WeatherTech Racing’s Daniel Juncadella suggests his and his engineer’s Indianapolis 8 Hour win from last year assisted the #79 crew en route to their third GTD Pro race victory this season.
The #79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 won in the GTD Pro class from second on the grid, from the 2-hour and 40-minute race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Juncadella and his fellow Mercedes-AMG works teammate Jules Gounon were unable to grasp victory at the GT Challenge at VIR, and so they managed a win at the historic Brickyard venue, by which IMSA made its return since 2014.
The Spaniard won the Intercontinental GT Challenge’s Indianapolis 8 Hour race last year in a Mercedes-AMG, along with teammates Raffaele Marciello and Daniel Morad.
The same engineer who won with them also works on the #79 car, thus tasted victory once again this year at Indianapolis albeit in a multi-class sportscar sprint race.
“The WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 was an absolute rocket ship today,” reflected Juncadella after the win.
“We benefitted from other’s mistakes. We kept the race clean, had good pit stops and were able to control the race to the end.
“It is nice to win in Indy again, I won the 8 hour here last year so this is a good track for me and for the car.”
He commented about how the Mercedes-AMG package suited the Indianapolis Road Course configuration which features two prominent straights.
This compares differently with Virginia International Raceway, which incorporates more technical and twisty characteristics.
“The Indy circuit suits our car. The layout is good and when that happens you need to capitalise on that and take wins.
“Jules had a good first stint and led the race after a good P2 qualifying run. It is a good win for the WeatherTech Racing/Proton team and good momentum going into Petit Le Mans next month.”
Gounon added: “I think the WeatherTech car was amazing today,” Gounon said.
“Our engineer won here with Dani last year, so we know what the car wants for this circuit so that was an advantage for us this weekend. I was on pole here last year (with Winward Racing’s Mercedes-AMG), so that experience helped as well.
“I am really looking forward to Petit Le Mans, I have never raced there before.
“We lead the endurance championship, and I am looking forward to going there for the last race of the season and see if we can win it.”
After their Brickyard win, the #79 crew lead the Endurance Cup standings, and took third place overall from the #9 Pfaff Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3.R, although the #14 Vasser Sullivan drivers have effectively won the GTD title once they begin Petit Le Mans.
The #9 were unable to turn their pole position into a win after receiving a drive-through penalty for switching lanes before the start line, and they were not able to save enough fuel towards the end thus conducting an extra pit stop from the lead to the #79’s advantage.
Petit Le Mans will take place on 14 October, a 10-hour endurance race which will conclude the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech season.