The Racers Group will return to fielding Porsches in IMSA in 2017 with the team announcing plans to enter a full-time GT Daytona entry with a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The Kevin Buckler-owned squad has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success with the German manufacturer, including victories in the 2002 24 Hours of Le Mans and an overall victory in the 2003 Rolex 24 at Daytona with Buckler, Michael Schrom, Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister. A second Porsche is also possible for the 12-round GTD championship next year.
“I don’t think it gets much more full circle than this,” Buckler said. “We are proud to announce that we are back with Porsche as our premier brand running in the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech Championship. It feels right. We are currently in talks with multiple sponsor partners, drivers, and we are working on a second car and program. The entire team at IMSA has just done an amazing job building this motorsports platform. I’ve been beating the GT drum for 25 years and was with them in the beginning, and it has not been easy.
“I’m pleased and honored to be part of their history and heritage, and now we’re back running full time in WeatherTech. The Porsche support program has been second to none over all these years, and it will be nice to have them by our side once again. It’s also going to be nice to be racing with some of my old friends that are still at Porsche.”
Wolf Henzler will be the entry’s lead driver and joins Jan Heylen, Derek DeBoer, Santiago Creel and Pablo Sánchez in the upcoming Rolex 24. Porsche Motorsport North America president Jens Walther expressed excitement as well.
“All of us at Porsche Motorsport North America are looking forward to seeing a new 911 GT3 R in the traditional TRG livery once again,” Walther said. “Kevin and his team have been responsible for many Porsche GT victories over the years, including an overall Rolex 24 victory in 2003. We warmly welcome him back to the Porsche family.”
Henzler’s co-driver for the full season has yet to be announced, but he believes the program is capable of doing great things.
“I was thrilled when I heard about TRG being back with a Porsche in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship and that I will be one of the drivers in their brand-new 911 GT3 R,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of success with the team when I raced for them at Daytona. In 2010, we finished third in GT; in 2011, we finished first in GT and second in GT the following year by only nine seconds. TRG knows very well what it needs to have a winning car on the track. Finally, I’m glad the Roar at Daytona is not so far away — I can’t wait to sit in the new car.”
The team will continue to field Aston Martins in multiple series, along with its planned return to the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Series in 2017.