The 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year to make his IMSA TCR debut alongside up and coming South African Julian van der Watt. Van der Watt also making the switch from the formula car ranks will be looking to impress in his North American sportscar debut.
Coming as an addition to the originally announced program of the #17 Audi RS 3 LMS, previously scheduled to do only four IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge races, Race Team Principal Mikey Taylor says the opportunity to put these two drivers together was too good to turn down, “When Gabby and I started talking about doing something, I knew we could put together a very competitive car. He’s proven several times he’s got the talent and to pair him with Julian who we know is super fast should be great. In addition to that, to put another Audi on the grid at their home race was a nice gesture to say thanks for all the support they have given us this year.”
Chaves brings with him a wealth of experience from several sportscar outings including most recently joining Whelen Engineering Racing in their Cadillac DPi for the 2018 season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans. “I’m really excited to get back to the track for a different and new challenge than what I’ve been doing. I’m very grateful and happy to join the Unitronic JDC RS 3 LMS TCR car for the race weekend at VIR and look forward to having a very competitive weekend. As always I couldn’t do this without the incredible effort that Mindeportes and Marca Colombia puts into supporting their athletes abroad and look forward to representing them well,” said the Colombian born driver.
South African native van der Watt will be looking to have a strong debut in sportscar racing after competing in the Road to Indy for the last few seasons and picking up several podiums. “I am very excited about my first race in a TCR car, especially when driving for a brand I love like Audi. I have been working with Mikey Taylor and Out There Motorsport Management for months to put this drive together. It will be a big learning curve as I have not yet driven a TCR car but I am excited for the challenge. I am also proud to be representing Unitronic in the upcoming races. It will be a great experience and I am looking forward to working with Indy car driver Gaby Chavez, and together I think we will have a package that will be very difficult to beat on track”, said van der Watt.
Official on track action begins on Friday, August 23rd at 9:40AM Eastern with Practice 1. The Virginia is for Racing Lovers Grand Prix will be streaming live on IMSA.com and the IMSA App on Saturday, August 24th at 2:15PM!.
UNITRONIC® engineers industry-leading aftermarket performance enhancing software and hardware for Audi®, Volkswagen®, Seat®, and Skoda® cars worldwide. Best known for its performance software engine and transmission calibrations, Unitronic enhances vehicle performance while maintaining complete OEM-like reliability and drivability. Unitronic’s UniCONNECT+ Programming and Diagnostic Interface empowers Unitronic Clients to safely reprogram their engine and transmission control modules from the comfort of home, anywhere in the world. Learn more about Unitronic's competitive advantage at www.getunitronic.com.
About Out There Brands
OUT THERE BRANDS was founded by professional racing driver Michael Taylor, filling the void focusing on offering extremely personalized branding services to the motorsports industry, specializing in custom made paddock displays and motorsports apparel. Alongside these services, Out There Brands provides first-class hospitality and event management. Learn more about getting your brand out there at www.outtherebrands.com
About JDC-MILLER MOTORSPORTS
JDC-MILLER MOTORSPORTS is a world-class multiple championship winning sportscar racing team, with a total of 18 championships, 60 wins, 57 pole positions, and 195 podiums, most of which coming by way of their Prototype class programs running in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship. Highlights include an Overall Win at the Six Hours at Watkins Glen in 2018, 2017 Winner Extreme Spirit Award, and 2017 Winner Jim Trueman Award, providing the team an automatic entry into the 2018 24 Hours of LeMans. Learn more at www.jdcmotorsport.com
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