IMSA Spotlight: Wolf Henzler
Porsche Factory Driver
How much did you enjoy your opportunity to drive the GTLM Porsche 911 RSR at COTA?
“I enjoyed the opportunity to race the factory 911 RSR very much. I was thrilled when I heard about the opportunity to race the car at COTA.
“Until then I had driven the Porsche 911 RSR at various tests and was looking forward to drive it in a race.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t go as I and everybody else on the team was hoping for.
“Our race was basically done in Turn 1 right at the start when a Ferrari spun from outside to the inside at the exit and forced a Corvette into a spin.
“I saw that there was something going on at the outside of the turn between two cars and was prepared to stay more to the middle at the exit.
“I was already on full throttle when the Corvette spun and couldn’t avoid hitting him. The damage was too great on our car and we had to retire early in the race.
“That was very, very frustrating. I was looking forward to racing the RSR so much.”
How much different does it feel compared to other Porsches you have driven given its unique engine placement?
“I can feel a difference in driving the new 911 RSR to the previous model. It starts as soon as jump in the car.
“The seating position is lower and the design of the steering wheel and dashboard is completely different. That is very positive and you can immediately tell that the Porsche engineers put in a lot of effort in the cockpit and seating design.
“On the track, the car feels a bit different to drive due to its improvements in weight distribution and downforce.
“For example, the new RSR can handle a good amount of rolling speed into a turn and allows a smoother step on the throttle. This is something what helps the tire life over a stint.
“Nevertheless, the previous 911 RSR model is also an excellent fast race car even when the engine is placed at a different position.
“The car [which is being run in the FIA WEC LMGTE-Am class] had its advantages and is fun to drive.”
Were you keeping a close eye on the TRG team during the COTA weekend after driving for them in two of the first three races of the season?
“Of course. I also went over to the TRG Team in the paddock to see the ‘Youngsters’ [Parker Chase and Harry Gottsacker, first year-time entrants in the IMSA WeatherTech GTD class].
“I didn’t know them, so I was curious to meet them in person. I also wanted to see the crew and say ‘Hi’ to Kevin Buckler.”
What are your plans for the rest of the season? Will you be back with TRG?
“I enjoyed racing with TRG this year and in the past years. However, it is open at the moment what other races I will do with TRG this season. We are all working on it to do more IMSA GTD races with TRG this year.”
What is your favorite track on the IMSA schedule and why?
“That is a good question. In the IMSA series there are many, many really good race tracks on the calendar. I particularly like Daytona and Road Atlanta a lot but it doesn’t mean I don’t like the others.
“The good thing is that all the tracks are very unique and different. This is what a race car driver wants.”