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Grasser Confirms Michelin Endurance Cup Program

Grasser confirms GTD entry for Daytona, Sebring, 6H Glen, Petit Le Mans…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Grasser Racing Team will enter the full Michelin Endurance Cup next year, the Austrian team has confirmed, as part of an expected increased presence from Lamborghini in the key IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship events.

It will mark the Gottfried Grasser-led operation’s first championship-seeking program in North America, following entries in the Rolex 24 at Daytona for the last two years, as well as a one-off outing in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2017.

The Grasser lineup of Mirko Bortolotti, Rik Breukers, Franck Perera and Rolf Ineichen gave the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 its first major endurance race win at Daytona in January.

“We are doing, for sure, the IMSA endurance races in America, because we had a good experience this year with the Daytona win,” Grasser told Sportscar365.

“We like the championship a lot, and it’s a really professional series. It’s different to Europe, so it’s really fun to do it.”

While committing a single car for the races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Road Atlanta, Grasser didn’t rule out an extra entry at Daytona, but said a two-car program for all of the races would be too difficult.

“One car, for sure,” he said. “Maybe for some events, like Daytona, two. Generally, we will compete with one car throughout the season that stays in America.

“Otherwise, it would be too difficult on the logistics side if you always bring it back.”

The team is set to combine the North American program with a three-car ADAC GT Masters entry, two in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup and a likely one or two-car Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe program.

Drivers for the Michelin Endurance Cup program have yet to be announced.

“Our main targets are the IMSA series and the ADAC championship,” Grasser explained. “ADAC, for an Austrian team, is very important.”

Full Season WeatherTech Championship Entry Ruled Out

While having initially explored a season-long entry, Grasser has since ruled out a full-time WeatherTech Championship effort for at least the next two years.

“The schedule is not possible,” he said. “We have such intense programs every year. It’s a huge program for us so at least the guys will have some free weekends.

“It’s really on the edge, what we’re doing. It’s on the limit of how you can use your whole people and what we have.”

He explained that the Michelin Endurance Cup schedule, with three of its races in January, March and October, avoids logistical clashes with the European races, whereas a full WeatherTech Championship entry would not.

“[The Michelin Endurance Cup] is also very nice on the calendar side because three events are outside of the European schedule for ADAC and Blancpain GT,” he explained. “It’s really nice to have this possibility.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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