IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring set to return in November
The non-championship four-hour race around Sebring International Raceway that ended last year’s U.S. topline sportscar season will return this year.
The 2019 Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore for LMP3, GT3, GT4 and TCR cars will be held at the iconic 3.74-mile course on November 8-10.
As was the case in 2018, teams are not required to be active participants in any IMSA-sanctioned series to participate in the event.
“By all accounts, the inaugural Michelin Encore was fantastic,” said IMSA CEO Ed Bennett. “The event featured great racing, significant track time and served as an opportunity for newcomers to the IMSA paddock to see what Michelin, Sebring and IMSA are all about.
“We very much look forward to the 2019 event being bigger and better for all involved as we continue to further develop the concept.”
The IMSA release stated that “Should any class have less than five cars, IMSA will reserve the right to modify and exclude the class prior to the event.” That situation arose last year when insufficient GT3 cars entered.
Load-in for this year’s Encore will be the morning of Friday, Nov. 8, with promoter test sessions planned for that afternoon. Practice and qualifying will be held on Nov. 9 with the race following on Sunday, Nov. 10.
Chris Baker, director of motorsport, Michelin North America, said: “We could not be more pleased with how the Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore at Sebring played out this year. We are glad it is returning in 2019 and look forward to working with IMSA to increase this event's appeal to pro-am LMP3, GT3, GT4 and TCR racers everywhere.”
In last year’s Encore, ANSA Motorsports took overall and LMP3 honors thanks to Roman de Angelis and USF2000 and F3 Americas champion Kyle Kirkwood in a Ligier JS P3. Nate Stacy, Kyle Marcelli and Dean Martin won in GT4 with the Ford Mustang of Roush Performance/KohR Motorsports. In TCR, Remo Ruscitti and Marco Cirone delivered a win for Mark Motors Racing in an Audi RS3 LMS.
Zanardi “not so far behind” BMW teammates at Daytona
NBC Sports to show more than 700 hours of motorsport in 2019