IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup Offers Its Own Championship Battle

By Mark Robinson

IMSA Wire Service

They’ve always played an integral role in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, but the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races within the overall schedule have taken on even more significance in 2024.

The addition of Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a fifth endurance event means at least half the races in each class this year will count toward both the full-season championship as well as the Michelin Endurance Cup crown. Oftentimes, the class champions for the season differ from those in the Michelin Endurance Cup. Part of that is due to the different scoring system for the Michelin Endurance Cup that awards points at pre-designated junctures throughout those longer races instead of just at the finish.

That’s already proven to be the case this season, with three of the four teams that won the Rolex 24 At Daytona opener in January not atop their class chart in the Michelin Endurance Cup. At Daytona, endurance points were awarded at the six-, 12- and 18-hour marks of the race along with the finish. Five points went to each class leader at those junctures, four points to second place, three points for third place and two points for all other competitors.

Here are the current Michelin Endurance Cup class leaders, with another grueling enduro – the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Cadillac – on the horizon in just two weeks.

Grand Touring Prototype (GTP)

No. 31 Whelen Cadillac Racing Cadillac V-Series.R (drivers Jack Aitken, Pipo Derani, Tom Blomqvist) leads No. 7 Porsche Penske Motorsport Porsche 963 (Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell) by two points. The No. 7 Porsche won the Rolex 24 with the No. 31 Cadillac finishing second.

Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2)

The No. 04 CrowdStrike Racing by APR ORECA LMP2 07 (Colin Braun, George Kurtz, Malthe Jakobsen, Toby Sowery) leads the No. 18 Era Motorsport ORECA (Dwight Merriman, Ryan Dalziel, Connor Zilisch, Christian Rasmussen) by two points. The No. 18 Era entry won the Rolex 24 and the No. 04 CrowdStrike placed second.

Grand Touring Daytona Pro (GTD PRO)

The No 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 296 GT3 (Alessandro Pier Guidi, Daniel Serra, Davide Rigon, James Calado) and the No. 1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3 (Bryan Sellers, Madison Snow, Neil Verhagen, Sheldon van der Linde) are tied in Michelin Endurance Cup points. The Risi Ferrari won the class at the Rolex 24 with the PMR BMW finishing third.

Grand Touring Daytona (GTD)

The No. 32 Korthoff/Preston Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Kenton Koch, Maximilian Goetz, Mikael Grenier, Mike Skeen) and the No. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3 Evo (Brendan Iribe, Frederik Schandorff, Ollie Millroy, Tom Gamble) are tied for the class lead, one point ahead of the No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Philip Ellis, Russell Ward, Indy Dontje, Daniel Morad). The Winward Mercedes won at Daytona, while the Korthoff/Preston Mercedes finished fifth and the Inception McLaren 13th.

After Sebring, the remaining Michelin Endurance Cup races are the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International (June 23), Battle on the Bricks at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Sept. 22) and Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (Oct. 12).