Mercedes-Benz
Sebring, US, 19 Mar. 2023, 16:00 CEST
GTD-Pro class podium result for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing in Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

The Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams have shown a compelling performance in the second round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season at Sebring International Raceway.

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GTD-Pro class podium result for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing in Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring

  • WeatherTech Racing ends up on the GTD-Pro podium in the second IMSA season round as well
  • Mercedes-AMG GT3 #32 of Team Korthoff Motorsports secures top 10 position in GTD class
  • Suspension damage ends the race for Winward Racing after impressive recovery drive

The Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams have shown a compelling performance in the second round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship season at Sebring International Raceway. Following grid drop penalties after the qualifying, the three Mercedes-AMG GT3s had to start the 12 Hours of Sebring from the back of the grid. Unfazed by this handicap, they used the numerous full-course yellows to make up multiple positions in the early stages already. Maro Engel (GER), Jules Gounon (AND) and Daniel Juncadella (ESP) built on their GTD-Pro class victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona and scored an excellent third place with the #79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. With their repeated class podium result, the team defended the overall lead in this class. In the GTD category, the Korthoff Motorsports team showed a successful recovery drive: Mikaël Grenier (CAN), Kenton Koch and Mike Skeen (both USA) raced the #32 Mercedes-AMG GT3 from 19th position on the grid to finish in tenth place. Additionally, Maro Engel and Kenton Koch managed to post the fastest race lap time in their respective classes. Indy Dontje (NED), Philip Ellis (SUI) and Russell Ward (USA) were forced to retire due to unfortunate suspension damage while leading their class with the #57 Winward Racing GT3.

“Being on the podium in this race is great. Nevertheless, I have mixed feelings looking back upon this race. We had the opportunity to win, but because of the full-course yellows, we didn’t have the necessary bit of luck with our strategy. WeatherTech Racing gave us a great car, Jules and Daniel showed a strong drive. On another day, perhaps we would have headed home with an even better result.”
Maro Engel, WeatherTech Racing #79

“It was a difficult race with many yellows and unpredictable conditions. As a result, it was difficult to assess the risk in the right way. Basically, however, it was a good race with a good result. When you have the car to win and don’t end up all the way at the front, it is still always kind of disappointing. In fact, the race was coming our way, we had the right strategy. But in the end, it was a lottery in which, unfortunately, we lost. Nevertheless, the weekend here at this special race track was enjoyable.”
Daniel Juncadella, WeatherTech Racing #79

“I feel sorry for the team that we missed out on a better result because of the drive-through penalty at the end. We had a super fast car and we had the potential to win. I simply wanted to try everything, but unfortunately that didn’t work out. Now, we have to keep working and do better next time. It was only my second race with this team. The strategy was good and so were the pit stops. Sadly, we just weren’t able to convert that into a win today. However, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 was again very strong today.“
Mikaël Grenier, Team Korthoff Motorsport #32

“Until our retirement, it was a really good race. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 was optimal for the track and the conditions. Therefore, we even made up for a drive-through penalty at the beginning of my second stint and worked our way back up into the lead. Sadly, Philip Ellis then had this unfortunate contact, a wheel-to-wheel contact, after which the right front suspension broke. Too bad as it is the second time already that we didn’t score any points. Perhaps, Russell and Philip are able to turn things around at Long Beach. I will do everything as well when we are driving together again at Watkins Glen. I am already looking forward to it.”
Indy Dontje, Winward Racing #57