Marc Miller and Till Bechtolsheimer have been confirmed as drivers for CJ Wilson Racing’s Acura NSX GT3, which will take on the remaining Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races.
The IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship-winning team, owned by former Major League Baseball All-Star pitcher C.J. Wilson, will make its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut in testing this week at Sebring.
Miller and Bechtolsheimer will be joined by a third, to-be-announced driver for next month’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
“As a young kid watching IMSA races, it was always my dream to race in the premier sports car series,” Wilson said. “It looks like I still have some time before I race in [the] WeatherTech [Championship, as a driver] but I’m happy for Marc and Till to take on the toughest track in the country in the NSX.
“We have been aiming to get into this paddock for years but now the real fight begins to see what we can do against the much more experienced teams.
“So, we felt like, ‘Hey, if we’re going to go in and spend X-amount of dollars, maybe we’re better off spending that in GTD, getting our feet wet, and taking a real run at this and being where we want to be, which is having a chance to compete with the best teams in the Western Hemisphere.'”
The team expects to add additional events to its program beyond the three confirmed Patron Endurance Cup rounds.
“Right now, the plan is to run the remainder of the Patrón NAEC, and hopefully add on a couple other rounds as we go,” said team manager Andris Laivins.
“Last fall, as we approached Thanksgiving, it became clear that putting a proper effort on track for the Roar and Daytona was going to be tough, and the last thing you want to do is show up to the biggest race of the year unprepared, so we made the tough choice to sit it out and keep working.”
Both Miller and Bechtolsheimer raced previously for the team in Continental Tire Challenge competition.
Miller has made four previous WeatherTech Championship starts and owns a GTD class victory in the 2016 Motul Petit Le Mans. Bechtolsheimer will be making his series debut next month.
“I have had a long tenure at CJ Wilson Racing where what seems like a short time ago I was helping out the MX-5 Cup program to provide good cars for customers, then to run in the second MX-5 Continental Tire [Challenge] car to aid in development,” Miller said.
“Fast forward to series wins and championship contending years in both ST and GS we are now making the next transition for our team into the WeatherTech [Championship].
“I have been lucky enough to be involved in the WeatherTech Championship over the past couple of years, and now seems fitting that our CJ Wilson Racing team can focus on this next step as well.”
Bechtolsheimer added: “The move to WeatherTech Championship is a big step for the team and an even bigger step for me but I couldn’t be more excited.
“Competing in GTD has been my goal for some time and I hope my time in GS has given me a solid foundation. The 2018 season is all about learning and finding our feet in a hyper-competitive series.”
IMSA Wire Service contributed to this report