Three classes of IMSA teams headed for Laguna Seca

The first three-class sprint race of the season will attract 34 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the 2h40m Motul Course de Monterey Powered by Hyundai N.

LMP2 is still on its months-long break from competition, but GTD PRO returns after the class was on the sidelines for Long Beach. GTD PRO will bring nine cars to the race on the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course. GTP remains at 10 entries. The lone TBD is for the driver that will partner with Gianmaria Bruni in the No. 5 Proton Competition Porsche 963. Mike Rockenfeller drove the car at Long Beach, but will be back in his regular No. 64 Ford Multimatic Motorsports Mustang GT3 that he shares with Harry Tincknell in GTD PRO.

GTD will feature 15 entries, all regulars in the series but with a couple of alterations. Turner Motorsport is celebrating 557 races with BMW, the most worldwide for any team with the manufacturer. In recognition of the fact, what is normally the No. 96 BMW M4 GT3 driven by Patrick Gallagher and Robby Foley will carry No. 557 for the event.

With the WeatherTech Championship once again running on the same weekend as the World Endurance Championship, as occurred for Long Beach, Heart of Racing has again turned to its fellow Aston Martin team to find a driving partner for Roman De Angelis. While Ian James and Zacharie Robichon are competing in the TotalEnergies 6 Hours for Spa-Francorchamps, Magnus Racing’s Spencer Pumpelly will take the wheel of the No. 27 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo.

Last year’s WeatherTech Raceway event was won by Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande in the No. 01 Cadillac Racing V-Series.R, breaking a long Acura win streak at the track. The Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac squad also comes to WeatherTech Raceway with momentum after a victory on the streets of Long Beach.

However, history may not count for much as teams will be facing a very different Laguna Seca than they saw last year. The historic California track has undergone a complete repave, so previous data may not be of much use.

Daytona winners in the No. 6 Porsche Penske Motorsport 963, Dane Cameron (a three-time winner at Laguna Seca) and Felipe Nasr come to Monterey with the points lead in GTP over Bourdais and van der Zande. Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow have the effective GTD PRO points lead for Paul Miller Racing (Risi Competizione is leading the points, but is contesting only the Michelin Endurance Cup rounds). It’s a very slim lead as only seven points separate them and Vasser Sullivan Racing’s Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth.

Two-time winners in 2024, Winward Racing’s Russell Ward and Philip Ellis have the GTD lead over Foley and Gallagher, who were boosted with a second-place finish at Long Beach.

The 2h40m Motul Course de Monterey Powered by Hyundai N is scheduled for a green flag at 3:10pm ET on Sunday, May 12. NBC will carry live coverage of the race beginning at 3pm ET, which will also stream on Peacock. Both Peacock and will carry qualifying at 7:30pm ET on Saturday, May 11. All sessions will be live on and; SiriusXM live race coverage begins Sunday, May 12 at 3pm ET (XM 206, Web/App 996).

Story originally appeared on Racer