Making its second start in the GT Daytona class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Gilbert Korthoff Motorsports went through a learning experience in Sunday’s IMSA Sports Car Weekend at Road America.
Shane Lewis and Guy Cosmo ran as high as eighth in the team’s new No. 32 Mercedes-AMG GT3, but recurring mechanical issues led to an early end of the race and a 14th-place finish in the competitive class.
“The right front had a mechanical issue that we believe is a suspension issue,” said Cosmo, who parked the car with 47 minutes remaining. “Unfortunately, It ended our day early. We still are a new program with a new car so there are bound to be growing pains and this was one of them. We will regroup and come back stronger.”
Lewis started 10th and was running eighth when he pitted under an early caution on lap 13. It proved to be a lengthy stop as the team checked out the suspension, but Lewis managed to turn competitive laps after returning to the event in 13th place.
“We weren’t sure what the problem was, so the team was looking at everything on that first stop,” Lewis said. “We decided to make a really long pit stop. When they stuck tires back on, it ran decent laps, and they were happy with it. But it was still more hanging on than driving. Even though the lap times were decent, I was just hanging on. When I lost the aero, the car would wiggle. Because of the loose part, you couldn’t run in traffic. By yourself, you could get the car to do what you needed to do, but if you got next to someone, or if a Prototype came up on you, you couldn’t race it.”
Lewis pitted in 13th with 57 minutes remaining. Cosmo got in, but had to return to serve a drive-through penalty for leaving the pit with equipment attached. Cosmo needed another stop 10 minutes later, which proved to be the stopping point for the race.
“It got to the point where when Cosmo got in, it was worse, and he didn’t want to ball it up, either,” Lewis said. “So we pitted and then found the real problem. We apparently had been fighting this issue all weekend, not knowing we had it, and it just kept getting worse … and worse … and worse. Finally during the race, that’s all she wrote. I am disappointed that our race ended early, but that’s racing. We succeed and we lose as a team, but we still are a team that will work together to make ourselves and the car better for the next round.”
The next event on the WeatherTech Championship schedule will be the Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday, Sept. 12, followed by the Michelin GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway on October 8-10.
Source. Sunday Group