Wolf Henzler says he’s more excited than ever for his Pirelli World Challenge SprintX campaign with Pfaff Motorsports following the team’s impressive performance sweeping the opening weekend at St. Petersburg.
The former Porsche factory driver watched from home as the car he is set to drive this weekend at Circuit of The Americas dominated the GT field with Scott Hargrove behind the wheel, which only confirmed his optimism about the season ahead.
“I was really happy that a new team coming from GT3 Cup Challenge, the first time in a GT3 R, immediately had a very good result,” Henzler told Sportscar365.
“I think there were many reasons [for the early success]. It’s a good team, they have hired a very good engineer, and Scott Hargrove is a very good driver.
“I didn’t really expect [the sweep], but when we did two tests I saw that they are fast and the car had a good balance.”
Henzler, who will make his full-season return to U.S. racing for the first time since the demise of the Team Falken Tire IMSA program in 2015, believes his previous experience and success will pay dividends.
The 42-year-old German, whose contract as a Porsche works driver expired at the end of last year, has played a vital part in pre-season testing in helping get the Canadian squad to grips with the GT3 package.
His experience at U.S. tracks will also be beneficial, with this weekend’s SprintX season-opener, for instance, marking Hargrove’s first trip to COTA.
“I can help them with my experience over the years with the Porsche,” Henzler said. “I’m not telling them how to set up the car, that’s what the engineer is doing, and he does it very well.
“Many little things that for me are routine like driver changes, things like that, I can help with.
“And when we come to a track like here at COTA, Scott has never raced here, I can tell him before we go out a little bit about the line and where we can use curbs and where we shouldn’t use the curbs, this is where I can help.”
With the full PWC SprintX calendar on his schedule this year, Henzler said he hopes to contend for the title, but above all the goal is to keep Hargrove in the fight for overall honors.
“The goal is to finish a couple of times on the podium and to help Scott, especially now when he’s leading the championship, to stay on top of the championship points,” he said.
“If after the five SprintX races he’s still on top, then I say we all did a good job.”