CarBahn with Peregrine Racing is primed for its debut weekend in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship with the No. 39 Audi R8 GT3 LMS.
The California-based team heads to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course armed for the first time with both the Audi R8 GT3 and the Audi R8 GT4 LMS supported by Audi Sport Customer Racing. It also will welcome its new driver pairing of Richard Heistand and Jeff Westphal. Together they will captain the No. 39 for its maiden voyage around the 13 Turn, 2.26-mile course.
Driver Heistand, 2019 Motul Pole Award and GTD Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course winner, will look to lend his expertise this weekend as the team joins the ultra-competitive GT Daytona field. Paired with seasoned IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship driver and 2019 IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge champion Westphal the No. 39 undoubtedly will quickly become a top contender.
While Heistand and Westphal pilot the No. 39 in GTD, Mark Siegel and Tom Dyer are back in the No. 93 in IMSA MICHELIN Pilot Challenge.
Neither Siegel or Dyer are strangers to its technical turns and rolling hills having finished in the top-10 during the 2020 IMSA event weekend. Since then, the No. 93 has had a considerable amount of additional track time with the pair serving as a strong foundation for the race. Together, they will use past knowledge to continue to grow the No. 93’s platform for development.
Richard Heistand, Driver of the No. 39 Audi R8 GT3 LM
“I know Steve and the boys are flat out getting ready for the weekend,” Heistand said. “What’s clear is that we have a very talented group of people and long term I’m really excited about what we can achieve together. Having said that we need to have realistic expectations going into Mid-Ohio. With just two one-hour practice session and five classes on track this will surely favor those who have been there and done it before together in a car they know well. While I still expect a solid result due to the quality of the people on this team, make no mistake, this is an abnormal and massive challenge to start the year off with.”
“I’ve been to Mid-Ohio once in 2019 and was on pole and won with my teammate Jack Hawksworth in GTD. Also, my mom’s family is from Ohio and everyone came to the race, so I only have one memory from the track but it’s a special one.”
Jeff Westphal, Driver of the No. 39 Audi R8 GT3 LMS
“The team and I have been anxiously awaiting this challenge,” Westphal said. “As most people in the paddock know, we relish tough competition. We have been analyzing the speed per mile of our peers at many of the IMSA tracks, as well as completed a shake down of our Audi R8 GT3 LMS. We did systems checks with the new car, pit equipment and telemetry as well. It’s not quite as simple as put fuel in, turn the key, and hit the gas pedal because the level of detail in the IMSA WeatherTech championship is world class. Beyond that, I have been spending a little time on the simulator at Mid-Ohio to make sure the flow of the track is sub conscious, that way I am firing on all cylinders when we arrive for Practice 1.”
“Mid-Ohio is a track that is friendly to the Audi R8 platform as it’s generally a track that produces understeer in most cars. Platforms that lack understeer or behave more “free” are usually strong at Mid-Ohio. The Lexus is exactly that, so I expect them to be quite strong. Porsche has a great BOP currently so I would also expect the 911’s to be sharp around Mid-Ohi, but only time will tell where we land in that hierarchy.”
Mark Siegel, Driver of the No. 93 Audi R8 GT4 LMS
“Well, without a pro/pro car, we certainly don’t have any championship aspirations,” Siegel said. “But this is a great season for both Sameer and I to get more seat time and keep improving, and for Nolan it’s an opportunity to do a little sports car racing to augment the formula car regimen he has with Road to Indy. Hopefully, we’ll have him in one of the cars in a more serious way next year.”
“Our car is always good at Mid-Ohio. Hopefully Tom Dyer and I can have another top 10 finish like we did last year, and of course Sunday is our debut race with the new Audi GTD car. I’m expecting we’ll have a very competitive WeatherTech outing with Jeff Westphal and Richard Heistand at the wheel!”
Tom Dyer, Driver of the No. 93 Audi R8 GT4 LMS
“The team and I are looking forward to welcoming Mark back into the No. 93 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 GT4 LMS at Mid-Ohio,” Dyer said. “It will be his first race in 2021, and I know he is pumped. I’m not one to set expectations, rather I prefer to focus on the task at hand and getting to work on it. For this event it will be getting everyone on the same page since it will be a mix of some new faces along with familiar ones on the crew as we welcome an exciting expansion into the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship.”
“Steve Dinan and the crew always give us an amazing car, so I’m sure it will be fast at a track that was our best event last year. Dinan never sits still and is always looking for ways to improve performance so I look forward to seeing how we compare to our performance from last year. The series is so competitive right now and it seems our competitors have gotten even quicker since last year, so we’ll need to step up our game at Mid-Ohio. We’ve had the chance to do some testing on the west coast and I feel Mark is driving as good as he ever has, which is encouraging heading into his first IMSA event of 2021.”
Source. CarBahn Motorsports with Peregrine Racing