Grasser Racing Team has shipped in a new Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo chassis from Europe and also received a spare car from Paul Miller Racing for this weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The Austrian outfit, which is defending two Rolex 24 GT Daytona class wins, was forced to replace its No. 11 chassis after Steijn Schothorst crashed at the infield kink on the final day of the Roar Before the Rolex 24.
The accident damaged the car’s rear frame and prompted GRT to procure a new chassis from the Lamborghini factory in Italy.
This will be driven in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener by Schothorst, Franck Perera, Richard Heistand and Albert Costa.
Furthermore, GRT was loaned Paul Miller Racing’s spare tub to act as a back-up for GRT’s three-car entry which includes the GEAR Racing and Magnus efforts in addition to the No. 11 Lamborghini.
“It was a busy two weeks to build up from the crash,” GRT team principal Gottfried Grasser told Sportscar365.
“I’m really happy because Paul Miller gave us their spare chassis and we brought one over from Europe.
“Seeing the guys help out from the Lamborghini family is really an awesome thing. Otherwise, it would not have been possible [to race].
“[Paul Miller] were so kind. We had the opportunity to pick it up directly after the Roar test. We went with the trailer directly to them in Atlanta, brought it down to Florida and started the work.”
Grasser said that his team hasn’t had “one single day” of rest since the Roar while it has worked to replace the sidelined No. 11 chassis.
The car that crashed during testing was itself brand new and had only turned its first laps during the Roar, but the team has not yet decided what it will do with it.
“We will see. We have to bring the chassis back to Europe,” said Grasser.
“It’s still at the workshop. We will give back one chassis with the spare parts to Paul Miller. But the crashed one, we have not decided what we will do with it going forward.
“I think it would be a good idea to repair it to run here [in IMSA]. When you run three cars it would not be bad to have a fourth one to stay here.
“It would be a good solution with all the upcoming tracks like Sebring and Watkins Glen, it could be that we need a new one quickly.
“But it’s better that this happens during the Roar than on race week. If this sort of thing happened in one of the practice sessions tomorrow, we couldn’t start.”
Paul Miller Squad Steps in to Help Out
Paul Miller Racing team manager Mitchell Simmons told Sportscar365 that the team made a quick decision during the Roar to donate its reserve car to Grasser.
“We saw that they were in a pretty bad shape, so no-one really had to ask,” he said.
“I think the world of Grasser, they’re a great team, so we helped them out.
“You don’t want to have to come into this race behind the eight-ball and they were already going to be behind it having had to tub that car.
“We’re all sharing the same brand and we all have the same things to worry about, so we have to look out for each other.”
Simmons explained that Paul Miller Racing’s No. 48 crew will not be limited for spare parts following its loan of the chassis to Grasser.
“It’s not really an issue for this race,” he said. “I still have a spare car that I could get out if I needed it and I’ve got a new car on order.
“The new one is going to be raced at Sebring. That car isn’t here yet [but] it was easy to give the chassis away because we have a whole new car coming.”