Offseason? What offseason?
An impressive lineup of stars from the 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season will race Saturday in the final IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship event of the year, the MOTUL Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
The 10-hour race is one of the four crown-jewel endurance sports car races on the IMSA schedule that often attracts INDYCAR drivers, joining the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring and the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. Television coverage from Road Atlanta starts from noon-3 p.m. (ET) Saturday on NBC, followed by coverage from 3-10:30 p.m. on NBCSN.
INDYCAR SERIES champions Scott Dixon, Sebastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud lead the list of drivers competing for overall race victory honors Saturday in the Prototype class.
Six-time INDYCAR SERIES champion Dixon is defending the 2020 Petit Le Mans victory he earned with Ryan Briscoe and Renger van der Zande on Saturday in the No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac, sharing the car with van der Zande and former Formula One driver and 2021 INDYCAR SERIES substitute driver Kevin Magnussen.
Four-time INDYCAR SERIES champion Bourdais will look to add a Petit Le Mans victory to his stirring winning performance in March at Sebring despite driving the last stint of that 12-hour race with a broken rear wing. He once again is sharing the No. 5 Mustang Sampling/JDC-Miller MotorSports Cadillac with fellow Frenchmen Tristan Vautier and Loic Duval.
2016 series champion Pagenaud will share the No. 48 Ally Cadillac Racing Cadillac with fellow NTT INDYCAR SERIES driver Jimmie Johnson and former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi. Pagenaud and Kobayashi were on the team that finished second in January at the Rolex 24.
Indianapolis 500 winners Helio Castroneves and Alexander Rossi will seek their second major sports car endurance race victory of the season, but they will not be teammates as they were in victory at the Rolex 24 in January for Wayne Taylor Racing.
Four-time Indy winner Castroneves will join Dane Cameron and fellow multiple Indy winner Juan Pablo Montoya in the No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing w/ Curb-Agajanian Acura. Rossi will stay in the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura, teamed with Ricky Taylor and Filipe Albuquerque.
Other drivers who raced in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES or the Road to Indy ladder system in 2021 are competing in other classes during the race on the undulating 2.54-mile road course.
Oliver Askew will drive in the LMP3 prototype class, joining Jarett Andretti (son of the late John Andretti) and Josh Burdon in the No. 36 Andretti Autosport entry. Indy Pro 2000 race winner and Indy Lights veteran Rasmus Lindh also is part of a three-driver entry in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports car in LMP3.
Kyle Kirkwood, fresh off his 2021 Indy Lights title, will drive in the GT Daytona class in the No. 14 Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F that he shares with Jack Hawksworth and Aaron Telitz. Kirkwood was named this week to a full-time NTT INDYCAR SERIES drive for 2022 with AJ Foyt Racing.
Indy Lights race winner Robert Megennis also is competing in the GTD class for Vasser Sullivan, sharing the team’s No. 12 entry with Frankie Montecalvo and former NTT INDYCAR SERIES regular Zach Veach.