Road Atlanta 2020 preview
BRASELTON, Ga. – The modified 2020 IMSA Pilot Challenge schedule will roll on this weekend for co-drivers Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson and the JDC-Millersports team from the deep south at the VP Racing Stay Frosty 240 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.
The four-hour race on the 2.5-mile, 12-corner track is scheduled to begin on Sunday, Sept. 6 at 12:10 p.m. ET. Fans can watch flag-to-flag coverage of the event with TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold Coverage. All sessions will also be broadcast on IMSA Radio at IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com.
Thirty-three cars are entered between the GS and TCR classes for the VP Racing Stay Frosty 240, which is the series’ second and final endurance race of the season.
“I’m excited to be back at Road Atlanta,” said Johnson. “I’ve struggled there in the past but with how we ran at VIR, I look forward to seeing how we do in this four-hour race on Sunday.”
Preparations for race day will begin on Friday, Sept. 4 with two practice sessions, one in the early afternoon (12:55 a.m.-1:55 p.m. ET) and one in the early evening (5:20-6:20 p.m. ET). Qualifying for the TCR class is scheduled for Saturday at 6:15 p.m. ET with the race to ensue on Sunday afternoon.
When last on the track, on Sunday, Aug. 23, Johnson and Simpson were positioned in fourth place at the Virginia Is For Racing Lovers Grand Prix, just minutes and a few laps from finishing, when mechanical issues forced an premature end to the day of racing for the team. It was a strong showing for Johnson and Simpson regardless of the result, as it qualified second and then posted a better top lap time (1:57.492) and faster top lap speed (100.193) than the eventual race winners.
“I am excited for this weekend at Road Atlanta,” said Simpson. “The one big difference this year, which we have never experienced before, is having a four-hour race at this track. It is going to be a challenge. It’s a tough, fast track with some challenging corners but we have been fast here in the past. We are looking for a strong result on Sunday.”
The weather forecast for race weekend is ideal, calling for highs in the mid-80s with partly cloudy skies and light winds with just a 10 percent chance of rain.
The sixth leg of the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge will take place from Sept. 25-27 at the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio in Lexington. The two-hour race at the 2.258-mile, 13-corner Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is set to go green on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 2:10 p.m. ET.