The GT Daytona category is set to usher in a new breed of production-based machinery for next year’s Tudor United SportsCar Championship, with one GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series team already making a firm commitment to the future.
Sportscar365 has learned that Muehlner Motorsport will be among the first customers of Porsche’s new 911 GT America, with the Belgium-based squad’s U.S. operation set to take delivery of two of the new GTD contenders by the end of next month.
Regarded as one of Porsche stalwarts in European GT racing, team founder and managing director Bernhard Muehlner established a base in Deland, Fla. in 2011, as part of a five-year plan. The team embarked on its first full season program in the Rolex Series this year, as a one, and occasional two-car effort in the GT category.
“We took the decision to add a team in America, which is a complete separate structure in terms of the team and also the staff and logistics [in Europe],” Muehlner said. “This year was very important for us. We’ve done all of the [Rolex Series] races in order to get an entry for ’14. There was a lot of preparation. Now we have the experience at the tracks and how American racing is run.”
Having competed in the last three Rolex 24 at Daytona, Muehlner said they plan to mount a two-car, full-season effort next year and are close to announcing the driver lineup for its first car. They have also purchased two new Porsche 991-based Cup cars for the IMSA GT3 Cup, with plans to offer a ladder system for drivers both in the U.S. and abroad.
The team’s European base, located in Spa, Belgium, also operates programs in Porsche Supercup, Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and Porsche Cup Challenge Middle East, along with various GT endurance races such as the 24 Hours of Dubai, Nurburgring and Spa, among others.
“We hope that in the future, we can be a partner for European drivers interesting in the American market, once the United SportsCar Championship has proved it’s a good place to be,” Muehlner said. “Likewise for American drivers who want to be at Spa or Monza, Silverstone, Nurburgring, etc.”
Muehlner said testing with the new GT Americas will begin in November and include the two official Balance of Performance tests at Sebring and Daytona from Nov. 16-20, in the run up to the season-opener in Daytona in late January.