The Alley

IMSA drivers’ worldwide race tour

After the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship wrapped the Rolex 24 at Daytona last week, a healthy number of drivers raced elsewhere this weekend.

A bevy of drivers that competed in the Rolex were in one of these four spots:

  • Sepang, Malaysia, Asian Le Mans Series
  • Santiago, Chile, ABB FIA Formula E Championship
  • Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Race of Champions
  • Bathurst, Australia, Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour

Jesse Krohn’s Asian LMS title

New BMW Team RLL factory driver Jesse Krohn (above, at Daytona) has won a championship in the Asian Le Mans Series, after a pole and win this weekend in the Sepang 4 Hours season finale.

Krohn co-drove with Junsan Chen and Markus Palttala in a FIST-Team AAI BMW M6 GT3. Krohn and Chen won the title, and additionally the team has secured two invitations in GT to this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Finn shares the No. 24 BMW M8 GTE with John Edwards in IMSA’s GT Le Mans class.

Also of note in Sepang, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) announced a three-year extension with Michelin as its official tire technical partner in the Asian Le Mans Series for the next three years.

Four to Formula E in Chile

Sam Bird, Felix Rosenqvist, Antonio Felix da Costa and Maro Engel all resumed in Formula E. Rosenqvist (fourth place), Bird (fifth) and da Costa (ninth) all scored points, while Engel retired on the first lap. Bird also set the fastest lap.

None of these four has any further IMSA starts planned this year. However Bird will be back for the full FIA World Endurance Championship season with AF Corse Ferrari in GTE-Pro.

Champions crowned at Race of Champions

Team Germany won the ROC Nations Cup title and David Coulthard won the ROC Champion of Champions title at the event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The event features a wide variety of cars and stars from across the world of racing.

Five IMSA drivers from the Rolex 24 were in action. Two Acura Team Penske stars in Juan Pablo Montoya and Helio Castroneves were there. Meanwhile Ryan Hunter-Reay (Wayne Taylor Racing), Rene Rast (Mazda Team Joest) and Lando Norris (United Autosports) were also there.

Rast and Timo Bernhard combined to help Germany win the ROC Nations Cup.

More than 20 tackle Bathurst

More than 20 drivers in the Rolex 24 at Daytona tackled the legendary Mount Panorama in Bathurst, Australia for this year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Robin Frijns, Dries Vanthoor and Stuart Leonard won the accident-shortened race overall in a WRT Audi R8 LMS, over the SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG that featured IMSA drivers Kenny Habul and Tristan Vautier in its four-driver lineup.

Vanthoor, the younger brother of Porsche GT Team driver Laurens, has now won this race and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in class (GTE-Am) within the same year. Afterwards, the older Vanthoor cheekily congratulated his younger brother on Twitter.

Laurens Vanthoor was in the race himself, though, sharing a Porsche 911 GT3 R with Kevin Estre and Earl Bamber. They were a hard-luck fifth, owing to a drive time miscalculation. They had enough fuel to last to the finish, but were unable to parlay the strategy into a better finish with the race ending early.

Behind the Audi and Mercedes up front, four Porsches ended third through sixth. From that group, familiar names to IMSA fans include Tim Pappas, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Patrick Long, Romain Dumas, Fred Makowiecki and Dirk Werner, among others.

Full race results are linked here.

The Alley : Trackside. Insight. Online.

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