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Andretti Autosport Expands To GTD Class At Laguna Seca

Andretti Autosport and IMSA announced Tuesday (May 2) that they will be expanding to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTD class on a part-time basis in Sprint Cup rounds for the remainder of the season. The team will debut in the Motul Course de Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on May 14. The team will be entered under the Andretti Motorsports banner and will field an Aston Martin for Jarett Andretti and Gabby Chaves.

The GTD program will not conflict with the team’s existing LMP3 program, which will be in the four Michelin Endurance Cup races. The LMP3 class is not scheduled to race again until the Sahlen’s Six Hours at the Glen on June 25.

Primary sponsorship for the new effort will be provided by JustHooIt.com, a website based in the United Kingdom (and depicted on the fin on the LMP3 car above) that allows users to select a specific hotel, then make an offer for how much you want to pay for the room. If the offer is accepted, then it can be booked.

“We have been working toward growing into a GTD program since the end of 2020,” Andretti stated in a press release. “[With] our partnership with Justhooit.com and Corsa Horizon, we have been able to put a program together for some additional races this year with an eye toward a full season in 2024.”

Corsa Horizon has previously raced an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition. The outfit is currently racing a Ferrari 296 GT3 in Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS in collaboration with Conquest Racing for Alessandro Balzan and Manny Franco.

Andretti has no previous GT3 experience. However, he does have one career start in the Rolex Sports Car Series. That came in the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona for Yellow Dragon Motorsports in an Mazda RX-8 in the GT class. He finished 37th in the GT class after suffering an engine failure.

More recently, Andretti raced a McLaren 570S GT4 in Pirelli GT4 America Sprint and SprintX in 2019 and 2020. Paired with Colin Mullan, he finished fifth in Pro-Am SprintX points in 2019 and fifth in the solo Sprint points. In the COVID-shifted 2020 season, Andretti and Mullan won the SprintX Silver Cup title.

Chaves has no GT experience in his career. All of his previous WeatherTech starts have come in the LMP3 car, or in prototypes such as the DeltaWing. He is a past champion in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge’s TCR class in a Hyundai Veloster N TCR back in 2020, though.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to join a top manufacturer like Aston Martin with a great team that Jarett has put together to help us keep pushing for victories in sports cars,” Chaves stated. “I’m very grateful and excited for my first go at a GT car. I am looking forward to the challenge a new program brings and motivated to learn and push myself to go toe-to-toe with the best GT drivers in the world.”

Only the Laguna Seca race was announced in the release. However, additional races are planned.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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