AIM Autosport is looking to maintain its links with Toyota Racing Development, with a possible GR Supra GT4 program for IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge next year, according to team co-owner Ian Willis.
The Canadian squad, which had operated the AIM Vasser Sullivan Lexus RC F GT3 effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the past two seasons, has parted ways with Jimmy Vasser and James Sullivan, in what’s understood to have been a mutual agreement largely due to logistical reasons.
However, with just over 60 days before the start of the 2021 season at Daytona, Willis said their most realistic program in the short-term would be in Pilot Challenge, with Toyota’s new GT4 offering being their preferred option.
“Our primary focus right now is IMSA GS, simply because under the tight timeframe we have between now and Daytona that’s the most realistic program that can be put in place in order for us to hit the ground running,” Willis told Sportscar365.
“Our preference would be the Toyota Supra. We definitely have a great relationship with TRD and want to continue that.
“It’s a customer racing program so there’s no special favors or anything. I think the Supra is a great platform.
“We’ve got good people and a good race team. We want to continue that.”
Willis said TRD has earmarked one car in its North American allocation to go to the team should it secure a program in time for the Jan. 29 season opener.
However, AIM has left the door open for other opportunities should they present itself as well.
“Because of the timing, we’re open to [other options], if a customer has a car or a car preference,” said Willis. “We’re not tied to Toyota but if given a choice, we would certainly get the Supra.”
The car, which will make its North American debut next year, has received a significant amount of interest in both the Pilot Challenge and SRO GT4 America paddocks.
While Riley Motorsports is so far the only announced customer, Sportscar365 understands there are multiple other teams are currently putting programs together.
“There’s certainly a limited quantity of cars,” said Willis. “There’s no guarantee but we do have our name on a car. If we’re able to put a program together, and as long as someone else doesn’t come along and write a check for it.
“I think TRD would like to see a car in our hands in IMSA if a program could be worked out. But at the same time they have other customers that they need to keep happy as well.”
Willis declined to comment on the exact reason for the split with Vasser Sullivan, which is expected to take over operations of the Lexus entries next year, although stressed that the relationship between the two parties remains amicable.