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Pit+Paddock Looks Ahead to Laguna Seca as the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Championship Heats Up
BY Mike Maravilla //
May 7, 2024
Photography: George Bucur
  • IMSA traverses the country for Round 3 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, home of the infamous Corkscrew and host to several race series and exhibitions throughout the year.
  • The WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 is IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge (IMPC) two-hour enduro challenge across the course’s 11-corner, 2.238-mile full layout.
  • The #93 Pit+Paddock FL5 Civic Type R TCR, under Montreal Motorsport Group’s (MMG) stewardship, currently sits 6th in the IMPC championship.
  • Pit+Paddock drivers—Dai Yoshihara and Karl Wittmer—are eager to pick up where they left off at Sebring to climb up the leaderboard.

It’s almost impossible to mention WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca without talking about the Corkscrew. It’s the most infamous turn at the winding Monterey Peninsula track and arguably the most iconic in North America. The Turn 8 rollercoaster drops 59 feet in altitude—the equivalent of a five-and-a-half story drop—in 450 feet of track length. Those are numbers that are hard to compute, but the blind vantage point down into the apex is one of the most frightening sights in racing. The challenges that it presents to the drivers that dare enter it with reckless abandon are legendary. Like Pikes Peak, it’s a corner that demands respect, or else it’s prone to bite.

The tussling at this single turn is one of many highlights we’re looking forward to this weekend; Round 3 of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge championship is just around the corner. Pit+Paddock drivers—Dai Yoshihara and Karl Wittmer—are eager to pick up where they left off at Sebring to climb up the leaderboard.


Montreal Motorsport Group (MMG) organized its first-ever private test day for both FL5s. The track time in Canada was fruitful for extracting more in-depth knowledge on chassis balance. “[The test day] allowed us to try different configurations, which will lead us to choose a competitive set-up for Laguna Seca very quickly,” added Sabrina D’Amico, MMG’s co-owner and Logistics Manager. “We only get two one-hour practice sessions on Friday so this is definitely very valuable going into this event.” Wittmer piloted the #93 Pit+Paddock FL5 Civic Type R TCR while Yoshihara took on very different driving duties at Drift Appalachia.

After mulling over the data with the team and speaking with his teammate, Dai Yoshihara is optimistic for the weekend. “I’m really excited to get back behind the wheel of the car,” said Yoshihara. “I think Laguna Seca is one of the most unique tracks out there and I think my experience driving time attack here will be super helpful. I feel like I’m ready to go!” Yoshihara and Wittmer have both been working hard in the simulator in addition to taking on physical training and heat endurance sessions.

“The speed we found early in the season has not produced the results the team and drivers deserve. We’ve had some bad luck, but as we move forward and work together as a team, I’m confident we will produce the results we want to achieve,” D’Amico continued. “Laguna Seca is a driver’s track and we’re confident in our drivers’ abilities to keep us up front!” The #93 Pit+Paddock FL5 Civic Type R TCR currently sits sixth in the IMPC standings, with fourth place in arm’s reach.


Unlike the first two IMPC rounds that ran on Friday, the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 will wave its green flag on Saturday afternoon. Two practice sessions will take place on Friday, the second of which is an early evening session that should mimic race conditions well. Saturday morning hosts the 35-minute qualifying session before the main event six hours later.

Thank you to ARPENEOSTurn 14 DistributionMishimotoWhiteline, and DBA for supporting Pit+Paddock’s inaugural IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge campaign with Montreal Motorsport Group.





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