Long Beach, Calif., (April 15, 2023) - WeatherTech Racing finished fifth in GTD Pro in today’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Daniel Juncadella (Spain) had the wheel of No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support for the start of the 100-minute street fight. The unforgiving close confines of the beachside circuit had the Spaniard negotiating a restart under yellow then he got caught out in a treacherous Turn 11 track blockage. He entered the corner and then the two cars in front had contact and totally blocked the track. With nowhere to go he had to sit while the cars blocking the track righted themselves and continued.
“I was in a bad spot, I was the first car after the blockage,” Juncadella said. “I had to reverse a bit and then wait for them to clear. This is what can happen when you start a bit at the back. Boring race to be honest. Just two yellows, one at the start and one at the end. With our strategy, our only hope was to get a couple of yellows at the beginning of the race, which didn’t happen. We lacked some pace with our balance of performance hit after Sebring. I hope we can get some back for the next races.”
Turning the car over to Jules Gounon (France) after losing track position with no other yellows coming until the last two laps, it became a seaside cruise for the Frenchman.
“We tried our best to work the strategy,” Gounon said. “With our pace to get a result today was nearly impossible. The WeatherTech Racing/Proton crew did a great pit stop. Dani and I gave it our all on the track, I think I touched the wall six times pushing flat out. We will see what the next step is and be prepared to bounce back for WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.”
The team will return to California in four weeks for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Motul De Monterey Powered by Hyundai N to run at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, May 12-14.