A total of 42 cars will compete in the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, California, scheduled on May 2.
Sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association, the race is the fourth of the organization’s 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The event features a pair of two-hour races on the challenging and scenic 2.238-mile (3.58-kilometer) circuit. The Prototype and GT Le Mans (GTLM) classes will compete at the morning, while the Prototype Challenge (PC) and GT Daytona (GTD) competitors take the green flag in the afternoon.
The defending race-winning No. 90 Visit Florida Racing Corvette DP has new drivers for 2016, Ryan Dalziel and Marc Goossens, to lead the eight-car Prototype class.
“We are going into Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a lot of motivation,” Dalziel said. “When you look at how dominant the No. 90 Visit Florida Corvette DP was in 2015, we are hoping to score our first win of 2016, and back to back victories at Mazda Raceway.”
Other Corvette DPs include the Long Beach-winning the No. 10 Konica Minolta Corvette DP of brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor; two from Action Express Racing; the unique Panoz DeltaWing Racing coupe, with Sean Rayhall returning to join Katherine Legge; a pair of Mazda Prototypes, coming off a pair of top-five finishes at Long Beach; and the Honda Ligier JS P2 for Michael Shank Racing.
The defending GTLM winners have a new car and number for 2016, with John Edwards and Lucas Luhr now piloting the No. 100 IHG Rewards Club BMW M6 GTLM as part of the two-car BMW Team RLL entry. The team won in the No. 24 BMW Z4 GTE last year. Corvette, Ford, Ferrari and Porsche also will race a pair of factory-backed cars each.
In the lone driver lineup change for GTLM from last Sunday’s BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach, Alessandro Pier Guidi rejoins Daniel Serra in the No. 68 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GTE as Alessandro Balzan returns to the GT Daytona (GTD) class to share the No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 with Christina Nielsen. Balzan, Nielsen and the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa won the GTD class in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida, the most recent race for the class, and lead a 17-car GTD entry for Mazda Raceway.
Defending Mazda Raceway GTD winner Patrick Lindsey has a new team-mate and a new car for Park Place Motorsports. Joerg Bergmeister co-drives the No. 73 Park Place Porsche/Justice Brothers Inc. Porsche 911 GT3 R. It’s one of four new Porsches in the field. Alex Job Racing fields a two-car team, with Black Swan Racing fielding one car.
Audi, lamborghini join fray
Porsche and Ferrari are joined by five other manufacturers in GTD. Lamborghini also fields four cars, two for Change Racing and one each for Paul Miller Racing and Dream Racing. Audi is set with three cars, including two for Stevenson Motorsports and one for Magnus Racing. The Riley Motorsports ViperExchange.com entry will be joined by Long Star Racing in the Dodge Viper GT3-R camp. In addition to the lone GTD Ferrari from Scuderia Corsa, TRG-AMR also will field a single Aston Martin.
In the PC class, JDC-Miller Motorsports comes to Mazda Raceway after winning both the longest and shortest races on the 2016 schedule, with Misha Goikhberg and Stephen Simpson in the No. 85 Hi-Tide Boat Lifts/Red Line Oil ORECA FLM09 that won the Rolex 24 At Daytona and 100-minute BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. Two-time defending class champions Colin Braun and Jon Bennett return for CORE autosport. Starworks Motorsport will field a pair of cars, joining single entries from BAR 1 Motorsports, Performance Tech Motorsports and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports.