The penultimate round of the 2022 WeatherTech Sportscar Championship takes place this weekend at the Virginia International Raceway (VIR). The Michelin GT Challenge is the 12th event out of 13 in a calendar that sees sportscars and prototypes race across the United States. For VIR, this is its largest event of the year and is expected to draw 30,000 fans to watch the on-track action. Originally opened in 1957, the track closed for 26 years before being reopened in 2000. Since 2014, VIR has hosted a GT-only race in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.
Three top-flight Motul teams at the starting line
Set on the full-length course, each lap of the 2h 40mins GT race is 3.27 miles long with drivers negotiating 18 corners. There are two classes within the GT Challenge: GT Daytona Pro (GTD Pro) and GT Daytona (GTD), and three top-flight Motul teams will be taking part in the GT Daytona Pro class.
Reigning 2021 IMSA WeatherTech GTD champions Pfaff will be piloting their Motul-lubricated Porsche 911 GT3R, with Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jamine taking the wheel and hoping to follow up on their 24 Hours of Daytona win. Pfaff is currently leading the championship after four wins this year and are sitting at the top of the leaderboard 227 points head of their nearest rival.
Steve Bortolotti, general manager at Pfaff, previously said of the team’s relationship with Motul:
“Motul has been an amazing partner of ours throughout the last racing seasons. We truly believe in the superiority of its products. It’s not just marketing or sponsorship. We run Motul’s products in our race cars, or track cars and all in our personal ones too. I think we have a lot more winning ahead of us, so we’ll continue to build and develop this program to become even bigger and more encompassing. We’re really a family, and I couldn’t be happier with this team.”
Heart of Racing Team
Another Motul-lubricated car lining up on the grid this weekend is the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 of Heart of Racing Team. Leading the charge are drivers Alex Riberas and Ross Gunn. Heart of Racing Team is currently sitting fourth in the championship and picked up wins at the Watkins Glen and Long Beach editions, as well as more podium finishes this season.
BMW M Team RLL
Currently fifth in the championship is the BMW M Team RLL squad with drivers Connor De Phillippi and John Edwards rising to the challenge this weekend behind the wheel of their Motul-lubricated BMW M4 GT3.
Connor De Phillippi said:
“Motul has years and years of experience in motorsport, and across multiple forms of motorsport. And I think that technology transfer and knowledge from other forms of motorsports brings a lot of value to us in terms of performance and reliability. Whether it’s motorcycles or off-road vehicles, all the things Motul learns in those spectrums and being able to apply that to endurance racing adds that special value to it. It’s been great having Motul on board and I’ve loved driving this red car.”