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Winward Confirms GTD Lineup, Pilot Challenge Return

Texas-based Mercedes-AMG squad increases IMSA commitment for 2023…

Photo: Sam Cobb/IMSA

Winward Racing has confirmed its driver lineup for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, while also announcing plans of returning to Michelin Pilot Challenge next year with a Mercedes-AMG GT4.

The Texas-based squad will continue with the full season pairing of Russell Ward and Philip Ellis, who will be joined by Indy Dontje for the Michelin Endurance Cup races in the No. 57 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.

Lucas Auer, meanwhile, will complete the team’s lineup for next month’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Winward is coming off two GTD class victories in the 2022 season, with Ward and Ellis having finished fifth in the championship standings.

“The 24 Hours of Daytona signifies the start of the season and it’s a hell of a show,” said Ward. “We had an amazing season in 2022 and I hope to carry the momentum we had into the 2023 season.

“Philip, Indy, and I won this race back in 2021 and with Lucas joining us it will be a strong lineup.

“We are no longer rookies to this race, so the expectations are high, but the crew and drivers are well prepared and I’m looking forward to starting off the year adding another Rolex to the team’s collection.”

Winward will also return to Pilot Challenge competition after a one-year absence, with Daniel Morad joining team co-owner Bryce Ward in the GS class Mercedes.

“I’m very happy to join the Winward Racing family for the 2023 Michelin Pilot Challenge,” said Morad. “It’s great to continue the journey within the AMG family as well and race the GT4 for the first time.

“This is an exciting opportunity and I look forward to sharing the car with Bryce. We’ll be pushing flat out.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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