Audi’s venerable R8 LMS GT3 will maintain its presence in IMSA’s GT Daytona class thanks to the new WeatherTech Sportscar Championship Sprint Cup entry filed by CarBahn with Peregrine Racing.
The title-winning Michelin Pilot Challenge team will make use of Jeff Westphal and Richard Heistand in IMSA’s secondary championship for GTD entries that skip its longest endurance races. They duo will share the No. 39 Audi starting at Mid-Ohio in May.
“The Audi R8 LMS GT4 and GT3 are siblings, and share quite a few concepts, construction and components,” said Westphal, who captured the 2019 MPC championship with Tyler McQuarrie in a GT4 Audi. “The differences aren’t insignificant, but the feel the car gives the driver will be very similar to what we are used to at CarBahn with Peregrine Racing, as well as what Richard is used to with the Lambo GT3 experience he brings. The Lambo GT3 and Audi R8 LMS share a lot of components as well, thus making the Audi the more familiar unknown quantity.”
Hesitand returns to GTD, where he competed as recently as 2020.
“Well firstly, I’m just very excited to be joining CarBahn with Peregrine Racing and looking forward to driving the Audi R8 LMS,” Heistand said. “The key to success in racing starts and ends with being on a great team, so I’m very grateful and excited. It’s funny to think this will be my third season in IMSA in my third new car. After a three-race Michelin Endurance Cup run in 2020, I’ll be visiting these sprint tracks for just the second time. It’s nice to think I’ve established myself over the last couple years, and I feel more settled than ever headed into this season.”