INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 8, 2018) -- Reigning F3 Americas champion Kyle Kirkwood and Formula 4 United States Championship Powered by Honda titleholder Dakota Dickerson are trading in their championship-winning open-wheel Ligier chassis for a Ligier JS P3 prototype, competing in the inaugural four-hour Michelin IMSA Sportscar Encore at Sebring International Raceway Nov. 10-11 with ANSA Motorsports in the LMP3 class. Onroak Automotive North America presented the opportunity to the two winners to compete in a Ligier JS P3 after both Kirkwood and Dickerson clinched their respective titles early.
“Both Kyle and Dakota have proven they’re fast in anything they compete in, but most importantly, they are consistent drivers who make smart decisions on the track,” said Onroak Automotive North America General Manager Max Crawford. “We are happy to provide these young, talented drivers the experience in a different Ligier.”
Making his sportscar debut, Kirkwood will be paired with 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge Roar before the Rolex 24 winner Roman De Angelis, piloting the No. 13 red, black and white Ligier.
“Sportscar racing is something I’ve been interested in for a very long time, but my open-wheel schedule always conflicted me from jumping into one,” said Florida-native Kirkwood. “This opportunity came through a local Florida team, ANSA Motorsports, Ligier and Onroak Automotive. I’m extremely grateful to them for making this a possibility. It’s a strong lineup between the Ligier JS P3, ANSA Motorsports, Roman and me. I can’t wait to kick it off Friday in Sebring.”
While Kirkwood’s sportscar career experience will commence this weekend, Dickerson has contested outside single-seater competition multiple times. The San Diego-native proved himself as a winning sportscar driver by taking first in his class in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill, claiming Rookie of the Year in SCCA Cal Club Spec Miata and qualifying third in a Pirelli World Challenge GT3 rookie race for ANSA Motorsports.
Dickerson and his partner, 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge MPC class champion Jon Brownson, will drive the No. 2 Ligier JS P3 outfitted in the ANSA Motorsports signature livery.
“I’m very excited to try out the Ligier JS P3 with ANSA Motorsports,” Dickerson said. “The guys at Ligier always build great cars, and I know the ANSA Motorsports team is one of the best out there. It’ll be really fun working with them again and I’m looking forward to my first endurance race with IMSA.”
With a strong endurance-racing background, embellished by multiple race wins, the ANSA Motorsports team owners stepped up their racing program for inaugural Encore endurance race, fielding three Ligier JS P3 sportscars operated by more than 30 team members composed of drivers, engineers and crew. Ranked fourth in the 2018 IMSA Prototype Challenge Series, ANSA Motorsports committed to the growth of its racing and driver development program with its recent expansion.
“We are extremely excited to have Kyle and Dakota drive for us this weekend,” said ANSA Motorsports team owner Patrick-Otto Madsen. “The Michelin IMSA Sportscar Encore race is the perfect opportunity to showcase the hard work of our drivers and crew. ANSA is making a monumental effort to prepare and run three Ligier JS P3 prototypes. Without the relentless effort of our team on and off the track, none of this would be possible.”
The weekend will include a promoter test day open to all participants on Friday. The official schedule for Saturday, calls for three, one-hour practice sessions, with a fourth, 30-minute practice planned for Sunday, prior to the 20-minute qualifying sessions. Teams will be required to field a minimum of two drivers per car and a maximum of three. No Platinum-rated drivers will be allowed to compete and no driver lineup may have more than one Gold-rated driver.
The broadcast for the IMSA Sportscar Encore race will be available at IMSA.tv Sun., Nov. 11, 2018 from 11:50am – 4:00pm EST.
About SCCA Pro Racing:
SCCA Pro Racing is a division of the Sports Car Club of America, Inc. -- a 65,000-member organization dedicated to motorsports. SCCA Pro Racing provides full-service organization, operation and sanctioning for numerous professional racing series such as Trans Am®, F3 Americas Championship, Formula E and F4 U.S. Championship.
About Onroak/Ligier Crawford:
Founded in 2012, Onroak Automotive is a race car manufacturer established in France, North Carolina, and Malaysia. Since 2013, Onroak Automotive designs and produces Ligier sports cars such as the Ligier JS P2, Ligier JS P3 or more recently the Ligier JS P217 and Ligier JS P4. Daytona 24h winner, Le Mans 24h winner and World Endurance championship winner, Onroak Automotive in North America is based in Denver, North Carolina. Supporting racing series and teams in DPi, LM P2, LM P3 and F4 in the United States, Onroak Automotive North America is expanding its production capacity in North Carolina to build the Ligier Crawford JS F3 and to reach the highest level of performance, safety and reliability for the FIA F3 Americas series.
About the SCCA Pro Racing F4 U.S. Championship:
FIA F4 is designed as entry-level open-wheel racing for participants, around a contemporary, modern, cost conscious formula. SCCA Pro Racing and its chosen partners that embrace these ideals and support this vision with appropriate technology and products. The selected F4 powerplant is a production-based engine powering the Honda Civic® Type R®, tuned to meet FIA-mandated output of approximately 160 Hp. The engine and the ECU are sealed to provide parity and compliance. The Ligier JS F4 16 carbon fiber chassis is manufactured in the United States by Onroak Automotive North America. From the Hankook Tires, the Honda engine to the Ligier chassis, the F4 U.S. car is assembled and made in the United States.
Photo: Inaugural F3 Americas champion Kyle Kirkwood and F4 U.S. champion Dakota Dickerson will pilot Ligier JS P3s in the four-hour Michelin IMSA Sportscar Encore at Sebring International Raceway.
Photo courtesy of ANSA Motorsports