After running a single Mercedes-AMG GT4 at Daytona, Murillo Racing team owner Ken Murillo says his team’s expansion to a two-car effort has the team primed to contend for the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge GS class title.
The team announced its intentions to run two Mercedes GT4s in GS in the offseason but didn’t take delivery of its second chassis until at the Daytona weekend, prompting the team to roll out an ST-spec Porsche Cayman for Tim Probert, Brent Mosing, and Justin Piscatell for in that race.
Now armed with both chassis, the reigning ST class champions have embarked on a substantial testing program to take advantage of running two identical cars in the top class, one for Probert and Mosing and another for Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing.
“The second car was delivered in the country while we were racing [at Daytona], which was kind of exciting,” Murillo told Sportscar365. “We left the Daytona race and went back to Houston and the car was there waiting for us.
“We ran it the next day at MSR Houston. The guys are really excited about it. We tested a total of six days now, it’s not a lot, but it’s enough, at two separate race tracks running two different setups.
“It’s great to have two of the same cars so we can try different things between the two of them to develop and learn the cars quicker.”
The team did not take part in the IMSA-sanctioned test at Sebring last month but Murillo said the expectation was to be able to contend at the front of the field.
“Our expectations are always really high,” he said. “We’ve never been to any of these events and not been in competition to podium, and we look at the bigger picture of trying to stay in that top seven, top five for the championship.
“That’s what we’re looking to do. Our expectations are that we’re running for a championship this year.
“We didn’t come and do the test, [Wednesday] was the first time on the track. I think it’s going to be close for everybody and I don’t think there’s going to be any one car that drives away with it.
“We did our research to follow the test and look at the data and lap times but we don’t work with any other teams as far as if they’re struggling or what they’re setups might be.
“We’re pretty confident that we can come in and represent Mercedes-AMG.”
Additional Entries Possible for Watkins Glen
Murillo said the team took delivery of a third Mercedes chassis for use in a Pirelli World Challenge GTS SprintX program alongside a TCR entry, beginning next weekend at Circuit of The Americas.
He added that the Audi RS 3 LMS TCR, which ran in the Continental Tire Challenge race at Daytona in January as a prelude to the PWC campaign, would make a return to IMSA for the four-hour race at Watkins Glen, possibly joined by a third Mercedes.
“[Daytona] was a way to jumpstart our PWC program to run the four hours which we were really excited to do and which we’ll do again for the IMSA race at Watkins Glen,” he said.
“We’ll bring the TCR car and possibly a Mercedes because we have another Mercedes that we’re running in PWC. We got that car three weeks ago and we’ve been testing with it as well.”