Muehlner Motorsports is set for a dual LMP3 program in both IMSA Prototype Challenge and the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with its pair of Duqueine D08 Nissans entered for the season-opening rounds at Daytona International Speedway.
The Belgian-based team, which had initially declared plans to re-enter IMSA competition in 2021, has confirmed a season-long entry in IPC as well as the target of running the entire seven-round LMP3 season in the WeatherTech Championship, according to team owner Bernhard Muehlner.
“We sent our two Duqueine D08s which raced in Europe to our Muehlner Motorsports America workshop in Florida in DeLand, located 15 minutes from Daytona International Speedway,” Muehlner told Endurance-Info.
“A Duqueine D08 is entered for the year in IMSA Prototype Challenge. Laurents Hoerr and Moritz Kranz will race the first round at Daytona. The other chassis will take part in the Roar Before the 24 and the 24 Hours of Daytona.
“We could then see her again at the Twelve Hours of Sebring, Watkins Glen, Petit Le Mans, and perhaps at Mid-Ohio, Mosport and Road America.
“Both cars can take part in the IMSA Prototype Challenge meeting in Sebring and also compete in the 12 Hours a week later.”
Muehlner said they have “maximum flexibility” for its 2021 IMSA program, indicating that a second car could be added for IPC or vice-versa.
It has plans to acquire a total of five Duqueine LMP3 chassis that will include programs in both Michelin Le Mans Cup and the European Le Mans Series.
“It’s only at the end of the Twelve Hours of Sebring that we will make a decision for the rest of the season,” he said. “We still have steering wheels available for the 24 Hours of Daytona and the season.”
Muehlner is the latest European-based prototype team to confirm plans for Daytona, following a number of LMP2 outfits that will contest the season-opener.
At least six LMP3 cars are expected to be on the grid for the Rolex 24, with confirmed entries from Riley Motorsports, CORE autosport, Performance Tech and Sean Creech Motorsport.
Former Rolex 24 overall winner Joao Barbosa has been tipped to be part of the Sean Creech effort, meanwhile.
Muehlner Targeting LMP2 Debut in 2022
The longtime GT racing entrant has set its sights on LMP2 and a debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with Muehlner set to take delivery of a yet-to-be-named chassis for initial testing ahead of a targeted 2022 debut.
“We will start testing in the second half of the year and, if we feel comfortable enough, then maybe we will participate in the 2021 [ELMS] finale in Portimao,” Muehlner said.
“Le Mans is the biggest car race in the world and after competing 45 times in 24-hour races, we completed most of them without any technical issues. We have been on the podium most often in 24 hour races. Le Mans is on our list and it is a ‘must’ for us.
“We’ve raced at Daytona, Spa, Dubai and on the Nürburgring.
“In an endurance race, the cars must be prepared in the best possible way so as not to experience the slightest technical problem for 24 hours.
“The drivers need to be fast enough, but also smart enough to do an error-free job. The team in the pit must also work quickly but without making mistakes. Strategy is important. ”
Laurent Mercier contributed to this report