Michelin Pilot Challenge 2024 gets underway at Daytona with their usual 4Hr opener

Wednesday, January 24, 2024


After two days filled with five test sessions around the infield circuit layout of the Daytona International Speedway at the Roar before the 24 IMSA test last weekend, today sees the runners within the Michelin Pilot Challenge Series finally get down to some official business.

With last weekend being of non-obligatory attendance, today and tomorrow’s Free Practice sessions for the GS/TCR based entry list definitely are as the seven Aston Martin Racing Vantage GT4 powered crews return to the Floridian circuit for their first four-hour opener of the season on Friday.

Fortunately, all seven AMR teams attended last weekend’s test and that was just as well for some as that saw them run their first ever laps within the new cars and/or series.

The Rebel Rock Racing crew had perhaps the most difficult Roar experience as they converted to the all-new AMR Vantage GT4 Evo (the only ones to be running a GT4 Evo this weekend) but that came with its own niggles for drivers Frank DePew, Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis as one their only car at the time suffered gearbox issues that would see them withdraw from the opening two races of the VP Racing Sportscar Challenge Series for DePew. With a second car now within the paddock, life should be at least a little bit more comfortable although spares for the Evo model will remain scarce for the next few weeks at least.

With technical gremlins also struck down the #09 Automatic Racing AMR entry of Rob Ecklin, Ramin Abdolvahabi and Brandon Kidd in last weekend’s opening test sessions as they struggled to string any significant number of laps together, but the weekend eventually came good for many of the other Aston Martin runners as the #88 Archangel entry of Aaron Telitz and Todd Coleman came top of the GS class at the end, closely followed by the #46 Team TGM AMR of Matt Plumb and Owen Trinkler.

That leaves the #64 Team TGM car of Hugh Plumb, Ted Giovani and Kris Wilson who will be the sole AMR representative within the Bronze Cup this weekend and the #16 Skip Barber Racing entered car of Ken Fukuda, Carter Fartuch and Will Lambros.

The #19 Van Der Steur entry of Rory Van Der Steur, Dominic Starkweather and Valentin Hasse-Clot round off the magnificent seven as the proficient GT4 racer, Aston Martin works driver and Lamborghini Trofeo racer all combine for the first time although VDS and VHC have raced together before.

This weekend schedule sees the twenty-eight strong GS field and seventeen strong TCR based class undertake on two Free Practice sessions today and tomorrow before Qualifying later on Thursday and a start to their four-hour opener at 13:45hrs local on Friday.

That will be just the beginning of a brand-new exciting Michelin Pilot Challenge season.

Photo credits – teams / social media / IMSA
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes