IMSA Battle on the Bricks race day news and notes

With temperatures in the mid-50s, the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship cars took to the track for a 20-minute warmup session in preparation for this afternoon’s 2h40m Battle on the Bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Cooler weather than the teams have seen all weekend meant plenty of off-track excursions on cold tires, the most significant coming when Ricky Taylor spun the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing with Andretti Autosport Acura ARX-06 in Turn 7 and made light contact with the tire wall. The car came into the pits with bodywork damage, but returned to the track in the session.

Augusto Farfus topped the time charts for the session as it came to a close, posting a 1m16.009s as the No. 24 BMW M Team RLL M Hybrid V8 passed under the checker. Other class leaders were: LMP2, Mikkel Jensen, No. 11 TDS Racing ORECA; LMP3, Joao Barbosa, No. 33 Sean Creech Motorsports Ligier; GTD, Trent Hindman, No. 77 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R; and GTD PRO, Ross Gunn, No. 23 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3.

Ford vs. Ferrari

To mark the return of top-level sports car racing to Indianapolis, the IMS Museum brought out its 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning 1965 Ferrari 250LM and a 1966 Ford GT40 MkII for some parade laps around the circuit after warmup. Jack Harvey and Conor Daly did the driving duties.


Mindful in Turn 1

The last time Porsche Penske Motorsport qualified one-two was at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, and the No. 7 in the hands of Matt Campbell was on pole then as well. At the start he locked up in braking for the Andretti Hairpin, lost the lead and, frankly, the race got worse for the No. 7 963 from there. Given that Campbell expects starts and restarts on cold tires to be rough for everybody in today’s race, he knows what he needs to do to avoid a repeat.

“I feel like, let’s say last two or three events, especially, I feel like race starts and also safety car restarts, our warm-up procedure and what we’re doing has been one of the strongest. We’ve been really able to turn on the tire a lot quicker than everyone else, it feels like, at least in race conditions. [The race] will just be a big challenge for everyone so I feel like we just need to try and work ’em like hell because when we take the start, our tires won’t be up to pressure and temperature, that’s for sure, so we’ll have to be very mindful at Turn 1.”

Traffic likely to be key

With 48 cars in the WeatherTech Championship race, Indianapolis Motor Speedway has been a busy place. GTD polesitter Madison Snow notes that in practice, he never showed his capabilities because getting a clean lap was difficult.

“In practice, I went out and did a mock qualy run, put new tires on and it was traffic, traffic, traffic, traffic … and then when I got a clean lap, I was all pissed off at myself and then overdriving the car,” Snow said.

That’s from a GTD driver, so you can imagine what the GTP drivers will be experiencing, especially with limited grip offline.

“Looking at quite a few sections of track, especially in the last corner where it could be a possible overtake around the outside of some GT cars, I think it is going to get possibly less and less going into the race, due to so much dirt and debris offline. I was quite surprised starting the [first] session just how dirty it was offline in that corner,” said Campbell.

Riley Motorsports crash repair

The Riley Motorsports crew went straight to work on the No. 74 Ligier LMP3 that suffered a heavy impact in a Turn 6 tire wall during qualifying with Gar Robinson at the wheel, and the car returned to the track in the hands of Josh Burdon for the morning warmup. Robinson has won every points-paying race in LMP3 this season working with different co-drivers.

The No. 91 Porsche will have to fight its way through the field. Jake Galstad/Motorsport Images

Engine change for No. 91 Porsche

The Kellymoss with Riley team changed the engine for the GTD-class No. 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Alan Metni and Kay van Berlo after qualifying. As a result, the car will be sent to the back of the field rather than assume it’s ninth-in-class starting position.

Rain possible

Temperatures being cooler with little sun on the track pushing conditions outside the ideal window for optimal tire warm-up aside, drivers may have another point of concern: a chance of rain around an hour into the race, albeit light. Last night’s Michelin Pilot Challenge race experienced sprinkles, but not enough for drivers to switch to rain tires.

Tire allocation

GTP and LMP2 have both been allocated three sets of tires for qualifying and race. The other classes have had seven sets to use for the event, with no set number for the race.

Drive time

Minimum drive time for LMP2 in the 2h40m race is 60 minutes. LMP3 and GTD drivers must have at least 45 minutes of drive time. Minimum drive time for the pro classes is 10 minutes.

How to watch

The race will be broadcast live on NBC and streamed on Peacock beginning at 1pm ET. Audio will be available on, and on SiriusXM 207.

Story originally appeared on Racer