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Land Planning Full-Season GTD Effort in 2018

Land Motorsport planning full-season GTD effort in 2018…

Photo: Mike Levitt/IMSA

Land Motorsport is likely to embark on a full-season GT Daytona effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year, through an increased alliance with Starworks Motorsport and Peter Baron.

The German squad, which nearly claimed class victory in its IMSA debut at Daytona in January, has outlined plans to field an Audi R8 LMS for the full 2018 WeatherTech Championship season, alongside the possibility of a second entry for the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races.

“At the moment it looks good that we can do it,” team director Christian Land told Sportscar365. “But we have to figure it out with our sponsors and what we will do for our European program. For sure, we’ll do more here.

“Our plans at the moment are to have one car full-season and add a second car for the endurance races. We’ll figure it out within the next month.”

The Wolfgang Land-owned operation, which claimed victory in this year’s Nürburgring 24, is set for its third GTD start of the year in this weekend’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans, with Connor De Phillippi, Christopher Mies and Sheldon van der Linde at the wheel.

All of the team’s U.S. outings to date have come with operational and logistics support from Starworks and Baron, with that relationship set to expand next year.

“We would use Peter and Peter’s crew and some of our guys would come over for the races,” said Land. “My wish is that the main part [of the IMSA program] is in Peter’s hands.

“As a European team, you cannot do it alone [in America]. You must have a cooperation.

“At the end of last year we found one of the best teams in the U.S. and one of the guys who has the most experience with IMSA and strategy. For sure we will do it with these guys.”

Land said Baron will also be part of the team’s European endurance programs next year, in helping with race strategy.

Drivers for the IMSA program have yet to be finalized but Land said both De Phillippi and Mies, who took the team to the 2016 ADAC GT Masters championship, as well as victory at the Nürburgring, are among those in contention.

24H Spa Debut Also in the Works

In addition to its expanded IMSA effort, Land said they’re looking to take part in the Total 24 Hours of Spa, a race that was originally on the schedule for this year. 

“We had so much to do in Germany and Europe this year that we thought [the 24H Spa] would be a bit too much,” Land said.

“Until now, we’ve done around 25 races this year, and overall around the world, it takes a lot of time. You can’t [do it all].”

A return to GT Masters, as well as defending its title in the Nürburgring 24, is also in the works for 2018.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. JC

    October 4, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Big pickup for the series and kudos for Land for deciding to take part if true. Hope everything works out.

  2. Mike D

    October 4, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    I think you mean Kelvin van der Linde…,

    • Simon

      October 4, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      Nope, Kelvin’s a gold so it must be his younger brother Sheldon, who’s a silver

      • Mike D

        October 4, 2017 at 4:26 pm

        Yeah, just read it on another source. Comment withdrawn.

  3. tracer

    October 4, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    Fantastic news for the series following the demise of the Stevenson Audi program.

  4. Rick

    October 4, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    More good news. Our series seems to be getting better and better. The folks at IMSA are either brilliant or have stumbled upon something really good.

  5. Gaucherie

    October 5, 2017 at 1:50 am

    My excitement at the article title was immediately quashed by the words “alliance with Starworks Motorsport and Peter Baron.”

    That makes it a “sounds great, but I’ll wait until opening practice at the D24 to believe it” story.

    • Cactus Tony

      October 5, 2017 at 7:21 am

      You do realize that they’ve had that same alliance at all of their North American appearances this year, right?

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