Ian Lacy Racing with G3 Racing will step up to GT3 competition in GT World Challenge America powered by AWS in 2021 when the Utah-based squad debuts its new Aston Martin Vantage GT3 with a Pro-Am lineup for drivers Frank Gannett and Drew Staveley.
Driving sister Ford Mustang GT4 entries last year, Staveley finished second in Pirelli GT4 America Sprint points in his first season competing in the Pro class, while Gannett was eighth in the Am ranks.
It will mark the race debut in GT3 machinery for both drivers and the team.
“It’s a step up for the team and it’s great that we’re moving up the motorsports ladder,” team owner Ian Lacy told Sportscar365.
“It’s really encouraging, and we want to thank Frank for this opportunity.
“We spent a lot of time talking to almost all of the manufacturers and there was interest shown by all of them, which was very encouraging as a team owner. The Aston Martin seemed to fit us the best. It basically has the longest homologation run and it’s competitively priced.
“It seems like there may be an opportunity as the only GT3 Aston Martin team in the SRO currently to get the attention that we will need to get this program off the ground.
“We know we have our work cut out for us but we’re looking forward to getting our hands on the car and competing at the top level of SRO America.
“There will be a bit of a learning curve, you should see the drivers’ manual, but it’s super exciting.”
Lacy said the team’s experience racing in the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli rounds at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and in the Michelin Pilot Challenge series has helped prepare the team for the 90-minute, two driver format of GT World Challenge America that also features live pit stops, but added that new equipment is required.
He added that in addition to additional pit equipment, the team is bulking up in order to hit the ground running with its new program which will run with customer support from Aston Martin.
“We have retained the services of Jeff Lohman [formerly with DXDT Racing] to do our race engineering,” he said. “He has experience with the pit stops, the strategy, and the tires, so he brings quite a lot of assets to the table.
“As far as data is concerned, we’re probably going to have to hire a dedicated data engineer depending on what is worked out with Aston Martin as well as building the infrastructure to be in touch with an Aston Martin technician in Europe who will be looking at the car in real time.
“It’s quite a bit more complex and it’s daunting as a team owner, but it’s exciting, too.
“There has been a lot of support from Aston Martin, we will have a factory engineer join us for our initial tests and the first race weekend of the season.
“Cy and Susan Jary and CSJ Motorsports North America will have a parts truck at every round and we’ve requested that there are some additional items placed on the truck for us which they agreed to.
“Basically we wanted to ensure that we had everything we need to keep the car running on a race weekend, so we’ve got a spare engine and gearbox in addition to all the other minutiae.
“We’re pretty comprehensively covered without having to purchase those big ticket items.”
ILR’s chassis is expected to be completed next week and the team plans to air freight the car to the U.S. prior to a pre-season testing program in Utah and California.