Pfaff Motorsports is set to continue in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year should its driver Zach Robichon remain Silver-rated.
The Canadian squad has impressed in its first year of GT Daytona class competition, having claimed Porsche’s only two victories of the season, with Robichon sitting second in the points standings heading into next month’s season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans.
Robichon, who recently won the inaugural IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup title, is set to again serve as an integral part of the operation according to team manager Steve Bortolotti.
“We’re more-or-less confirmed for the full-season next year,” Bortolotti told Sportscar365. “We’re just waiting on driver ratings and to make sure everything stays the same and Zach stays a Silver.
“We have to make sure IMSA is not going to pull any strings and change the rules.
“Our program is based around him being a Silver. As long as that all stays, we’re ready to go for next year.”
Pfaff isn’t the only GTD team to be waiting on ratings confirmation in order to officially commit to its program for next year, as a number of Silver-rated drivers in the IMSA paddock are believed to be in question.
It includes Meyer Shank Racing’s Trent Hindman, who will be crowned GTD champion alongside Gold-rated Mario Farnbacher once the No. 86 Acura NSX GT3 Evo starts the season-ending Petit Le Mans.
Shank indicated that he expects Hindman to be bumped to Gold, which will have an impact on its lineup.
“I think we’re anticipating that just based on experience,” Shank told Sportscar365. “The drivers of how we do anything next year is up in the air.
“There’s a lot of moving pieces.”
The initial version of the FIA’s 2020 driver ratings list will be released by Nov. 15, with the “definitive list” coming out by early December.
IMSA holds the right to make its own revisions, as it had this year with several drivers, including 2018 GTD champion Madison Snow, who was Silver-rated by the FIA but got bumped to Gold by IMSA.
The change led 23-year-old Snow to retire from racing.
Bortolotti, meanwhile, said the pro portion of his team’s lineup will be determined by Porsche.
While Scott Hargrove completed the majority of the season in the car this year, Porsche Young Professionals Dennis Olsen and Matt Campbell teamed with Robichon for class wins at at Lime Rock Park and Road America, respectively.
“Ultimately Porsche can decide where they seed their assets and what’s the best for them,” Bortolotti said.
“I’m happy for [Scott] for being a Porsche Selected Driver. He gets all these opportunities, including with Wright [Motorsports] in [GT World Challenge America]
“Ultimately, I can only control the Am and Porsche can support us with a [factory/young professional] driver or Scott, that’s great, but I don’t get picky with them!”
Pfaff “Checked a lot of Boxes” in Successful First Season of GTD
Bortolotti feels the team achieved many of its goals this year and will be looking to continue the momentum heading into 2020.
“We’ve showed our stride for sure,” he said. “I’m happy. There’s still some holes and weakness.
“Corey, my lead tech, broke his hand and it made us realize we don’t have the depth to other teams. I wrenched the whole weekend [at Laguna Seca].
“It’s our first year. I think we’ve checked a lot of boxes. I think there’s been some strong performances.
“But if I look in the mirror, we shot ourselves in the foot at Mid-Ohio, as that was an easy podium. CTMP was probably another easy podium. We have to stop starting those mistakes and throwing races away.
“We have to see where our weaknesses are and fill those up but yeah, overall I’m 100 percent proud of where we are. We just have to grow the depth chart a little bit more.”