CJ Wilson Racing to make GT Daytona début at Sebring

by Paul Hensby
CJ Wilson Racing will debut in the GTD class at Sebring

CJ Wilson Racing will make the jump into the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the remaining three North American Endurance Cup races in 2018.

The IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship-winning outfit will join the GT Daytona class for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sahlen’s Six Hours of Watkins Glen and Motul Petit Le Mans with their Acura NSX GT3, with Marc Miller and Till Bechtolsheimer the first two confirmed drivers.

“As a young kid watching IMSA races, it was always my dream to race in the premier sports car series,” said team owner C.J. Wilson. “It looks like I still have some time before I race in (the) WeatherTech (Championship, as a driver) but I’m happy for Marc and Till to take on the toughest track in the country in the NSX.

“We have been aiming to get into this paddock for years but now the real fight begins to see what we can do against the much more experienced teams. So, we felt like, hey, if we’re going to go in and spend X-amount of dollars, maybe we’re better off spending that in GTD, getting our feet wet, and taking a real run at this and being where we want to be, which is having a chance to compete with the best teams in the Western Hemisphere.”

Team manager Andris Laivins says the plan so far is to race in the three NAEC races in 2018, but they could add some additional rounds of the IMSA season to their schedule.

“Right now, the plan is to run the remainder of the Patrón NAEC, and hopefully add on a couple other rounds as we go,” said Laivins.

“Last fall, as we approached Thanksgiving, it became clear that putting a proper effort on track for the Roar and Daytona was going to be tough, and the last thing you want to do is show up to the biggest race of the year unprepared, so we made the tough choice to sit it out and keep working.

“Honestly, it’s been a tough off-season working to put this together, but I couldn’t be happier to finally get out there in the deep end. We have a lot to learn, and we’re going to do it at our own pace; I think our years in the Continental series were critical preparation for the technical and commercial challenges in WeatherTech.”

The third driver for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will be announced in due course, with the team having been involved in last weeks test at the same venue as preparation.

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