WeatherTech Racing will switch to a Porsche 911 GT3 R for next weekend’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America, due to a Balance of Performance dispute with IMSA involving its Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette will pilot the No. 50 Porsche in the ninth round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, after what the Greg Jones-led team has cited recent BoP adjustments that has “hampered” its performance.
The pairing, nor any Mercedes GT Daytona team, have scored a podium finish since Circuit of The Americas in May, in what has seen 70kg added to the car since the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, as well as a reduced air restrictor.
The most recent change came prior to last weekend’s Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, when the Mercedes was handed a 20kg weight increase.
“The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is a great car,” MacNeil said. “We were fortunate to win at Long Beach on strategy, but the ebb-and-flow of BoP has the Mercedes at a big disadvantage right now.
“It is 231.5 pounds heavier and has a 5.5mm smaller restrictor than the Porsche. So we are blowing the dust off of our 911 GT3 R and running it at Road America.
“We will see what the rest of the season brings.”
It will mark MacNeil’s first start with the Porsche in WeatherTech Championship competition in one year, after withdrawing from the final two races of 2016 in a BoP dispute with the Porsche at the time.
No decision has been made on the team’s car of choice beyond next weekend’s race.
“It’s been very frustrating to have a car capable of race wins at the beginning of the season only to struggle to finish 10th at the last race,” Jeannette said.
“Since we still have a Porsche 911 GT3 R ready to go we thought what the heck, let’s run it at Road America and see where we stand.
“Porsche has been very supportive in helping us get everything back up and running for next weekend and it will be a nice homecoming for Cooper and myself to drive a Porsche in IMSA again.
“We already have one podium this year in a Porsche over at the Tour Auto in France and hope to get a second at WeatherTech’s home race!”