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Pilot Challenge Outfit AWA Announces LMP3 Program

AWA, known for running McLarens in Pilot Challenge, commits to LMP3 for 2022 season…

Image: AWA

IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GS front-runner AWA has announced that it will move to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship next year with an LMP3 entry.

The Canadian squad will make its series debut with a single Duqueine D08 Nissan with Canadian duo Kuno Wittmer and Orey Fidani forming the full-season driver lineup.

Porsche specialist Lars Kern is confirmed to join the pair for the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup races at Daytona, Sebring, Watkins Glen and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

British driver Matt Bell, who won the IMSA Prototype Challenge title in 2020, completes the crew for the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona next month.

In addition to its WeatherTech Championship effort, AWA will also field a Duqueine in Prototype Challenge, marking its first appearance in the competition.

Canadian competitor Anthony Mantella will drive in the all-LMP3 series, which consists of five rounds starting with a three-hour enduro at Daytona during the Roar event.

“LMP3 cars are fast, enjoyable machines,” said AWA team principal Andrew Wojteczko.

“The LMP3 class has no Balance of Performance and it is more economical than GT Daytona. It is a competitive class with expectations of significant growth in coming seasons.

“To make the switch to LMP3 was a logical progression for our team.”

Wittmer and Fidani shared an AWA-run McLaren 570S GT4 in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge this year, with Wittmer finishing fifth in the drivers’ standings.

The team’s best results were victories at the four-hour Daytona season opener and the round three contest at Mid-Ohio.

“I am extremely delighted on being back in the WeatherTech Championship,” said Wittmer, who was the 2014 GT Le Mans class champion.

“Having joined AWA in late 2019, the connection with the team and co-driver Orey Fidani has been an incredible adventure so far.

“We had the chance to test the LMP3 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park a couple times and we all fell in love with it. Orey is an absolute gentleman, friend and I value his driving skills highly.

“Also, I’m very happy to have Lars and Matt on board, as we know their capabilities in the series.”

AWA’s Michelin Endurance Cup signing Kern is set for his second IMSA long-distance campaign with a Canadian team, after representing Pfaff Motorsports in GT Daytona this year.

The German driver is set for his LMP3 debut when he suits up for the Rolex 24.

“It’s great to stay in IMSA and be with AWA,” said Kern, who was part of Pfaff’s class-winning lineup at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March.

“The team did a tremendous job in the Michelin Pilot Challenge, and it will be exciting to see their transition to the WeatherTech Championship.

“I am paired with experienced drivers who know IMSA in and out, so I think it’s going to be straightforward, but it’s always exciting to start the season with the biggest event.

“I am happy to stay within the paddock as part of a great team with connections to Pfaff. In the past few seasons, I fell in love with the way Canadians work and who they are. I’m really looking forward to working with Andrew, Orey, Kuno and Matt for the first race.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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