The long wait was finally over for GRT Grasser Racing Team last weekend as the IMSA WeatherTech 240 in Daytona provided a first race outing for the Austrian outfit since the worldwide lockdown was imposed. They arrived at the historic race track in the US state of Florida with high hopes, not least because of the outstanding second place in the legendary 24 Hours of Daytona achieved by the GRT Magnus Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO in late January of this year. However, the team’s return to the venue five months later proved unexpectedly difficult for drivers Andy Lally and John Potter.
In the second race of the 2020 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, GRT Magnus were the only contestants to field a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO in the GTD class. However, a change to the Balance of Performance (BoP) for the class since the Daytona 24 Hours worked to the disadvantage of the Italian GT3 car, which immediately became noticeable in the free practice sessions as the GRT engineers struggled on the setup.
In qualifying for the race, Potter booked tenth on the grid for car number 44. The race lasting 2 hours and 40 minutes was preceded by a change in the weather, so the team decided to switch to a different tyre strategy. However, the gamble did not pay off, as the start was then delayed. Nonetheless, Lally and Potter finished a creditable ninth in the GTD class after a flawless 85 laps.
After the expected difficult return to action, GRT Grasser Racing Team have a busy schedule in the USA. The IMSA calendar, which has been compressed by the quarantine, has nine events in the second half of the year. The team from Austria will remain in Florida for the next race weekend (16th – 18th July), namely the Sebring Grand Prix to be contested at the Sebring International Raceway.
Team manager Gottfried Grasser: “With the BoP, it was clear to us from the start that we were going to have difficulties. The long straights in Daytona don’t suit the small restrictor, so we didn’t expect a repeat of our success in the 24-hour race. But the bottom line is that we were still very satisfied. The car ran perfectly and the drivers were very happy with the balance. The team got the maximum out of the situation. All credit to everyone concerned – they did a great job. We are now looking forward to the next round of the competition at Sebring and to the official tests for the ADAC GT Masters in Europe. It’s good to be back.”
Source. GRT Grasser Racing/Photo. Jamey Price