David Brule said his first experience of the new Porsche 911 GT3 R was the “convincing aspect” to expand his program into a full season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign with Kellymoss with Riley.
Brule and co-driver Alec Udell are now set for a season-long GTD class campaign in the team’s No. 92 Porsche after initially committing to the Michelin Endurance Cup races only.
The decision came shortly after Brule’s first laps in the new Type-992 Porsche last month at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for the Rolex 24, where he’ll share driving duties with Alec Udell, Andrew Davis and Jeroen Bleekemolen.
A veteran of Porsche single-make racing, Brule made the step into Michelin Pilot Challenge last year for a partial season in a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport with Udell, with the aim of contesting the four long-distance WeatherTech Championship races this year.
Instead, the 74-year-old got hooked on the German manufacturer’s latest GT3 offering, where his plans changed.
“I really like driving this car, that made the difference,” Brule told Sportscar365. “When you get to a certain point in your life, you just do what you like to do; heck with it!
“It’s a great car. I think it’s a lot more driver friendly [than the GT4 car]. That was the convincing aspect of it.
“Once I drove it and I felt like, ‘This really feels comfortable.’
“This gives me the opportunity to get better in the car because of the way it’s designed and the handling of the car. There’s a difference there that I can feel.”
Davis, a longtime driver coach with Kellymoss, said he’s noticed drivers graduating from the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car typically excel at the GT3 level.
“The Cup car is a great training ground,” he said. “It’s honestly more difficult to drive. They’re very, very fast and are needy.
“So as drivers, we all have to work really hard to make those things go around.
“When you get in one of these, it’s got some extra downforce and more responsiveness and also some electronic help.
“You feel right at home and you’re like, ‘Oh wow this does everything I wanted my Cup car to do.’
“Porsche has a real proper graduation from car to car.”
Brule, who took part in the 2004 Rolex 24 at Daytona in a Howard-Boss Motorsports Chevrolet-powered Crawford DP with Jimmie Johnson as a co-driver, is now set for his second start in the Florida endurance classic.
“It’s a goal in life to do this,” he said. “I did the 24 Hours [at Daytona] 19 years ago in a DP. I’ve been wanting to do it again. I got back in racing after a 15-year gap.
“I have been with Kellymoss and and met Alec and Andrew and just worked on my progression.
“I’m getting to the point where I’m almost 75 years old so I’ve got to do this now or I’m not going to do it.
“It’s also about driving with people you know and you like.”
For Udell, it also represents a chance to step up for a full season of GTD racing, something the 27-year-old has been pursuing in recent years.
“We’ve been working hard and the idea last year with the GS program was to get us ready for Daytona,” Udell explained. “It’s progressed into something bigger.
“I’m excited for the opportunity and look forward to keep working with Dave on getting more acclimated to this platform.
“I think GT3 racing is some of the most exciting stuff in the world.
“You see all of the series internationally going to this platform, so it’s cool to be a part of this class in general with a bunch of big names in GT racing and international racing.
“Being part of the launch of a car is also always exciting.
“I think we’re just all really thrilled with the way the car handles and looking forward to maybe a little boost next week if it’s in the cards.”