Dec 19, 2022
Winward Racing is excited to continue their efforts in another full season of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with their GTD entry of the No. 57 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo. They’re also happy to announce their return to IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge, with plans to compete in the GS class with their No. 57 Mercedes-AMG GT4 after a year off in 2022.
As for their driver line-up, Winward will have some familiar faces in the 57 for the upcoming Rolex 24 at Daytona. Russell Ward, Philip Ellis, Lucas Auer and Indy Dontje will take the wheel during the 2023 season opener, all having raced with the team previously in the premier day-long event.
From Auer: “First of all, I'm really looking forward to competing again with Winward in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. We have a great team behind us with unbelievable talent and experience. I’m also really looking forward to sharing the car with Russell, Philip and Indy – They’re all super fast and we all know each other very well already, which is always good and super important for such a tough race.”
Ward and Ellis will continue the year together in their second season of IWSC, with Dontje joining for the remaining Michelin Endurance Cup events.
“I’m really happy to be back with the Winward crew for 2023, and of course looking forward to our first big race in Daytona. We share great memories from 2021 and will push to repeat this in 2023,” Dontje states, having won the 24-hour race with Winward in their debut effort in 2021, and co-driving the No. 57 GT4 with Russell that year in IMPC. “I’m excited to be onboard for the Endurance rounds in IMSA. It’s a great championship and I think we have a strong line up to fight for the podium in GTD.”
Winward will also be welcoming a new driver to their team in 2023, with Daniel Morad joining team owner Bryce Ward in their GS push in IMPC. “I’m very happy to join the Winward Racing family for the 2023 Michelin Pilot Challenge,” says Morad. “It’s great to continue the journey within the AMG family as well and race the GT4 for the first time. This is an exciting opportunity and I look forward to sharing the car with Bryce. We’ll be pushing flat out!” Winward previously wrapped up their Pilot Challenge campaign with a double podium at Laguna Seca in 2021 and are looking forward to returning to the field.
For now, Winward is moving full speed ahead in their preparations for the upcoming IMSA season opener. “The 24 Hours of Daytona signifies the start of the season and it’s a hell of a show,” says team owner and driver Russell Ward. “We had an amazing season in 2022 and I hope to carry the momentum we had into the 2023 season. Philip, Indy, and I won this race back in 2021 and with Lucas joining us it will be a strong lineup. We are no longer rookies to this race, so the expectations are high, but the crew and drivers are well prepared and I’m looking forward to starting off the year adding another Rolex to the team’s collection.”