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Grasser Planning Expanded IMSA Program for 2019

Grasser Racing Team confirms Rolex 24 return, working on Endurance Cup campaign, additional IMSA races…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Grasser Racing Team is likely to expand its involvement in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year with an entry in the Michelin Endurance Cup and potentially other races, according to team owner Gottfried Grasser.

The Austrian squad, which claimed GT Daytona class honors in January’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, has confirmed it will defend its victory with at least one Lamborghini Huracan GT3, while also planning to add the three remaining rounds in the newly-renamed Cup to its schedule in 2019.

Lamborghini factory driver Mirko Bortolotti was joined by Franck Perera, Rolf Ineichen and Rik Breukers in the class-winning car this year, which marked the first 24-hour victory for the Italian manufacturer.

“Our return to Daytona is confirmed already,” Grasser told Sportscar365. “It was a great victory. For sure we are doing it again. We really like the race.

“We are considering adding a couple of races in the States and doing the entire North American Endurance Cup. We are looking into it right now.”

Grasser, whose team made its WeatherTech Championship debut last year with a two-race program at Daytona and Sebring, has been a strong advocate of IMSA racing and hasn’t hidden his desire to one day mount a full-season program in the States.

“I’m a big fan of the American way of racing,” he said. “They don’t allow [all]-pro cars. Sure there are some fake Silvers, being paid. I like the basic idea of using an amateur driver and making this still the most competitive cars/races.

“We would like to stay with at least one car in America after Daytona.”

No IGTC Plans in Works

Grasser said there are no plans for the team to expand into the Intercontinental GT Challenge, largely due to Lamborghini not having an interest in the manufacturer-centric championship.

“The IGTC may be a good way to go, but I think that the cost efficiency on the driver market and sponsor side is a little bit too hard,” he said.

“Lamborghini is not doing a brand entry, so we would go there for no points, for nothing. But we might consider it in the future.”

The team is set to focus its full-season efforts again around the Blancpain GT Series and ADAC GT Masters, although Grasser indicated it could scale back to an Endurance Cup-only campaign with two Lamborghinis.

Vincent Wouters contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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