The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship will miss out on two GTD teams for their only Canadian round in 2019
This weekend’s race will happen at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Bowmanville in Ontario, but the two Audi teams will miss the race due to different reasons.
Moorespeed #19 had a massive crash during practice at Watkins Glen only a few days ago, and the team haven’t had the possibility to get it repaired in time for the CTMP race. Luckily it was only material damage in the accident, but with Watkins Glen located south west of New York – a team base in Austin, Texas – and then a race in Canada, it’s logistical impossible for them to do the task. So that makes Alex Riberas and Will Hardeman having to skip the race.
The other team is Starworks Motorsport #8. They have had a difficult start to the 2019 season, currently sitting in 12th in the standings. The car has been lacking top speed for the last three weekends. Not since the Sebring race in March has the team been able to find top speed. They have been lacking about 5 mph compared to the other Audis in the field, and the team will now use the rest of July to investigate why.
Sometimes the lack of top speed can be explained by BOP, but with Parker Chase and Ryan Dalziel unable to follow the other Audis in the field, there is either something wrong with the engine, or the team has gone completely off the track with the car set-up. 5 mph is not just a bit – it’s a massive disadvantage.
They did lead the race at Watkins Glen for about half an hour, towards the end of the race, but that was due to a lot of Safety Car periods, and a very different pit strategy compared to the opposition, where they would had needed another Safety Car for their gamble to pay off. In stead they had to refuel with less than 15 minutes of the race left, and finished in 12th position.
The decision from Starworks Motorsport is to skip CTMP and Lime Rock Park later this month, and instead returning at Road America early August. As the team says in their press release, 2020 isn’t far away, with the season start in January. So it’s important to solve the issues this year, so it doesn’t start hampering the preparations for or the 2020 season itself.
There is no date on the return for Moorespeed #19, but if they skips Lime Rock Park too, they will have a full month to prepare the car, before they would take the trip to north of Chicago and the Road America track in the state of Wisconsin.