NAEC 2017 with Park Place

Dallas, TX –– Park Place Motorsports will return to IMSA’s WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the No. 73 Porsche 911 GT3 R with Porsche Factory Driver Jörg Bergmeister, teenage standout Matt McMurry and Team Principal/driver Patrick Lindsey.

Bergmeister and Lindsey will represent Park Place Motorsports in all 12 WeatherTech Championship races of the 2017 season with McMurry being brought in for each of the four Tequila Patròn North American Endurance Cup races.

The trio was brought together in 2016 for a season of challenges and success that included two, second place finishes; one at Detroit Belle Isle, the other being Road America. Park Place Motorsports garnered five top-ten finishes overall. Both Lindsey and McMurry had standout qualifying performances. Lindsey scored a second-place starting position in Detroit while McMurry, 19, blew seasoned professionals away at Road Atlanta with his second-place qualifying effort. To note, McMurry was the highest qualifying Porsche driver at Petit Le Mans, and the team finished second in the race before officials levied a drive time penalty.

Lindsey learned his team would reconvene for 2017 unchanged in late November. The opportunity to continue working with McMurry and aid in his advancement as well as work with one of the best from Porsche Motorsports with Bergmeister is Lindsey’s perfect storm on track. The combination of experience levels and personalities equate to a supremely competitive team.

“Jörg is great to have because of his out and out pace and experience. Just having that competitive force inside of the team is a glue that binds everyone tighter together. He’s actually a younger brother so you wouldn’t expect this but he has the heart of an older brother or a father to build up a budding talent like Matt. He’s there to extract Matt’s full potential and it’s amazing to see what he accomplishes when that happens. Look at Matt’s Petit qualifying from last year, I expect to see more of that from him.

“Of course having the same drivers in the car allow you to continue where you left off and build rather than begin again. That will hopefully be somewhat of an advantage as the GTD class has a few new entrants this year. I believed we could accomplish a lot last year, and we didn’t necessarily hit the marks we wanted. But I’ll set my hopes equally as high, if not higher, this year because I know we have a crew and lineup that is set to achieve.”

Each driver brings a wish list of what they personally want to accomplish as a team. The obvious and most consistent wish on the list, more wins. In retrospect racecraft will have areas of refining and the car setup will change as well. Porsche also weighed in with suggestions during the off-season. In fact, the manufacturer gave specific instructions to McMurry when he was one of four North Americans invited to the Porsche Young Drivers Academy.

“From the Academy, I have my list of things I can work on this year,” McMurry said. “Being in the Porsche has taught me a lot. A Porsche needs to be driven in a certain way, and that was not the way I drove coming into this last season. I drive very smoothly but in a Porsche, you really have to wheel it around, it makes driving more difficult. You have to work hard to drive that car, but it makes it a fun car to drive.”

The consistency of a driver lineup is not a perk all teams experience. Both McMurry and Bergmeister have attributed the benefit of consistency to the team atmosphere. They also express their own liking of the team to the crew and people Park Place Motorsports is comprised.

“There’s something about Park Place in general I don’t really know how they do it but, everyone gets along well,” McMurry said. “All the crew is super friendly with each other. Patrick and John (Horton, Lead Engineer) are good friends so I think that sets the tone. It makes it easy to get to know the crew and feel like you’re truly a part of the team.”

“I think being back with the same team will help my performance. Because I’ve been climbing the ladder so rapidly the only other time I’ve spent more than one season with a team was when I drove for JDC Motorsports in Prototype Challenge (previously Prototype Lites). It’s a huge help to drive the same car two years in a row. I don’t get to do that too often. Working with the engineers consistently helps to get the car dialed in to where you like it too.”

Bergmeister reiterated McMurry and also touched on what he deemed to be unfinished business the team is well prepared to accomplish in 2017.

“We grew together as a team pretty well towards the end of the year,” Bergmeister said. “We ran smoothly after, what you could call, a rough start to the season. We have unfinished business, not only in championship standings but hopefully we can add a couple wins during the season. Overall, I would say we have all the ingredients along with more experience with the car to pull it off. Therefore, I look forward to the season this year. I enjoy the atmosphere and having the ability to really work with John (Horton) and Patrick on driving and setup.”

Park Place Motorsports is thrilled to once again be a team representing Porsche in the top tier of North American sports car racing. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship begins with the twice around the clock endurance classic, 24 Hours At Daytona in Daytona Beach, Florida. The race weekend begins January 26, visit for tickets and event details.

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