On Friday afternoon, WeatherTech Racing announced that they will switch from the Mercedes-AMG GT3 to their trusty Porsche 911 GT3 R for next week’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America. The reason for such a move in the middle of the season? Balance of Performance.
“The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is a great car,” driver Cooper MacNeil stated. “We were fortunate to win at Long Beach on strategy, but the ebb-and-flow of BoP has the Mercedes at a big disadvantage right now. It is 231.5 lbs. heavier and has a 5.5 mm smaller restrictor than the Porsche. So we are blowing the dust off of our 911 GT3 R and running it at Road America. We will see what the rest of the season brings.”
MacNeil is not exaggerating the weight difference. Back at the Roar Before the 24 test in January, the Mercedes’ minimum weight was 1320 kilograms (2910.102 pounds). Now, the car is 70 kilograms heavier at 1390 kilograms (3064.425 pounds). Meanwhile, the Porsche was already 15 kilograms lighter than Mercedes in January. The Porsche has had 20 kilograms cut from the car over the past few months so that it now weighs in at 1285 kilograms (2832.940 pounds). IMSA has not announced any changes to the Balance of Performance in the GT Daytona class ahead of Road America. The most recent changes saw the Mercedes have 20 kilograms added prior to Lime Rock while the Porsche had 10 kilograms taken away.
A quick check of the best lap times from Lime Rock shows that Gunnar Jeannette was the seventh fastest driver in GT Daytona last weekend. However, MacNeil was near the bottom of the list, along with Ben Keating, Dion von Moltke and Tristan Vautier.
The Porsche that the team will race is the same one in the picture above that raced last season with Alex Job Racing. Interestingly enough, it was a little more than 11 months ago that WeatherTech Racing voluntarily pulled out of the championship due to Balance of Performance issues. This will likely not be the end of this discussion. Stay tuned.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.