Continues LMP3 program as VP Racing SportsCar Challenge debuts this weekend
Daytona, Fla. (18 January 2023) - Jr III ("Junior Three") Racing will open the 2023 season being a part of history as the team is set to compete in the all-new VP Racing SportsCar Challenge (VPSC) during the Roar Before the 24 weekend at Daytona International Speedway. The inaugural event weekend is the first for the new IMSA championship, which features a 45 minute sprint format with two classes: LMP3 prototype machines as well as GT4 entries, known as the GSX class in VPSC.
Jr III Is looking forward to its first outing with new driver Bijoy Garg, who will be making his sports car debut in the No. 3 S2 Cyber Ligier JS P320. The team has a well-established record of success with the Ligier LMP3 platform, having competed in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship as well as the now-defunct Prototype Challenge.
The Daytona event will see Garg look to learn quickly as the rapid fire weekend builds to a double header with a pair of thirty-minute practice sessions, a quick fifteen-minute qualifying round, and then two 45-minute races. Garg has experience with the high-intensity schedule, having competed in the USF 2000 ranks ahead of his sports car debut.
"I am excited to see how the format works," said Billy Glavin III, owner of Jr III Racing. "We have never run a sprint race in an LMP3, so it will be interesting to see how it works without pit stops and a longer race to settle into. Operating from the hot side of the pit wall will be a new experience. I am interested to see how it all works and what the field is like.”
The weekend will mark several firsts for Garg as he embarks on his IMSA debut.
“Bijoy has never been to Daytona or raced an LMP3, so he will have many new experiences, but we are excited about the potential,” continued Glavin. “He is excited about stepping into sports car racing for the first time, and we are excited to have him behind the wheel. There are a lot of unknowns so I think everyone is excited to get down there and see what the VP Racing Challenge series is like."
With the added complexity that a multi-class race format brings, the VPSC debut weekend will be a learning one for everyone as the championship opens with the Daytona doubleheader.
"One of the biggest challenges going from IPC to VPSC will be how the new format works and managing traffic on the track," said Glavin. “Mixing in the GT4s with the LMP3s should not be an issue for the first half of the race, but eventually, the LMP3s will catch the GT4s and getting through the field cleanly will be a challenge. Some of the LMP3 drivers are known to us from IPC and WeatherTech, but there are a lot of new drivers in the field, including Bijoy, so it will be challenging to learn how to race each of them."
The season-opening IMSA event will kick off a big season for Jr III Racing, which is set for a return to WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition as the team builds on a strong rookie season in the top-level category in 2022. With a returning driver line up of Garett Grist and Ari Balogh, the team is well placed to continue to generate results that match the level of preparation from the team. The Jr III WeatherTech effort will kick off at Sebring International Raceway for the 12 Hour on March 15-18.
The season opener at Daytona will begin with two practices on Friday, January 20th. The green flag for race one will drop on Saturday afternoon (2:05 PM EST), followed by the second race on Sunday (12:20 PM EST). Both races will have live coverage on Peacock TV.
Jr III Racing started IMSA program in 2019, Kris Wilson won the Bronze Cup at Road Atlanta
2020 Jr III Racing competed in five IPC events with a highest finish of 5th
Jr III Racing earned two second-place finishes and a third place finish in 2021 at VIR, Mid-Ohio and Road Atlanta
2022 Jr III Racing earned a podium finish at Mid-Ohio.