teams.
To emphasise the driver development of the category, crews must include at least one bronze driver, gold drivers are only allowed in crews of three drivers and platinum drivers are not permitted to compete in LMP3. Driving times are also controlled with gold drivers only allowed to drive for 60-minutes during a 4-hour ELMS race giving more time at the wheel for the silver and bronze members of the crew.
JWR, wants to extend a Big thank you to Jeremiah Grenier, Russ Gaglio and Brian McGoldrick for looking after the car, Scott Andrews for wheeling the thing like he does, and Gerry Kraut and JDC MotorSports for making it happen.
The IMSA Prototype Challenge Championship was developed to support the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – the premier SportsCar racing series in North America. The series offers racers from around the world the opportunity to compete at historic venues like Daytona, Sebring International Raceway or Road Atlanta.
The Series mission is two-fold: present an opportunity for semi-professional race car drivers to compete in a world-class environment racing state of the art closed cockpit LMP3 prototypes. While also providing an avenue for drivers to move up the ladder into the Prototype classes in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Following the worldwide LMP3 (LeMans Prototype 3) platform and category, IMSA introduced the Prototype Challenge Championship new in 2017. The state of the art closed cockpit LMP3 prototypes will compete in a 6-round schedule in 2019. All 6 events will be part of the IMSA WeatherTech championship weekends.
All races are run in an endurance race format with an two-driver line-up. Four races will be 1-hour 45-minutes long including one mandatory pit-stop for refueling, tire and driver change. Two races will be 3 hours long. Only silver rated (Semi-Pro) drivers and bronze (Gentlemen) drivers are eligible to compete. Only one silver rated (Semi-Pro) driver is allowed per line-up with a minimum required drive time per race for the bronze (Gentlemen) driver of 40 minutes.
Ligier and Norma LMP3 Race Cars
Onroak Ligier JSP3 LMP3 or Norma
Carbon fiber monocoque / HP COMPOSITES built to FIA standards
NISSAN VK50, V8, 5000 cc, 420 hp
Up to 185mph
0-60 3.3 sec.
X-TRAC six-speed sequential gearbox with semi-automatic paddle shift system
Double wishbone, pushrod and spring-damper combination, 3 ways latest generation of dampers, adjustable anti-roll bar system.
FIA headrest/side head restraint, compatible with HANS device.
Front track 61.5", rear track 58.5", wheelbase 100.5" and weight 1090 lbs.
Cockpit adjustable bias, master cylinder, 6-piston callipers, Ø 14’’ front and rear steel discs
Magnesium, Ø 18’’, front width: 12,5’’, rear width: 13’’, center lock
Adjustable shocks, sway bars, brake bias and wing angles
Pi 30-channel system with steering wheel display
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