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Continental Tire IMSA Spotlight: Gunnar Jeannette
- Updated: November 16, 2016
IMSA Spotlight: Gunnar Jeannette
Driver: No. 50 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3
How does it feel to be returning to full-time IMSA competition, as part of WeatherTech Racing’s new Mercedes-AMG GT3 program?
“I’m super excited to be coming back to IMSA with WeatherTech’s new Mercedes AMG GT3 program. It’s been great working with the team at Mercedes-AMG so far, Cooper and I love driving the car.”
What have been your first impressions of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 and working with the Riley team?
“The first impressions of our new AMG GT3 have been very positive. The AMG engineers have done a great job of taking the good attributes from the older SLS and incorporating that into this new platform.
“Joining the Riley team it’s instantly clear why they have been so successful in every class they’ve raced in. Bob and Bill Riley really know what they’re doing when it comes to designing and building racing cars and everyone involved with the team is very switched on.
“We’ve only just begun to work together, but I can’t wait to get back to test the car again.”
Where do you see the strengths in the car’s package compared to other GT3 cars?
“It’s hard to say where the Mercedes is going to stack up against the rest of the GTD class at this moment before we have our BpP.
“Coming from the Porsche, the Mercedes is a very different animal, obviously, with the engine being up front. So far I would say the car is very good aerodynamically and it also looks after it’s tires quite well.
“I think you have a more broad range of setups that will work with the car and that makes it more drivable in some ways. We are still very new to the car both on the driving side and on the team front, so we still have a lot to learn about our new ride.”
How do you think you guys will stack up in the GTD class next year?
“The GTD class is going to be absolutely stellar in 2017. The level of competition will be higher than any previous year of the class.
“That being said, we are going to win. Cooper really raised his game all through last year and his driving style seems to suit the Mercedes. With the new “factory” teams in the class and silver-rated drivers like Scott Pruett it certainly isn’t going to be an easy task, but we are up for the challenge.”
Do you have any races still on your ‘bucket list” that you’d like to compete in one day?
“I’ve been very fortunate to race all over the world throughout my career so I’ve ticked off most of the “bucket list” races.
“There are a few I’ve yet to do though, like the Bathurst 12 Hour and Nürburgring 24. I think it would be really cool to go down with some friends and do the Baja 1000 as well, that would be a great experience.”