There are a couple of notable changes to the IMSA GTD field for this weekend, with WeatherTech Racing switching back to racing with Porsche, and Michael Shank Racing’s NSX GT3s set to sport new liveries.
In the WeatherTech Racing camp, the decision to switch from its Mercedes AMG GT3 to its Porsche 911 GT3 R which it raced in 2015 and 2016 (above), is due to the IMSA BoP ‘hampering’ the AMG’s performance. According to the team the car is 99.2 pounds heavier than the other cars in the class, and carries a significantly smaller air restrictor.
“The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is a great car,” MacNeil said. “We were fortunate to win at Long Beach on strategy, but the ebb-and-flow of BoP has the Mercedes at a big disadvantage right now. It is 231.5 lbs. heavier and has a 5.5mm smaller restrictor than the Porsche. So we are blowing the dust off of our 911 GT3 R and running it at Road America. We will see what the rest of the season brings.”
“We have a good relationship with Mercedes-AMG, but unfortunately our competitiveness has declined through the season as IMSA has continually made our car heavier,” Jeannette said. “It’s been very frustrating to have a car capable of race wins at the beginning of the season only to struggle to finish 10th at the last race.
“Since we still have a Porsche 911 GT3 R ready to go we thought what the heck, let’s run it at Road America and see where we stand. Porsche has been very supportive in helping us get everything back up and running for next weekend and it will be a nice homecoming for Cooper and myself to drive a Porsche in IMSA again. We already have one podium this year in a Porsche over at the Tour Auto in France and hope to get a second at WeatherTech’s home race!”
Meanwhile, Michael Shank Racing is going to race with new colours again, after it raced in Acura liveries at the start of the season, and a patriotic scheme for the July 4th meeting at Watkins Glen and subsequent races.
This time around, its two Acura NSX GT3s will race in chrome red and blue (above), which the team says, will not be its final livery change of the year.
“We’re really excited about this livery,” said team owner Mike Shank. “From the racing world to the street car world, these are very popular OEM colors. The chrome look to them is eye-catching and they look great. AERO once again hit it out of the park for us. It’s very clean and simple this time.
“We will have one more scheme before we are done this year!”
Featured image courtesy of WeatherTech Racing, MSR image courtesy of Michael Shank Racing