When Porsche launches a new GT3-spec racing weapon people in the paddock typically sit up and take notice. That was certainly the case when the new 992-generation 911 GT3 R made its launch last year ahead of a competition debut in 2023. While only two teams—Wright and Pfaff—entered Porsches in IMSA for 2022, there will now be a confirmed six of them on the grid at Daytona and at least four beyond that. With the entry list for Daytona now out, we can confirm who made the cut for Porsche’s allocation of an extremely high-demand race car. The field in IMSA is oversubscribed this year, and we’ll see a full sixty cars on the grid. More than ten percent of them will be Porsches.
Wright Motorsports – 2 Cars
In addition to continuing its program with Ryan Hardwick for 2023, Wright have announced a new partnership with VOLT Lighting for a second 911 GT3 R in the IMSA GTD class. The 2022 IMSA Pilot Challenge GS class champions Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson will be making the step up into the big leagues, and joining forces with Wright Motorsports to do so. It is hard to find a team more prepared for the rigors of a 24 hour race with a Porsche. The Ohio-based team is among the most qualified on the grid, and with championship-caliber drivers onboard, hopefully it’ll be a solid season for them.
“I’m totally stoked to fulfill a longtime goal of racing in WeatherTech, America’s top series for professional sports car racing,” said Brynjolfsson. “Racing against the best drivers in the world is going to be a mega challenge but one that I have been preparing a long time for and a step I don’t take lightly. At 55 years old, I will be the oldest full season GTD/GT3 driver and possibly one of just a few full-season Bronze GTD drivers. That is a big challenge to overcome but it gives me pride and motivation. I have a lot to learn and look forward to my debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Hopefully I’ll have a lot of fans supporting ‘The Old-Man-Rookie!’”
Kelly Moss and Riley Technologies – 2 Cars
When it comes to Porsches and racing, Kelly Moss really knows their stuff, and when it comes to engineering a team, you’d be hard pressed to find someone better than Bill Riley. The Wisconsin-based team will continue to run its customers’ cars in Porsche Carrera Cup, so this is going to be an extremely busy race shop for the 2023 season. Adding Riley to the mix and showing up with not one but two brand new GT3 Rs at Daytona is a huge undertaking.
The Kelly Moss/Riley #92 car will contest the four endurance rounds of IMSA this season with Jeroen Bleekemolen, Alec Udell, Andrew Davis, and David Brule handling the driving duties. The team’s second car is planned for a full season effort on the GTD class, but the team has not yet announced its full driver lineup for the year. It isn’t unlikely that a high caliber team buying two new Porsches would get a factory ace driver for the season. Maybe this is where Gimmi Bruni or Richard Lietz will end up for the year?
“Kelly Moss has a long history representing the Porsche brand in various forms of customer racing, restorations and custom car builds,” said team co-owner Andy Kilcoyne. “We really wanted to be part of the development of the new 992 GT3 R, but didn’t want to risk diluting our current racing programs. Having worked with Riley on many projects over the years, it was a clear and logical choice to partner with Riley on the WeatherTech and Michelin Pilot Programs.”
MDK Motorsports – 1 Car
This will be an interesting one to watch. For the four-race endurance championship, MDK Moto will enter a single 911 GT3 R with team owner Mark Kvamme (the MDK in MDK Moto), and father-son duo Jan Magnussen and Kevin Magnussen. The team will have a fourth driver joining them, as Kevin will be called out to race in Formula One for a few rounds, but it has not yet announced who that will be. No matter what happens, this is going to be a team that will get a lot of attention.
AO Racing – 1 Car
If you want to know just how good your car is, ask the guy who has driven just about everything with four wheels. AO Racing is a new endeavor headlined by Gunnar Jeannette in partnership with GitHub co-founder P.J. Hyett based out of Chicago. Surprisingly for a brand new team, AO will be entering the full IMSA season, not just the endurance rounds. Tech entrepreneur Hyett will be in the car for all rounds alongside pro driver Sebastian Priaulx. For the four endurance rounds, Jeannette will step onboard, as well as multiple Le Mans winner Harry Tinknell. Getting support from Multimatic for the season is not small feat, and a testament to the connections that Jeannette has built up over the years.
“I’m thrilled to be able to announce our Rolex 24 and full season driver lineups and to have Harry and Seb join our program,” said Jeannette. “They bring a mixture of youth and experience to the team. Harry has multiple Le Mans wins and success both in GT and Prototype racing. While Sebastian is young, he’s had plenty of experience in GT cars and won the 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup North America Championship presented by Cayman Islands. Priaulx and Tincknell are part of the Multimatic organization and have also raced together with great success in the World Endurance Championship, so I think the four of us will make a competitive lineup for the Rolex 24. I’ve had a relationship with Multimatic and Larry Holt for the majority of my career. While my role has evolved over the past few years, I’m delighted that we are able to continue our relationship and that AO Racing is able to join forces with Multimatic.”
So there you have it. Six brand new Porsches will debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona. Pfaff is the GTD Pro car not mentioned here, but you can read more about their efforts here. With eight cars in GTD Pro and a full slate of 24 cars in GTD, it’s going to be a fight no matter which way you look at it. Here’s hoping Porsche comes out on top!