Coming off a productive dress rehearsal at Watkins Glen International, Gilbert Korthoff Motorsports is ready for its next test, the IMSA Sportscar Weekend at Road America on August 5-8.
Guy Cosmo and Shane Lewis teamed in their brand-new No. 32 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo for a seventh-place finish in the recent WeatherTech 240 at Watkins Glen International. Encouraged with their initial outing, the team decided to skip the following event at Lime Rock Park to better prepare for Road America.
After enjoying winning results in IMSA LMP3 competition, the team stepped up to the GT Daytona class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and took possession of a brand-new Mercedes. Less than a month after receiving the car, the team raced the car basically “as delivered” at Watkins Glen.
“We literally raced that car the same way it came off the crate,” Cosmo said. “The team found the original settings to be pretty reasonable, so that’s how we raced it. Most of our time was spent working to pass IMSA technical inspection, with the fuel capacity, electronics and the Delphi system. When the green flag dropped, the car was competitive, and we were thrilled with the result. We had a very humble approach to the weekend, and fully expected a much more challenging time. We were ecstatic to see our lap times two-tenths off the fastest race lap – we expected to be two seconds off.”
Rather than take their chances at Lime Rock Park only two weeks following the Glen, the team opted to wait another two weeks to fully prepare for the Wisconsin event.
“That fully afforded us the time to acquire some proper setup equipment, tools and extra parts,” Cosmo explained. “That also gave the guys a little bit more of an opportunity to work on the car, and learn how to make setup changes. That extra time put us in a position to come back as a much more informed and prepared team.”
The time off also included two days of testing at the four-mile Road America circuit.
“The test went really well, and we are extremely pleased with what we learned and the progress we made,” Cosmo said. “It was positive in every way, and the whole team had a blast. The crew is really starting to gel, and we are much more at ease showing up at our next race. We still have no expectations for a result, but knowing we were on the pace at Watkins Glen we should have a more competitive run at Road America.”
Cosmo won his first race at Elkhart Lake, taking the pole and setting the fastest race lap in Pro Mazda in 2002. He also finished second in a 2013 ALMS race with Team Patron in LMP2. In his most recent race weekend, he swept both races in an SRO GT4 Pirelli World Challenge America Sprint X event.
“Road America is one of my favorite tracks, and Elkhart Lake is one of my favorite places to go,” Cosmo said. “It’s big; it’s fast; and at four miles, each lap is like going on a journey. Driving around that place makes me happy.” Despite his extensive experience, Lewis has limited background racing sports cars at Elkhart Lake.
“It’s been a long while since I’ve been there,” Lewis said. “I think my last race there was in Trans Am in the rain [finishing fifth in 2015]. I led that race for a long time – I was killing them while it was wet – but once it started drying, the car got tough to drive.
“I also ran a Daytona Prototype there – that was ages ago – but I never ran a GT car or anything with downforce at all at Road America. Coming there with the Mercedes isn’t exactly like starting over, but everything will be new and fresh. I’ve got to really up my game, because I haven’t been IMSA racing or at Road America in a while. I love being Cosmo’s teammate, and the team has come together well, so I’m looking forward to getting back to Road America.”
Practice for the Sportscar Weekend begins Friday, August 6, at 5:10 p.m. (all times CT). A second practice will be held Saturday at 8:55 a.m., followed by GTD qualifying at 1:50 p.m. The two-hour, 40-minute race takes the green flag at 1:40 p.m. on Sunday.
Source. Sunday Group