Strakka Racing is making use of two sets of equipment to ease the logistical difficulties it faces in entering both the Intercontinental GT Challenge and Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup this year.
The team’s racing director Jay Davenport explained that the Silverstone-based outfit has extra trackside equipment to hand after its large-scale four-car program last season, meaning it effectively has one set of resources for the European races and another for IGTC flyaways.
It is still using the same cars for both series with its Mercedes-AMG GT3s being air-freighted between continents for relatively short turnarounds.
This is especially important for the Suzuka and Laguna Seca IGTC rounds, which are both scheduled four weeks after European races.
“We obviously had some extra equipment from running four cars last year so we worked out that we could invest a little more,” Davenport told Sportscar365.
“We’ve basically got two lots of kit that we can use, so we’ve got sea freight. We have a container that we send well in advance to the rounds and then if we fly the cars we can use the same cars for all the races.
“We’ve got European equipment that we use in our trucks and then we have a container that will do all the flyaway stuff that’s got basically a duplicate of everything that we use.”
The current schedule allows time for cars to be air-freighted between IGTC and European races but Davenport said the team might need extra cars in the future.
“Maybe, going forwards, we might need to acquire further cars but at the moment we can make it work with the three that we’ve got.”
Next year’s California 8 Hours is scheduled for a TBA date in March or April, which could place it very close to the Blancpain GT opener at Monza on April 14 and make logistics more challenging for teams entering both.
The 2019 Blancpain GT Endurance Cup finale has been brought forward a month to Sept. 1, just a week after the Suzuka 10 Hours, meanwhile.
Similar Program Planned for 2019; Rolex 24 Unlikely
Davenport said they are planning a largely unchanged program for next year, despite having initially eyed a possible outing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
While Daytona is an event they’d “all like to do at some point” Davenport said it poses a challenge with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour the week after.
Several other European GT teams have made recent appearances at the race, including Grasser Racing Team, which claimed GT Daytona class honors in this year’s race.
“As things stand at the moment, our focus is doing the Intercontinental GT Challenge again as well as Blancpain Endurance,” he said.
“That’s kind of where our thoughts are at the moment. That doesn’t really leave any room for the IMSA races as such, but it’s definitely something that we’re considering looking at.”
Davenport also explained that competing in WeatherTech Championship GTD races isn’t as attractive as fighting for outright wins.
“You’ve basically just got your mirrors full for the whole time with the LMPs and GTLMs overtaking you,” he said. “I’m not sure whether we’re interested racing in GTD, as it stands, in IMSA.
“I think we prefer racing in a series where the car we’re competing in is in the upper end of the categories that are competing at that race event.”