Colin Braun says he’s looking forward to the prospects of “turning up the intensity” of DXDT Racing’s program on the heels of a successful entry into GT3 competition last year for co-driver George Kurtz.
The CrowdStrike Racing duo return to the Utah-based team with a largely unchanged effort, other than an upgrade to Mercedes-AMG’s GT3 Evo, for a targeted Pro-Am title fight in the new-look GT World Challenge America powered by AWS.
Braun and Kurtz took a measured approach last year, scoring two podiums in Pro-Am, which will now fight for overall wins in 2020 thanks to the elimination of all-pro driver lineups in the series.
“Continuity for us is huge,” Braun said. “George did a great job in his first year of GT3. Our goal was to finish as many laps as possible, not make any mistakes, and gain experience.
“Overall it was a solid year and now we can turn up the intensity and build on it in 2020 to help gain some performance.
“It will also be nice to go back to some of these tracks for the second year for our entire CrowdStrike Racing group.
“It will help in a lot of ways – we’ll be able to go out and get down to business instead of learning tracks and the car. We’re all really excited for sure.”
While not having yet driven the German manufacturer’s Evo package, Braun said he’s heard “good things” from teammate Ryan Dalziel, who along with DXDT team owner/driver David Askew, have already utilized the upgrade kit.
It’s understood Braun and Kurtz’s Mercedes is an all-new chassis for this season, with Dalziel and Askew in an upgraded car.
“I’ve heard good things about the Evo package on the Mercedes,” Braun said. “Luckily Ryan got an Evo kit update for their car and learned some good things with some positive feedback.”
Braun heads to this weekend’s season-opener at Circuit of The Americas just two weeks after making his FIA World Endurance Championship debut in DragonSpeed’s Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 car at the same track.
The former IMSA champion feels his recent experience of the 3.4-mile circuit, which has recently been resurfaced in areas, will pay dividends once track action begins.
“Doing the WEC program is great for our GT World Challenge Powered by AWS program,” Braun said.
“Knowing what the surfaces feel like, knowing where the bumps are… it will help our entire group.
“The team has been sending around what drivers think about COTA, and the best part is I’ve been here and can get them better info. All the teams are great; after one practice everyone will figure it out but maybe it will give us a little bit of an edge early.”