IMSA: Morad Replaces Injured Auer in Winward Mercedes

Winward Racing shipped a replacement car to Daytona overnight following the practice crash Thursday that sidelined the GTD pole-winning No. 57 Mercedes and injured driver Lucas Auer. The team confirmed that driver Auer sustained “significant fractured lumbar injuries” and remained at Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach.

Daniel Morad (shown above), the 2016 Rolex 24 winner in the GTD class and a Winward driver in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, was named as Auer’s replacement. Joining Morad in the No. 57 are Philip Ellis, Russell Ward and Indy Dontje.

Winward missed practice on Friday awaiting arrival of the replacement chassis that was a GTD race winner last season. The crew expected to work into the night prepping the car.

“It will be all hands on deck to get it in racing condition,” team owner and co-driver Ward said, “but we have the best group in the world and we have no doubt that they’ll be able to get it up and running and get it in the same form that our original car was in.”

WeatherTech Runs Full-Page Wall Street Journal Ad Promoting Rolex 24

Promotion for the Rolex 24 appeared in Friday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal, in the form of a full-page ad from series sponsor WeatherTech. The ad, a prime example of sponsor activation, congratulated the No. 79 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 team for winning the Motul Pole Award in Rolex 24 qualifying on Sunday.

It also promoted where to watch the entire race broadcast on NBC, USA Network and Peacock.

#79: WeatherTech Racing, Mercedes AMG GT3, GTD PRO: Cooper MacNeil, Daniel Juncadella, Jules Gounon, Maro Engel