Thirty-eight teams will converge on WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca next week for the Motul Course de Monterey Powered by Hyundai N for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with two interesting additions.
The first is the inaugural privateer GTP entry, the Porsche 963 from JDC-Miller Motorsports for Mike Rockenfeller and Tijmen van der Helm, bringing the class total to nine. The second is a new GTD Aston Martin Vantage GT3 effort from Andretti Autosport for Jarett Andretti and Gabby Chaves. Andretti and Chaves normally compete in LMP3, but with their usual class not present for this race, it is a good time to introduce the new program.
Speaking of Aston Martins, there’s a surprise entry from Magnus Racing for Andy Lally and John Potter. Magnus had been expected to compete in only the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds with its GTD-class Vantage.
LMP2 returns to the series after its Long Beach absence for its second championship round. Eight entries make up the class at Laguna Seca. Notables include Juan Pablo Montoya joining Eric Lux in the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing ORECA, and Louis Deletraz, free from his endurance-race commitment with Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport, joining John Farano in the No. 8 Tower Motorsports entry.
The usual five will contest GTD PRO, while the GTD ranks grow to 16 with the Aston Martin additions. One note in the GTD PRO category: Antonio Garcia is set to make his 100th race for Corvette Racing in the unified sports car series at Laguna Seca. Garcia has won at the track three times, most recently in 2014.
Teams and fans will see many improvements around WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, which sits inside a Monterey County park. A new pedestrian bridge is being installed over the start/finish straight. The track has also received new curbing at each of the 11 turns on the 2.238-mile circuit, ahead of a full repaving.
The Motul Course de Monterey Powered by Hyundai N weekend will also feature IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, Lamborghini Super Trofeo, and Idemitsu Mazda MX-5 Cup during the weekend. NBC’s live coverage of the 2h40m race begins at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday.