Fred Makowiecki revealed that he had asked Porsche to put his “pure focus” on GTE racing, which helped enable his full-time return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the 2020 season.
The Frenchman, who spent much of last year competing in Super GT in a GT500-spec Nissan, is set for his first season-long WeatherTech Championship campaign since 2016, teaming up with Nick Tandy in the No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR-19.
While having been the team’s third driver for the Michelin Endurance Cup races over the last three years, Makowiecki explained that his preference was to eventually get back to racing full-time within the factory GTE squad.
“It was quite a discussion with Porsche last year because as I was not able to get a full factory RSR program, I explained that also for a driver the target is to have a pure focus,” he told Sportscar365.
“When you do single races, and even if it’s a fantastic championship, I didn’t wish to come back too much in GT3. I think if you go too much in GT3, you are way off the factory possibilities.
“That’s why I asked to do Super GT. I love this championship as it’s also challenging and very, very hard with the tire competition.
“But you cannot do both factory programs to be competitive.
“Last year, I already did 16 trips to Japan and with the jet lag, you cannot be competitive.
“That’s why now for me it’s to be concentrated 200 percent on Porsche and IMSA and try to give my maximum.”
Makowiecki was placed with Porsche’s Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli and SRO GT Endurance Cup programs in 2018, which he said led to his desire to return to GTE racing on a full-time basis.
“I have a lot of respect for what is done in GT3. But sometimes, related to the condition and related to many aspects, everything is difficult to control,” he said.
“At the end, racing is not gambling and I come to win. I want to give myself the maximum chance to win.”
While the No. 911 car of Tandy and Patrick Pilet combined for three of Porsche’s six class victories en route to the GTLM manufacturers’ championship, Makowiecki doesn’t feel any extra pressure heading into their title defense.
“IMSA in terms of competitiveness and challenge, it’s one of the best for a GT driver in general,” he said.
“To come back for a full season, I’m really happy and really looking forward to it.
“With me, I probably have the strongest teammate with me that you can have.
“I have a very strong team, also. Since the beginning of the ’19 car RSR, we’ve shown it has some good potential.
“I can say, since my first time in the USA in 2015, that the team is at the highest level I have seen it.
“I am really happy to spend time with my two teammates. We are here to learn the car and prepare for the 24-Hour but we are also here to strengthen our new relationship as teammates.
“For sure we want to continue the success we had last year.
“Our competitors like Corvette in the past have shown us that they are very strong. They’re coming with a new car.
“I don’t feel extra pressure. For me, I feel extra motivation.”