Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America Rafa Racing Club Pro-am championship leader, Efrin Castro, is set to make his FIA World Endurance Championship debut this weekend in Monza in Italy.
Castro will drive the Porsche GT Team 911 RSR for Project 1 – AO – stepping in for his Kellymoss Carrera Cup stablemate, PJ Hyett, who has a clashing race this weekend for AO Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Castro will be teamed with Italian racer Matteo Cairoli and Guilherme de Oliveira aboard the No.56 entry in the GTE-Am class.
“I was in the trailer just talking to PJ (Hyett), and I told him – just kidding around – if you ever need a bronze driver, let me know,” Castro said.
“And the next week, he emailed me saying he couldn’t make Monza because he had a clash with Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and asked me if I wanted to do it.
“I couldn’t even believe it when that came through. I was just like so happy. He’s giving me this amazing opportunity, and it’s so nice of him; it’s incredible.”
Not only is Castro making his FIA World Endurance Championship debut, but he is also making it at the historic Autodromo Nazionale di Monza – known as the “Temple of Speed.”
“When I walked Monza for the first time, you could almost feel the spirit of the old racers that drove here. The place is incredible. It is such a classic old-school European race track,” he said.
The Dominican Republic-born racer will face some big changes from his usual ride this weekend – going from single-driver, 40-minute races in the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America, where all the cars are the same, to three-drivers, six hours, and multiple classes on track at the same time.
“I think the biggest challenge for me is going to be getting used to the aerodynamic downforce of this car,” he said.
“Getting used to carrying the speed into the corners and trusting that aero – I think that is going to be a test. That, and doing pit stops for the first time.
“It all looks fairly simple watching it as a fan, but there are a lot of little things you have to do in the car as you come in before handing over to your teammate.”