Motorsports In Action team owner Eric Kerub says that an expansion into a two-car McLaren GS class operation would be the “ideal move” for next year, although has not ruled out a step up to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the future, given the right conditions.
The Quebec-based team, which is in its third season of IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition, could return to fielding a pair of McLaren 570S GT4s next year following a strong 2019 season that currently sees drivers Jesse Lazare and Corey Fergus second in the GS class championship.
While having essentially been eliminated from the GS championship battle due to a series of unlucky late-race incidents, Kerub said the off-season transformation of the car and the continual progress by his team has put them in a solid position heading into next year.
“We have a couple of very exciting things in the pipeline,” Kerub told Sportscar365. “If we weren’t where we are today we wouldn’t have [them].
“Being second in the championship and showing our pit stops, our reliability, our performance, our team etiquette, our morals… I think people see the way we conduct ourselves.
“I hope word of mouth goes far because we want to build a class-act organization.”
Kerub said that talks of a potential expansion into WeatherTech Championship competition have been ongoing, although will likely result in the team continuing its focus in Pilot Challenge for 2020.
“We had a potential client that had the funds for it for a full-season but I think we’re going to lose them to somebody much more established than us in GTD. We can’t compete there,” he said.
“This was always a three-year program for me as a minimum. To come in, get our feet wet, understand. We’re still learning rules.
“Every day there’s something that pops up that we learn. You never want to do it all over without learning the foundation of IMSA and how people work.
“We’re happy where we are. We’re competitive and the phone is ringing.”
Instead, the current focus is securing a program to bring back its second McLaren GT4, which it last fielded in 2017.
“That would be the ideal move for next year,” Kerub said.
“We would never say no to a GTD car, Sprint Cup or full-season. But it’s difficult to cut a $4 million check from a private individual or sponsorship.”
GTD Program “Four Times the Cost” of GS
Kerub has described the challenges of stepping up to WeatherTech Championship GTD competition as “very difficult” based on the current budgets for a GT3-based program in IMSA.
“It’s about four-times the budget [of GS] and you’re the slowest out of the four,” he said. “Just the Daytona race is the value of one full [GS] season for us because it’s a 24-hour race.
“The appeal here [in Pilot Challenge] is that we’re the top dogs in the series. The visibility is there, with 22-25 cars compared to 12-15 and we’re not last, and at a quarter of the price.
“I think something has to give because I don’t of how many potential opportunities where people can move from GS to GTD.
“You have to have a lot of backing. There’s only so many people that have that kind of funds to come in and support a program like that because this is all supposedly customer racing.”