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Nunez Lands Full Season LMP2 Drive

Mazda factory driver joins newly formed WIN Autosport LMP2 squad…

Photo: Peter Burke/IMSA

Tristan Nunez has landed a full-season drive with the newly formed WIN Autosport outfit featuring staff from K2R Motorsports

Nunez, who had been a season-long IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi/prototype driver since 2014, will join team principal Steven Thomas at the wheel of its Oreca 07 Gibson for the LMP2 season.

Thomas Merrill will complete the team’s lineup for the Michelin Endurance Cup races with reigning IMSA Prototype Challenge champion Matt Bell in as the fourth driver for this month’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Thomas, meanwhile, will also continue in IPC this year, driving solo in a Duqueine D08 Nissan, also run by the Bobby Golasinski-led organization.

Golasinski previously revealed plans to Sportscar365 of running the program under the K2R Motorsports banner, which has since switched to WIN.

A team spokesperson told Sportscar365 that K2R and WIN are separate entities.

“Tristan is one of the best prototype drivers in the business and Bell and Merrill are top pros,” said Golasinski.

“Steven Thomas has only been driving race cars for two years, but with Ross Bentley of Speed Secrets as his coach he has progressed quickly, turning the fastest lap among bronze drivers at the final Prototype Challenge race last year and winning the Bronze Cup.

“Bobby Oergel at PR1 graciously helped us test Steve in the P2 car and we both think he can be successful.”

Thomas added: “When Tristan believed we had built a good team and wanted to race with us, that was a big boost.

“Tristan is young but already brings so much top-level experience. He helps the team in every way. And of course, he’s quick.”

As reported by Sportscar365, Nunez had been actively seeking new opportunities for 2021 amid Mazda’s scaled back single-car DPi effort this year.

“I believe I can bring WeatherTech racing experience and hopefully make everyone better,” he said.

Ex-CORE Porsche GTLM Manager Bolsters Staff

Former CORE autosport Porsche GTLM team manager Michael Harvey will be running the program, as part of a bolstered lineup of staff that Golasinski said was in the works for its step up to LMP2 competition.

Jim “Chachi” Malicki will serve as race engineer while Cyril Ma, who engineered Thomas’ LMP3 car, serving as assistant engineer and Lauren Elkins as data engineer.

“Steve recognizes how important each member of the team is to our success,” Golasinski said. 

“It’s unusual for a Bronze driver to be so committed to the team around him. Steve’s loyalty and appreciation for the work the guys do really makes the team pull together.

“All of us want to be a part of this new venture and see how far we can go.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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