On Wednesday afternoon, WeatherTech Racing announced that 2016 Virgin Australia Supercars Champion Shane van Gisbergen and Mercedes-AMG factory driver Thomas Jäger have joined the driving lineup of WeatherTech Racing’s No. 50 Mercedes AMG GT3 for next month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Van Gisbergen and Jäger join full-time drivers Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette in the car for the race.
Van Gisbergen, who is in Daytona for this week’s open test with the team, is quite happy with the new Mercedes.
“The WeatherTech Racing Mercedes is fun to drive,” van Gisbergen said in Daytona. “I am getting more and more used to it here at Daytona. These two days, we are all about getting comfortable with the car and the team. It is a little different from what I am used to with the McLaren that has the engine in the middle. This Mercedes is more like my V8 Supercar, so the transition is a little easier. I like the way it drives, especially into the corners.”
For Van Gisbergen, this will be the fourth year in a row that he will be with WeatherTech Racing. The previous three years were spent in Porsches, first with the 911 GT America, then the 911 GT3 R. His best finish in the Rolex 24 at Daytona is second in GTD in 2015. Outside of the United States, Van Gisbergen normally races McLaren 650S GT3’s in GT races. In addition to his V8 Supercar duties, van Gisbergen set the all-time lap race at Mount Panaroma (Bathurst) and won the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in February, while winning twice en route to the Blancpain GT Endurance Series championship.
Jäger, who drove the first Mercedes AMG GT3 to turn a wheel in the United States during the December open test last year, is looking forward to his first Rolex 24.
“I am excited to join the WeatherTech Racing effort for the 24 hours,” Jäger stated. “Having competed in many endurance races around the world, 2017 will be my first Daytona 24 hour race, so I’m excited and looking forward to it. [I’ve been] in the AMG Customers Sports department since the very beginning in 2010 and was deeply involved in the development of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 as a test driver. So I’ll share all my experience and knowledge to make the program successful in the U.S. It’s a very professional team with nice people, [so] I feel really comfortable. Also, driver line-up is great, all team players with the same target.”
Jäger is also a former overall winner of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour from back in 2013. Prior to becoming a factory racer for Mercedes-AMG, Jäger raced in a number of different series in Europe such as Porsche Supercup.