Braselton Ga., (Oct. 1, 2022) – WeatherTech Racing drivers Maximilian Götz (Germany), Maximilian Buhk (Germany), and Mikaël Grenier (Canada) finished sixth in today’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season finale Motul Petit Le Mans.
Buhk had the wheel of the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support for the start of the 10-hour race. The trio of Mercedes Factory Drivers kept the WeatherTech Racing/Proton Competition prepared red-white-and-blue Mercedes-AMG GT3 car in the hunt all day, even leading laps one-hour into the event until mid race contact challenged the team.
At 5 p.m. Gotz was hit in the rear by the No. 25 BMW sending him into a spin. He lost several places and had to pit, losing track position and a lap. The team worked the strategy to get it back but were never able to race up the time sheet to battle for a podium spot.
“It was a messy race, and I am happy that we finished,” Gotz said. “The team did a great job. I was fighting with the Ferrari in front of me and I opened up the line a little bit in the last chicane and Phillipi (Connor De Phillipi) dived in and touched me on the rear wheel and spun me around. We lost too many positions and too much time. Then we were trying to fight back, but it didn’t work out. The pace was just not there today. All of the Mercedes cars struggled. We were pushing like crazy, like running quali laps. From lap one to the last lap was a quali race for us. In the end it was a great experience to race here at Petit Le Mans.”
“The first part of the race was not so bad, the team had good strategy,” Grenier said. “Maxi Buhk took the lead, and we ran in the top three for quite a while. Then Maxi Gotz got hit by the BMW and we could never really recover. It’s a shame. During the day the pace was pretty good, but at night it just seemed to fall off. So, we have to look at that for the future.”
“We had a pretty good start to the race,” Buhk said. “I was able to lead some laps and run toward the front during my first stint. The contact with the BMW really hurt us. Maxi and Mikael did a great job and so did the team, we just didn’t have the pace to compete at the front. I really like this event. There was a lot of people here from Wednesday to race day.”
The IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship will start the 2023 season with the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway, Jan. 20-22.