McCann Racing is planning additional outings in Pirelli World Challenge this season, after debuting its newly acquired Dodge Viper GT3-R in this weekend’s round at Road America.
The Ohio-based team, led by Michael McCann, is making its series return for the first time in eight years, with the owner/driver coming to grips with the GT3-spec contender after a period away from the cockpit.
“I’ve been coaching baseball more than racing!” McCann told Sportscar365. “I’ve been doing some instructional stuff and some testing with some of the car we’ve been building.
“But it’s all about getting back in the saddle again. I’m definitely rusty and need to get back up to speed.”
The former PWC race winner, who last competed in the series in 2008 with a two-car Cadillac CTS-V effort, has purchased Tim Pappas’ Viper, rekindling the team’s legacy of racing the V10-powered car in top-level GT competition.
Prior to the Cadillac effort, McCann fielded Dodge Viper Competition Coupes and still operates a successful racing business supporting customers.
“It’s definitely up a notch or two,” McCann said of PWC since his last appearance. “The cars are just spectacular.
“That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to come back, is to be able to drive a GT3. With all the goodies and gadgets, that’s pretty cool. All the drivers are pretty good.
“Eight years ago, you had the top drivers that are as good as today but then you start to see them fall off. What I’m seeing here is that they’re all good.
“There isn’t anybody here that doesn’t know how to pedal.”
McCann has also given praise to the Riley-built Viper GT3-R, a car that’s been a proven race winner in both PWC and IMSA.
Coincidentally, his ex-Black Swan Racing chassis has also previously visited victory lane, with Kuno Wittmer in SRT Motorsports’ one-off factory entry at Toronto in 2014.
“I’ve been driving Vipers forever but this is the best Viper I’ve ever driven,” McCann said. “I can lean on it a lot more than used to. The car can take it, I just have to give it to it.
“We need to get through the weekend unscathed and try to get better each time.
“We’re using the rest of this year as an evaluation to see what we’re going to do going forward, and getting myself better and understanding what this car likes.”
Beyond this weekend, McCann said they’re committed to the Mid-Ohio and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca rounds, and is currently “50/50” on adding Sonoma Raceway to its 2016 schedule.
A scheduling conflict could force the team to miss the Utah round, although they are considering the SprintX race in Monterey, ahead of a potential full-season PWC effort in 2017.
“That’s a possibility,” McCann said. “That’s all I’ve done before, full seasons. We’ll see how it goes and see how sponsorship works out.
“We have YETI on board, which is exciting. We’re both feeling this out this year and sit down to see what it will be like.”