Monterey, Calif., (May 14, 2023) - WeatherTech Racing won today’s running of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Motul Course de Monterey Powered by Hyundai N at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Daniel Juncadella (Spain) had the wheel of the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support for the start of the 2 hours, 45 minutes race from his third-place qualifying position. The Spaniard had to hold position into the tricky first turn and was able to successfully hold the spot during the two restarts following early cautions.
Handing the car to Jules Gounon (France) he proceeded to do battle with the Lexus and Corvette. Again, running a good pace in the top five the race came back to the team. On the strength of the strategy and good pit stops by the WeatherTech Racing/Proton Competition crew three of the front running GTD Pro cars received penalties moving the red, white, and blue Mercedes-AMG GT3 car to the front with 40-minutes remaining. Gounon was able to manage the tires and the traffic to bring the car home for the win at the WeatherTech branded track. The win is the second of the season, first being the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January.
“We knew we would have difficulty on pace this weekend,” Gounon said. “We know we were not the fastest car, so we focused on what we could control. It was not one fast lap, but the entire race. The WeatherTech and Proton guys did a great job with strategy and car prep. I am proud of the team. We had a tough race at Long Beach and were able to come back and get the win today. I think we just drove and took the mistakes of our competition and were able to get the win.
“During my stint it was about managing the gap. I had to stay ahead of the Porsche as well as manage the cars in front of me. I think we were the best Mercedes managing the tire degradation today.”
For Juncadella it was a matter of taking what was given.
“It was a hectic start,” Juncadella said. “I knew I had to be smart. I took my time, waited and passed two cars. We were able to playout our strategy. With the yellows the race looked to be a bit crazy. It looked like we were not even going to be on the podium. Then we take the others mistakes and take our pay back and get an unexpected win here at the track that WeatherTech sponsors.”
The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will take its annual break as teams and drivers compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The next race will be the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, to run at Watkins Glen International, June 22-25.