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Grasser Plotting Daytona, Sebring Return Next Year

Lambo squad GRT considering return to Daytona, Sebring next year during DTM off-season…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Grasser Racing Team is plotting a return to the opening endurance rounds of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship alongside the continuation of its DTM program next year, team owner Gottfried Grasser has revealed.

The Austrian squad, which secured back-to-back class victories in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2018 and 2019, most recently raced in IMSA last year.

For the 2022 season, it notably shifted all of its focus to a four-car Lamborghini effort in DTM and has not contested any other series, dropping IMSA, ADAC GT Masters and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup.

It currently leads the DTM drivers’ standings with Mirko Bortolotti at the halfway point of its maiden season.

While the team plans to continue its extensive effort in DTM next year, Grasser told Sportscar365 that he is also working towards a return to IMSA competition, with the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring both under consideration.

“It is absolutely the goal that we have, the planning for the next year, to come back for sure in the DTM championship,” Grasser said.

“Honestly, also, my heart is still a little bit in America, so we are working maybe for Daytona or Sebring.

“Let’s see what comes out, because it would be a wonderful program also for the team for the winter months and this is at the moment ongoing for the next season, but DTM for sure.”

Grasser explained that the timing of the first two Michelin Endurance Cup events, taking place prior to the start of the DTM season in April, gives GRT a window to compete while also providing it with a convenient way to remain active over the winter months.

“We are really super happy with the decision to do DTM only because it is much more to do than we also expected, with training for the team on things like pit stops,” he said.

“There’s so much for the crew to do still. But it really makes sense for a race team, especially with GT3 cars and especially over the period from mid-October to the beginning of April, to also look for other programs.

“Because honestly, the winter is too long [to do nothing].”

When asked if he would like to run in GTD or GTD Pro, Grasser said “both sides are really, really interesting” but expressed serious hope to be able to run at Daytona, which will be the debut outing for the new-for-2023 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2.

Lamborghini was represented in the top GTD Pro class at Daytona and Sebring this year by Florida-based TR3 Racing, which received factory driver support.

“It is absolutely something to do,” Grasser said.

“It is totally open still for the program and for which category, honestly.

“At the moment, we are working on it and I hope to get it done again, because I really love the racing.

“It is really nice endurance racing in IMSA and it would be a wonderful thing if we could make it happen.” 

Four Cars in DTM “The Goal” Next Year

Grasser also indicated that he aims to hold up the team’s presence in DTM next year.

For its maiden season in the series, it has run a four-car effort for Bortolotti, Clemens Schmid, Rolf Ineichen and Alessio Deledda, which makes it the largest team in the series.

“The goal is for sure the four cars,” Grasser said.

“Absolutely… the structure is there, everything is there to do it. So absolutely four cars.

“I still haven’t been able to understand until now how you can do three cars.

“I think four is an absolute good synergy, also to make everything from the financial side happen, so I think four is for sure a very good thing to do.

“In my opinion, it is only two or four for this championship and for us I think it something for sure to go on. Because as I said, all the structure is there so I think this should also be the goal for next season.”

Davey Euwema is a Sportscar365 reporter based in The Netherlands, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, DTM, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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