Alton, Va., (Aug. 26, 2023) - WeatherTech Racing will start the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin GT Challenge from the front row at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) tomorrow.
Under 92-degree temperatures, Daniel Juncadella (Spain) took to the track in the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support for the 15-minute qualifying session. The Spaniard was able to get a clear run midway through the session to post a lap of 1:44.876 good for second in GTD Pro and a front row starting position. With the possibility of rain and hot temperatures for the race tomorrow, Juncadella and teammate Jules Gounon (France) like their chances.
“First, great job by the crew to get the WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 back together after what happened yesterday,” Juncadella said. “I didn’t have the smoothest qualifying session. I think Road America was better. It was so close to pole that it hurts. Third time this year I have just missed out on pole. I made a small mistake, then on the last lap I was able to get close. It’s a shame to miss out on pole by such a small margin.
“The VIR circuit is sick! It is an amazing track. With the heat it makes it that much more challenging. For the race the heat will promote more tire degradation, and our car and team work well with the Michelin tires, so I hope that will be to our advantage.”
In practice on Friday a pit lane fuel issue caused a fire doing some superficial body damage to the WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. The WeatherTech Racing/Proton Competition crew did a great job to car fixed and ready for this morning’s practice.
The IMSA WeatherTech Michelin GT Challenge Weekend race will be televised live on USA and Peacock, starting at 2 p.m. ET, Sunday. Radio Le Mans will carry the full race at IMSA.com, RadioLeMans.com, and SiriusXM Radio (XM 207, SiriusXM Web/App 992).