Gradient Racing will make its return to IMSA at Long Beach in April as part of the eight-round Sprint Cup series for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GT Daytona class. The Texas-based team’s Acura NSX GT3 will continue to be piloted by Marc Miller and Till Bechtolsheimer. Gradient’s IMSA commitment comes after spending most of 2019 in SRO-sanctioned events.
“2019 was a really good year,” Miller said. “I won a Trans-Am title, and Till and I were able to grab a GT3 win and some podiums for Gradient Racing. IMSA though, has always been our main goal; the level of competition in GTD compares with any championship in the world. Knowing we have a chance to compete full-time in the IMSA Sprint Championship is extremely exciting. I look forward to having the opportunity to focus completely on our GT3 program this season.”
Gradient’s GTD Sprint cup plans represent Bechtolsheimer’s most ambitious foray into professional endurance racing.
“It’s great to be back with Marc and the whole Gradient team,” he said. “I feel we learnt a lot last year and so I’m excited to be back in IMSA to see how we fare in one of the most competitive sports car fields on the planet.”
Gradient team manager Andris Laivins views the team’s upcoming GTD program as the first step towards becoming a full-time IMSA entrant.
“This season is our third with the Acura brand, and every year our relationship has grown stronger,” Laivins said. “Working alongside the team at HPD on the touring cars has been a treat, and it’s made Gradient push harder on our NSX program because we want to continue expanding what we do as partners. They make it easy to run the car on track, and it helps focus our energy on the commercial side. In 2021, I want to have a competitive effort on the grid at Daytona. The only way to get there from here is to put our heads down and do the work this year.”