WeatherTech Racing drivers Maximilian Götz (Germany), Maximilian Buhk (Germany), and Mikaël Grenier (Canada) will compete in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the season finale IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Motul Petit Le Mans to run at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Sept. 28 – Oct. 1.
Season long driver Cooper MacNeil (Hinsdale, Ill) has chosen to step aside for the final IMSA race of the season giving way to three Mercedes Factory Drivers to pilot the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support in GTD Pro for the IMSA WeatherTech Championship season finale.
The WeatherTech Racing/Proton Competition team comes into the event as the defending Motul Petit Le Mans race winners, with the WeatherTech brand taking a one-two finish in last year’s race in the GTD Pro category. Of the three drivers that will be tasked with defending the race win, just one, Buhk, has competed in the event in the past.
Buhk has one Petit Le Mans start to his credit and is looking forward to getting reacquainted with the 2.54-mile, 12-turn Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta circuit.
“I’ve raced Petit Le Mans once in 2018 with P1 Motorsport,” Buhk said. “I really like the track with its elevation change and the last corner is super quick and always a challenge. As it’s a 10-hour race the key factor will be to stay out of trouble. We have to be in a good position for the last hour as this is the time where the race will be decided.
“The Mercedes-AMG is always competitive as we could see over the years. We should be able to take advantage of tire usage as the car is always gentle on tires.”
Grenier raced with the WeatherTech Racing/Proton team this year at Watkins Glen.
“It will be my first-time racing at Petit Le Mans, I am looking forward to it as it is one of the most popular races of the year,” Grenier said. “I am also looking forward to competing in the GTD Pro Class again. Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta is a very nice circuit, it will be my first time there, but I know the track well from the SIM and studying onboard video and watching previous IMSA WeatherTech races there too.
“In the race, we will need to survive the first few hours, keep the car in one piece, have a good strategy and be on the lead lap with a few hours to go and from there push for the win. Our WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG should be very strong in sector one so we will need to make the best out of it there.”
For Götz it will also be a learning weekend of the track, the traffic and the strategy.
“I have never raced Petit Le Mans, but every year I followed the race as a fan and supporter of Mercedes and my friends competing there,” Götz said. “I am really looking forward to running the race this year. The track looks to be a traditional old school track almost like the Nordschleife with its up and down and blind corners. It looks like it will take a lot of effort to drive. With all the prototypes and being in the slowest class it can be tricky with traffic, especially at night.
“I have been using my SIM to get some laps in to learn the corners and the general gearing of the track. Of course, I’ve watched some of the past races as well. The key will be to not make any mistakes on the track or in the pits. I have a lot of faith in the car and the team. In racing you also need some luck, especially at the end. We don’t do much fuel saving racing in Europe, so we will need to be in a good position with strategy at the end.”
Source. Kyle Chura/WeatherTech Racing