Entry list for first Mid-Ohio race of 2021 includes local team, native driver

Local Sports

IMSA sports cars return, but with a notable local exception

IMSA Mid-Ohio prototype 2020

The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing DPi-class Cadillac races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, on May 5, 2019. (Jake Galstad/Courtesy of IMSA)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Twenty-six of the best sports cars in North America will do battle at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Morrow County next weekend when some of the world’s most talented drivers take on Lexington’s demanding 13-turn, 2.258-mile road course.

IMSA on Wednesday released the entry list for next Sunday’s Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio. It includes three classes: the top-level DPi prototypes, the brand-new LMP3 prototypes and the bottom but competitive GTD sedans/coupes. All 26 cars will feature two drivers who switch during the race.

Pataskala-based Meyer Shank Racing will continue its first season in DPi after mixed performances in the two races so far. 2019 Mid-Ohio co-winner Dane Cameron and teammate Olivier Pla will drive MSR’s No. 60 Acura.

Meyer Shank DPi Sebring
Meyer Shank Racing’s No. 60 DPi-class Acura races on track at the IMSA 12 Hours of Sebring on March 19, 2021, in Sebring, Fla. (Jake Galstad/Courtesy of IMSA)

Elsewhere on the grid, Stockdale native Zach Veach will continue his first IMSA season after three years in IndyCar. Veach, whose best IndyCar finish at Mid-Ohio was 10th, will co-pilot the No. 12 Lexus GTD for Vasser Sullivan Racing.

The lack of GTLM cars (the class up from GTD) means Hilliard-based BMW Team Rahal will not race in front of a home crowd this year. Rahal announced before the season that it will only enter endurance races, the next of which is June 27 in Watkins Glen, New York.

Centerville native Bryan Sellers will co-pilot the No. 1 Lamborghini GTD for Paul Miller Racing. And Wright Motorsports, with facilities in Batavia (east of Cincinnati), will field the No. 16 Porsche GTD.

Other notable drivers in the field include last year’s overall co-winner Ricky Taylor (driving the points-leading No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura DPi) and former Formula One driver Kevin Magnussen (in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac DPi).

An expected attendance figure has not been announced, but Mid-Ohio can seat 80,000 people because of its expansive grassy areas around the track. Ohio no longer has a limit on outdoor sporting events (it was 30% capacity), but stadiums, racetracks, etc. still have to follow other health guidelines.

The IMSA and IndyCar races last September were each limited to 6,000 fans (7.5% capacity).

Mid-Ohio will be the third race of the 12-stop IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship after January’s 24 Hours of Daytona and March’s 12 Hours of Sebring. Next Sunday’s 2-hour, 40-minute event will be the season’s first “sprint” race.

GTD qualifying on Saturday will feature two, 15-minute segments, the first setting the class’s starting grid and second giving out points. DPi and LMP3 qualifying will each have a single 15-minute session determining both points and starting position.

Flag-to-flag TV coverage of the race on Sunday starts at 2:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.

Click here for tickets and a full schedule of events. Click here for more race notes from IMSA.

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