Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (March 14, 2023) - WeatherTech Racing is heading to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring to run this weekend, March 15-18, at Sebring International Speedway.
Drivers Jules Gounon (France), Daniel Juncadella (Spain), and Maro Engel (Germany) will be looking to get to the top step of the Sebring podium in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support on Saturday. The WeatherTech Racing/Proton team finished third last year but are carrying the momentum of winning the Rolex 24 Hour At Daytona in January into this weekend’s race.
The trio of Mercedes Factory Drivers have been busy since Daytona. Gounon is completing a seven-week consecutive run of races on four continents that began with the Hankook 24H Dubai in mid-January, followed by the Roar and Rolex 24 at Daytona, Bathurst 12 Hour and four rounds of the Asian Le Mans Series in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in addition to racing at Kyalami the last weekend of February. The Frenchman won the Rolex 24, won at Bathurst, and won his class at Kyalami.
“I have been very busy since Daytona,” Gounon said. “I’ve done Bathurst 12 hours, which I have won three times in a row, which I am very proud of since it is a very challenging racetrack. I was in Bahrain for the Asian Le Mans Series for two race weekends and then to Kyalami where we won with Kenny Habul. It was a great run of racing. I am ready to come back to IMSA with the WeatherTech Racing team. We are getting some extra weight with the BoP (balance of performance), but we will give it our best and hopefully get a good result.
“Sebring is an amazing track. You must respect the bumps. There is no margin for error when you are on the limit. I am really looking forward to getting back and driving with Maro and Dani in the WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG.”
Juncadella returns to Sebring for just the second time.
“I flew straight away to Australia to Bathurst after the Rolex,” Juncadella said. “Since then, I’ve also done lots of testing and keeping fit in Europe. It has been a long wait since Daytona. I am ready to get back in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 and ready to keep this championship run going.
“I got my first taste of Sebring last year where I finished second. The track is very special. Some drivers are not as enthusiastic about it. It is unique. With the BoP, we may be a little on the backfoot. We were very successful at Daytona, so some weight comes our way.”
Engel is focused on being faultless at Sebring to duplicate the team’s Rolex 24 success.
“After our win in Daytona we had the chance to have a nice dinner with Cooper and even played some mini golf, it was great to celebrate on Sunday night,” Engel said. “We ran the Bathurst 12 hour, raced a Kyalami, and I also went to the AMG Experience in Lapland, where we drove some great cars on the frozen lakes, which is always great fun.
“It is going to be another tough race. Sebring is also rough, respect the bumps as they say. The competition will be strong again, so the WeatherTech Racing/Proton Competition team will have to bring our A game. We will try to be faultless with all elements from driving, to pit stops, to strategy - all the elements we were able to put together for the win at Daytona. We have all the support from David (MacNeil) and WeatherTech. It will be strange to not have Cooper (MacNeil) driving with us in the WeatherTech car, but we are motivated to keep the winning momentum going and will make him proud.
“Sebring is one of the big challenging tracks out there — super-fast, big sweeping corners and late braking zones. I personally enjoy driving there. We finished on the podium last year but would like to win this year. We have a strong car and I have amazing teammates with me so let’s see where we come out Saturday night.”
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, will open with practice on Thursday with the race taking the green flag at 10:10 a.m. ET Saturday.