Following its Pro-Am class title in 2019, Racers Edge Motorsports took home even more silverware this year, in becoming overall GT World Challenge America powered by AWS champions.
In an expanded two-car operation, the Florida-based team claimed multiple overall wins with Trent Hindman and Shelby Blackstock, while overcame the challenge of COVID-19 travel restrictions to field its second Acura NSX GT3 Evo for the majority of the season.
Team principal Jon Mirachi discusses the 2020 championship run, his team’s involvement in the HPD GT3 Driver Academy and more in this week’s Pirelli Paddock Pass.
How would you rate the team’s season in GT World Challenge America?
“Honestly, it was a great season in many respects. Obviously winning the championship was awesome, but I was really proud of our team’s execution, the driver’s performances and how everyone just worked together so well.
“At Road America for example we were off the pace and struggling in practice, but everyone put their heads down and found the solutions to get the car back in front.
“It was an example of how everyone worked together all season – facing the challenges together and finding the solutions.”
What has impressed you the most in your increased relationship with Acura and HPD this year?
“They have a very thorough support program in place and are great to work with. During the first season we got to know everyone there and really understand how well organized their program is, while I believe they learned to appreciate our technical feedback, organization and overall capabilities.
“So, heading into the second season we were better able to take advantage of their resources while we had the freedom to execute as a team.”
How was it working with HPD in its GT3 Driver Academy?
“The Academy program is just awesome! I really mean that. It is so much fun and so rewarding to share knowledge with eager young drivers, while getting to see the results of it in real time.
“We’ve spent much of our past doing driver training, so for Racers Edge it was a natural fit. HPD had a great concept and we were proud to be entrusted with being responsible for organizing and operating the program.
“While the Academy is not a competition, it does allow us to meet and work with some new, talented young drivers, so sure it has the potential to open doors for any of them to be future team drivers.”
If you were President of SRO America for the day, what would you change, if anything?
“In my view, the series is great fun and very under-rated. I love the two, 90-minute race format per weekend. In 2020 they made a mistake in eliminating the Pro class, but okay, lesson learned and that’s been reversed. They’ve already announced they’ll shorten the weekends next season which is also good.
“What would I do that hasn’t been announced, or being done that I’m aware of?
“Improve the communications with the teams regarding technical matters and rule changes. Promote what makes the series different from IMSA to attract more entries (two races a weekend, GT3 the headliner and having the Pro-Am class), while also promoting the relatively low cost for a season compared to other options – it’s good value where you can race a full season in a current GT3 car, in a professional environment for less than $800,000.”
What does the 2021 season currently look like for Racers Edge?
“Nothing is 100 percent confirmed yet, but we really enjoy the SRO series, so competing there in the Pro class and/or the Pro-Am class is definitely on our radar.
“I believe we’ll return with the GT3 Academy and are looking forward to that!
“Regarding rumors of us in IMSA GTD, with the success of the NSX across IMSA and SRO, HPD has been able to sell some cars and sign up new customer teams for IMSA GTD, so they have that covered.”