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WTR Expects to “Eventually” Field GTD Program

DPi, Lamborghini Super Trofeo outfit considers GTD an interesting outlet for long-term…

Photo: Jamey Price

Wayne Taylor Racing “will eventually do something” in IMSA’s GT Daytona class according to team Vice President and general manager Travis Houge, who believes the category could form an interesting future outlet for the organization.

The decorated Acura DPi squad and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America entrant is monitoring the GT3-based class and could end up on the grid in 2023 or 2024.

However, Houge also noted that the current market challenges related to building up a GTD team for the WeatherTech Championship mean that the production-based category is not an immediate priority for the Indiana-based outfit.

“We’re always interested in GTD,” Houge told Sportscar365.

“We will eventually do something in GTD. When is the question. A lot of it stems, right now, down to the availability of personnel and equipment.

“When you look at what the pandemic has done, if we were to order a transporter, it would take until Q1 in 2023 for it to show up.

“So putting the programs together, when before you could do it in a few months, you’re now looking at a year to be able to put it together properly.

“Personnel is another thing in the United States: with LMDh coming out, all the teams are building. Everybody is doubling in size, but there’s not enough personnel to support that.

“I think we will be in GTD. If we do anything next year, it will be partnered up with another team.

“It will help to work that program, but it will be based somewhere else. I think the long-term goal for us is, as we continue into 2023 and 2024, bringing it under our own roof.”

The partner strategy that Houge suggested for next year would involve Wayne Taylor Racing having a greater presence in GTD through its driver management setup.

An example of that is WTR’s support of Ashton Harrison through her sports car racing career, which has included Super Trofeo drives with the team and a GT3 debut at the Indianapolis 8 Hour driving for Acura squad Compass Racing.

Houge acknowledged that WTR would then consider entering GTD under its own power in 2023 to coincide with when Lamborghini plans to introduce its next GT3 product.

“[We are] trying to build in steps as we go,” he summarized. “With what we have right now, this is a great platform to go to GTD, but you also need all those other pieces.

“Because we’re not going to do it if we’re not going to do it in the way we run our DPi program.

“We have drivers that want to go to GTD and maintain that working relationship with WTR.

“We would help them with the team that they choose to go to. So we would still continue to support the driving side of it, similar to what we did with Ashton for the eight-hour race.

“Helping her progress there, we would continue that with our drivers as part of what we offer.”

WTR Envisaging “Four of Five” ST Entries Next Year

Houge confirmed that WTR will continue in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America next year as the series transitions to the new Huracan Super Trofeo Evo2 model.

The team has ordered two new Evo2 cars and will apply Lamborghini’s upgrade kit to its remaining stable. Its commitment forms part of a “massive interest” for the car in the U.S.

“We’re continuing on the same program we have,” said Houge.

“It’s interesting because I think the new car is going to hopefully fix some of the issues with the evolution of this car. But I think everybody is excited for that.

“I think the biggest thing for us is the updated brake package. It’s something that we’ve constantly struggled with, not only from a wear perspective but also from a balance perspective.

“I think the new package is supposed to correct that, giving us a little more braking stability and projections about how the brakes are going to work.

“The interest from gentlemen to pro drivers is a lot higher because everybody wants it. Going all the way back to Virginia in May, this was the talk of the paddock.

“We’ve got a couple on order, and we’ve got drivers signed up for next year. Hopefully we’ll be back in the paddock with four to six – probably four or five cars.

“Hopefully the update kit starts coming in December, and hopefully the new cars enter shortly after so we can start testing and mapping a brand-new car.

“That’s going to be the biggest thing we do: track time to understand it before we go to new tracks. With two new tracks and a new car, it’s going to make for an interesting off-season.”

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

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