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Grasser Set to Drop GTWC for Two-Series Focus Next Year

Grasser trimming back to two-series GT3 project next year; Endurance Cup to be dropped…

Photo: Kevin Pecks/SRO

Grasser Racing Team is unlikely to return to Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Endurance Cup next year as the team seeks to only focus on two GT3 series.

Team principal Gottfried Grasser told Sportscar365 that the Austrian squad found its 2021 return to GTWC Europe too great a challenge when placed alongside its other full-season roles in ADAC GT Masters and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

After sitting out the 2020 Endurance Cup season, GRT returned this year with a Silver Cup-class Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo driven by Kikko Galbiati, Clemens Schmid and Tim Zimmermann.

Grasser explained that he is “expecting” to compete in IMSA and a German-based championship in 2022, with both GT Masters and the DTM currently on his radar.

He is due to discuss his future plans with Lamborghini Squadra Corse at the Nürburgring this weekend and intends to finalize GRT’s upcoming programs in the next fortnight.

“I don’t think that we will do GT World Challenge, because honestly it’s too much work,” said Grasser.

“When you run ADAC or the DTM with three or four cars, for example, it’s too much.

“If I could go back to the beginning of the year I probably wouldn’t have done [Endurance Cup] because it was so much work doing three programs.

“Only doing one car here was not worth the work. It’s a great championship, but internally you really see that everyone is at their capacity limits, so for me it’s better to bring it back and make the program a little bit smaller, to just focus on IMSA and Germany.”

Grasser indicated that the DTM, which has been GT3-based since the start of this year, is an interesting option for his team. However, a program in the ITR-run series would likely come at the expense of GRT’s four-car involvement in GT Masters. 

“We cannot do both. Which one, we don’t know at the moment,” said Grasser, who suggested that budgets will ultimately determine where GRT competes.

“I would say it’s pretty much 20 percent more expensive [to do DTM]. We are open to see everything. The DTM is doing a proper job and it’s interesting for sponsors, with a good media package.

“I think the organization is really good and for sure something to look at. This championship makes sense.

“For this kind of car, it’s a bit different to raise the budget compared to in ADAC where [the drivers] share it. This is the only difference, in my opinion.

“But we also get [entries] who are doing ADAC completely with Pros. So they use the same budget that they would take to DTM, more or less.

“I think both championships do a proper job. What is clear is that there is interest from me as an Austrian, German-speaking team. It would be completely normal.

“Germany is a crazy market to have two championships like this. They are running 50 GT3 cars in one country!”

Grasser also indicated that there are “budget questions” relating to how many cars GRT can run on the other side of the Atlantic next season.

He previously stated a desire to run a pair of Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evos in IMSA, potentially in the new-for-2022 GT Daytona Pro class with an expanded base of staff.

But Grasser also supports the outlook for entries in the ‘standard’ amateur driver-mandated GTD division to be able to fight against GTD Pro cars for outright victories.

IMSA has moved to align the GTD Pro and GTD regulations in recent weeks, with the categories now confirmed to utilize the same BoP tables and refueling times.

“I think there are some really good drivers who should be fighting with the Pros,” said Grasser. “If I financed a program I would like to see where I am against the Pros.

“I think it would be really nice if they could do a championship with equal weapons, equal conditions and equal tires, so you could give every amateur the chance to win Daytona. In the last 12 hours, you could run only Pro drivers. So it would be possible to win overall.

“This makes sense. It gives amateur drivers the motivation to invest in something.”

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

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