Winner takes all at IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Sebring finale

Monday, November 09, 2020


Just like the British GT Championship of last weekend, the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series culminates with their own ‘winner takes all’ finale from the Sebring International Raceway this weekend with another Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4 crew favourable balanced going into the final two hours of racing.

In a season that actually dates back to a season opener over nine months ago, this weekend sees the #60 Kohr Motorsport AMR Vantage GT4 of Nate Stacey and Kyle Marcelli go head to head with reigning champions Tyler McQuarrie and Jeff Westphal and their #39 Carbahn Audi R8 LMS GT4 for one last time as the two crews fight it out to become this season’s Champions.

Having fought out the last round of the Series over at the Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca, a grid of twenty four GS Class cars and twelve TCR Class cars move all the way back from the west coast to the east coast of the USA to compete in the tenth and final round of this CV-19 punctuated season.

Going into this final race, the #60 crew maintain a fifteen-point advantage over the #39 Audi after the latter crew completed a commanding win at Laguna Seca, timing their race winning overtake on the #7 Archangel Aston Martin Vantage to perfection going into the final lap. With thirty-five points still available to the winner, everything is far from secure for the AMR Drivers Academy driver (Stacey) and his Professional co-driver/driver coach.

Looking back at the Series first visit to Sebring this season, as the IMSA sanctioned returned to the circuit after their CV-19 enforced sabbatical, that race was a pretty close ran thing with the #39 car just taking the win from the #60 car. Without getting into any points scenario’s – simple repeat of that result would be enough for Stacey and Marcelli to claim that ultimate prize.

As just mentioned above, the #7 Archangel AMR GT4 of Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman make only their third appearance this year in their new bright yellow AMR Vantage after having come so close to their first race win of the year at Laguna Seca two weeks ago only for an obviously much better performing Audi to snatch the lead going into the final lap. 

Their second place finish in California is their best result of the season so far after having swapped from the Porsche to the Aston brand in time for the round at Road Atlanta (two rounds ago) and as such now elevates their Championship position up to P8 with a race win potentially lifting them up as high as third by the end of this weekend’s finale (other results permitting of course).

Now being closer to home for the Automatic Racing team, this final round also sees the return of their two AMR Vantage GT4’s having skipped the last round at Laguna Seca. Rob Ecklin and Ramin Abdolvahabi reunite aboard the #09 car whilst Gary Ferrera and Kris Wilson see out the season aboard the #99 car.

With the Michelin Pilot Challenge again supporting the main IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship, the Series will race their final two hours starting just after midday this Friday.

Photo credits – IMSA / Archangel / Kohr / CSJ Motorsport




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