The winter break is over for the GRT Grasser Racing Team. After finishing fourth in the Dubai 24 Hours, the Austrian outfit has one of the standout fixtures of the sports car season coming up this month. In the USA the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship kicks off with the legendary 24 Hours of Daytona on the weekend of 28th – 31st January. Two Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO cars with all-star line-ups will be competing in the GTD class for the team’s third victory in the world-famous endurance classic.
Bortolotti and Ineichen back at the wheel of a Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO
Mirko Bortolotti and Rolf Ineichen, whose association with team boss Gottfried Grasser goes back many years, return in the number 111 car. Between 2016 and 2019, the Lamborghini works pro from Austria and the gentleman driver from Switzerland constituted one of the most powerful pairings on the GT3 scene. In 2018 and 2019, they were members of the quartet that led the GRT Grasser Racing Team to triumph at Daytona International Speedway.
On their return, Bortolotti and Ineichen will share the cockpit of the number 111 car with two other top Lamborghini Squadra Corse drivers, Marco Mapelli and Steijn Schothorst. The Italian secured second place for the Knittelfeld-based racing team last year. Lamborghini Junior Schothorst made his debut at Daytona in 2020 and has been in impressive form during his first season with the team, not least on account of some breathtaking qualifying performances.
GRT Grasser Racing Team packing a double punch in the GTD class
The other Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO displaying the livery of the GRT Grasser Racing Team has a crew that is every bit as competitive. Lamborghini factory drivers Franck Perera and Albert Costa Balboa once again constitute a dream team in the number 19 car. They are joined by an IMSA specialist and a promising Daytona newcomer.
Lamborghini Youngster Tim Zimmermann was a guest observer at the 2020 event in Florida and is now looking forward to his debut outing on the historic 5.73km circuit. The fourth driver in the line-up is Misha Goikhberg. The Canadian with Russian roots ranks as an out and out IMSA veteran, with six appearances in the endurance classic at Daytona. In 2016, he celebrated class victory in the prototype category.
First test of strength in the Roar Before The Rolex 24
The build-up to the Rolex 24 At Daytona 2021 begins this coming weekend (22nd 23rd January) with some serious qualifying action in the Roar Before The Rolex 24. One week ahead of the race proper, the battle for starting positions will be fought out on Saturday. The GTD class once again promises a particularly exciting contest. With 20 GT3 cars on the grid, it is as usual the strongest category of the event.
Team principal Gottfried Grasser: “We are very happy that the winter break is finally over, and we are raring to get started at Daytona. The ultimate objective obviously has to be victory number three in this great race. Last year, we just missed out and had to settle for the runner-up spot. The way the Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO performs at Daytona fills us with confidence this time as well. In addition, we have put together two first-class driver pairings. It’s great to be continuing our partnership with Albert, Franck and Tim in the number 19 car. In addition, we have Misha as the fourth driver in this car – he is an absolute IMSA expert and rounds off an extremely strong line-up. We are also very proud of the quartet in car number 111. With Mirko and Rolf, we are experiencing a real revival, and we are very happy to welcome them back in our ranks. Steijn was an instant hit as a rookie last year, and Marco has been a mainstay of the Lamborghini squad for many years now. We are ready for anything the race throws at us, and we just can’t wait to get going.”
Source. GRT Grasser Racing