Citing an inexplicable lack of performance by its Audi R8 LMS GT3, Florida’s Starworks Motorsport has chosen to suspend its IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program until a solution is found.
To delve into the issues, this weekend’s IMSA race in Canada and the upcoming GT-only event in Connecticut will be missed.
Whether that means returning with solutions applied to the No. 8 Audi in IMSA’s GT Daytona class with full-time drivers Parker Chase and Ryan Dalziel, or pursuing a different chassis for the duo to use, is presently unknown.
“It has been our goal all along to run the full season, but common sense tells us that we have an issue that is beyond our control here,” says Starworks team owner Peter Baron. “Our sponsors expect us to deliver results. We need to be in the fight for the podium. We simply don’t have the speed in the car to do that at this point. Further, these events are back-to-back and are not key markets for our sponsors.”
Having presented highly competitive efforts as recently as 2018 using the Audi R8 LMS GT3 platform, Baron is at a loss as to why the German car is currently at such an overall deficit in GTD.
“It will be quite painful to miss these events. No racer wants to watch from the sidelines,” Baron said. “But it simply doesn’t make sense for us to burn budget money racing when we are not competitive. Our sponsors are committed to winning, and the package that we are showing up with cannot deliver that. We will sit the next two races out and work on things within our control to deliver the best possible package for the next event.
“We have work to do for the next few weeks. Our drivers are doing an amazing job. It’s the responsibility of the team and the manufacturer to provide them with a competitive car, so that will be our focus. Assuming we get this sorted, we will back in action at Road America. I never like these types of decisions. We just want to race and win. But 2020 is around the corner, and we need to work hard now to ensure that we have the right package for the remainder of the year and into the 2020 season.”