Guy Cosmo revealed that Gilbert Korthoff Motorsports made its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut at Watkins Glen International with its Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo “as delivered” to the team.
Cosmo and co-driver Shane Lewis combined for a seventh place class finish in GT Daytona in an event that saw the team make no adjustments whatsoever, including not even putting the car on a setup pad.
“We literally raced that car the same way it came off the crate,” Cosmo explained. “The team found the original settings to be pretty reasonable, so that’s how we raced it.
“Most of our time was spent working to pass IMSA technical inspection, with the fuel capacity, electronics and the Delphi system.
“When the green flag dropped, the car was competitive, and we were thrilled with the result.”
Cosmo said the LMP3 squad took a “very humble” approach to its maiden weekend in the GTD paddock and was surprised with its initial pace.
“We fully expected a much more challenging time,” he said. “We were ecstatic to see our lap times two-tenths off the fastest race lap – we expected to be two seconds off.”
While electing to skip the recent GT-only round at Lime Rock, the team is set for its second outing this weekend at Road America.
Cosmo said they feel better prepared this time around, having completed a two-day test at the famed Wisconsin circuit.
“The test went really well, and we are extremely pleased with what we learned and the progress we made,” Cosmo said.
“It was positive in every way, and the whole team had a blast. The crew is really starting to gel, and we are much more at ease showing up at our next race.
“We still have no expectations for a result, but knowing we were on the pace at Watkins Glen we should have a more competitive run at Road America.”
Cosmo added: “[The break] fully afforded us the time to acquire some proper setup equipment, tools and extra parts.
“That also gave the guys a little bit more of an opportunity to work on the car, and learn how to make setup changes.
“That extra time put us in a position to come back as a much more informed and prepared team.”
Cosmo and Lewis are both hopeful to continue making inroads this weekend at Road America, although acknowledge the team is still very much in learning mode and therefore not set any expectations once again.
“Road America is one of my favorite tracks, and Elkhart Lake is one of my favorite places to go,” Cosmo said.
“It’s big; it’s fast; and at four miles, each lap is like going on a journey. Driving around that place makes me happy.”
Lewis said: “It’s been a long while since I’ve been there. I think my last race there was in Trans Am in the rain [finishing fifth in 2015]. I led that race for a long time – I was killing them while it was wet – but once it started drying, the car got tough to drive.
“I also ran a Daytona Prototype there – that was ages ago – but I never ran a GT car or anything with downforce at all at Road America.
“Coming there with the Mercedes isn’t exactly like starting over, but everything will be new and fresh.
“I’ve got to really up my game, because I haven’t been IMSA racing or at Road America in a while.
“I love being Cosmo’s teammate, and the team has come together well, so I’m looking forward to getting back to Road America.”