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Racers Edge, WTR in ‘Discussion’ for More Races Beyond Sebring

Racers Edge Motorsports, Wayne Taylor Racing aiming for “long-term collaboration” in GTD…

Photo: Ashton Harrison

Racers Edge Motorsports and Wayne Taylor Racing have been in “discussion” to work together in additional IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races beyond next month’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring according to Racers Edge team principal Jon Mirachi, who is optimistic on forming a “long-term collaboration.”

The two Honda Performance Development-supported teams will join forces to field an Acura NSX GT3 Evo for Kyle Marcelli, Tom Long and HPD Academy graduate Ashton Harrison in the GTD Pro class in the second round of the Michelin Endurance Cup. 

Mirachi, whose Florida-based team regularly competes in Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS, will be making its WeatherTech Championship debut after previously being a long-time entrant in Grand-Am.

He explained the deal for Sebring came through Harrison’s previously announced GTWC America program with the team.

“We did the announcement with Harrison Contracting sponsorship to do the SRO season,” Mirachi told Sportscar365. “They contacted me in mid-January and said they would really like to do the Sebring event. Would we be interested in doing it?

“I said, ‘Sure!’ Since they’re already sponsoring WTR, the whole thing came together.

“WTR was looking for a GTD partner. Harrison Contracting was sponsoring us. We’re both HPD partner teams. It all fit together and wasn’t that all difficult.”

Mirachi said the joint effort will see Racers Edge staff preparing and running the car, with WTR supplying support personnel and equipment, including a race engineer and strategist. 

WTR will also provide time in a simulator for the drivers to get up to speed ahead of race week.

“We talked to Travis [Houge, WTR Vice President/general manager] about partnering with them so they can bring us right up to speed on the race procedure stuff,” Mirachi said. “We haven’t done anything like type of racing since 2013 [in Grand-Am].

“I have a couple of my same people. We all talked about it. We have a learning curve so it’s great to partner with those guys. That took all of that out of the picture.”

Additional outings in the WeatherTech Championship remain a possibility for this year according to Mirachi.

“Both WTR and ourselves are looking at this as a longer-term collaboration,” he said. “We’ve both openly discussed that and I believe [WTR] has mentioned that openly in the media that they were looking to partner with someone in GTD.

“From both sides, we’d like to have this as an ongoing collaboration. 

“We both have a channel of drivers coming through the ranks that ultimately get to this point where they want to go GT3 racing, either in SRO or IMSA.

“We both need a place for these folks to go. [WTR’s] people are predominately focused on IMSA because that’s where they bring them up. 

“We have the [HPD] Academy students that just want to go racing [anywhere].”

He added: “There is discussion about more races. I think everyone wants to see how this goes and get through this. 

“They’re professionals; we’re professionals. We’re going to do what we do and the race is gong to dictate how the race goes.

“The honest answer is that everyone’s looking to do more races than this.

“For us, we already operate the HPD Academy, we have announced and have a contract now to do a full SRO [America] season, so with those two, to add on much on the IMSA side would honestly be difficult. 

“It wouldn’t be impossible but it becomes very challenging. The thing that I don’t want to do — with things structured the way they are now — is to try to do both [full-time] because then you just burn out all of your people.

“You have to find that balance between plenty of racing so that your company is doing well and you keep yourselves busy.”

Mirachi Sees “Real Talent” in Harrison

The decision to enter the car in GTD Pro was two-fold according to Mirachi, who cited Silver-rated Harrison’s desire to ‘push herself’ and see how the recent HPD Academy graduate stacks up to her professional competitors.

Additionally, GTD rules prohibit two Gold-rated drivers in the same lineup for the race, meaning it would have had to adjust its lineup if it wanted to compete in the Pro-Am enforced class.

“[Ashton’s] a real talent and she’s extremely motivated and very driven to be successful at this,” Mirachi said. “We’ve been aware of that since we first started working with her in the Academy. 

“We want to try and help her achieve those goals. I think she’s got what it takes; we just have to keep pushing her in the right direction.

“I’ve been very impressed with her. Honestly I wouldn’t have done this if I didn’t think we had a reasonable, competitive driver [lineup] to do this with.

“We wouldn’t just come out here and run GTD Pro if we weren’t going to be competitive.

“It’s a tall [order]. We’re running against these factory teams and it’s our first race. I’m realistic about that.”

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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