The team, run by Proton Competition, ran three cars in the GTD Pro class at the opening round of the season, the Rolex 24 at Daytona – its #79 Porsche 911 GT3 R and two Mercedes-AMG GT3s.
The #15 Mercedes clinched fifth place in the hands of Austin Cindric, Dirk Muller and Patrick Assenheimer while the Porsche and the second Mercedes were ninth and tenth after encountering various issues.
In Round 2 at Sebring, Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and full-timer Cooper MacNeil finished third in the Mercedes while MacNeil, Julien Andlauer and Alessio Picariello clocked sixth in the Porsche.
Now the team has decided to run the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Mercedes-Benz of Billings, Montana support for the remainder of the IMSA WeatherTech Championship schedule.
MacNeil and what the team’s press release describes as “a host of Mercedes-Benz factory drivers will contest the remaining eight GTD Pro races.”
Said MacNeil: “Our performance in the Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Daytona and Sebring was the motivating factor behind continuing with it for the rest of the season. We led the race at the Rolex 24 before our drivetrain issue, and then we had a strong podium finish at Sebring.
“We also have a winning history at Long Beach having won there in the Mercedes-AMG in 2017. We are going out west to see if we can repeat that win.”
WeatherTech Racing entered the final year of the GT Le Mans class – IMSA’s forerunner to GTD Pro – in 2021, using a Porsche 911 RSR, and clinched three wins, including the Twelve Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans. MacNeil and then co-drivers Matt Campbell and Mathieu Jaminet finished 3-4-5 in the championship, beaten by the two works Corvette C8.R entries.
MacNeil and Andlauer had been due to tackle the full schedule of the new GTD Pro class in 2022 using the venerable 911 GT3 R. Instead, the team’s switch means it will run the only full-season Mercedes entry in the GTD Pro class.