BRASELTON, Ga. (Oct. 6, 2017) – Performance Tech Motorsports walks away from Road Atlanta IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda champions, twice over.
Performance Tech will take top honors as the MPC Team Points Champion and Kyle Masson, of Windermere, Florida, will walk away Mazda Prototype Challenge Driver Points Champion. Masson is only in his second year of IMSA Prototype Challenge competition. He pulled double duty racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge class where he is also set to take home a class championship.
“I know this year’s success is really a combination of doing last year and this year and putting it all together,” Masson said. “Last year was a huge learning year for me, and I continued to build my experience and confidence in the car. Every race last year, I got better and better. I continued building my racecraft this year, so I started off really strong. I was confident and aggressive in the car, and I just carried that feeling through the season.
“Having a year under my belt gave me a huge advantage entering the season compared to my competitors. Last year, racing against Austin (Versteeg) and all the masters like Joel (Janco), I learned so much against them. I learned about aggressive passing and being cautious at certain times; I was really able to make the most of this year by being consistent and safe.”
The team will celebrate more than championships; it will focus on the many positive gains its rookies are taking away. Performance Tech finishes the season with three rookies under its tent. Dr. Robert Masson, Stephen Dawes and Howard Jacobs represented the team in the MPC class.
In his first season, Dr. Masson finished second in the Masters Championship. Dr. Masson earned five podium finishes and a win in the master’s category. His first win of the season came in Race One at Road Atlanta, the same track where he and Masson started their racing careers.
“I keep trying to remind myself that this year was about learning and development,” Dr. Masson said. “And what a year it has been. I feel like I learned so much, even today I learned a few different things that I’ve never encountered. So, all in all, I’m thrilled that it was an incredible year. I love the speed and learning how to race and the little subtle things that are still always a bit of a surprise. To me, that’s part of the journey. I feel very ready for my second year.”
Dawes walked away from the season with a third-place finish in MPC Masters at Grand Prix du Trois Rivières. GP3R was this race seasons only street course, and one of the more technical tracks the IMSA Prototype Challenge series competes. With the little runoff provided, Dawes kept focused and consistent to earn his best finish of the season.
“We capped it off with a good weekend,” Dawes said. “My biggest takeaway from Road Atlanta is that missing the two-day test kind of hurt me in the end. I was getting better, even in the last race. I broke into the 24s and held steady pace there, but I was still two seconds off the main pack. At that point, it’s do the best you can and keep everything clean.
“One thing that’s happy is the car is one piece. No spins, no grass, no major issues. Beyond that, I think it was a success. The competitive part of me says if I had another practice or two I would have been more competitive, but I got better every time I went out there, and that’s all you can ask for.”
Jacobs game plan for 2017 was to gain comfort while building his knowledge in the car and stay away from on-track drama. Through testing and dedication, Jacobs grew his racecraft into something award-winning. At Lime Rock Park his steady pace and clean racing brought him his highest finish of the season with a third-place finish in MPC Masters.
“It was a great season. It was a blast; I had a ton of fun,” Jacobs said. “I got to run alongside a lot of talented to drivers this year. I’m really pleased with the progress that I made, but I’ve got a lot more to go, a lot more to learn. We ran it the way that we want to run 2017. I’m already preparing for 2018; we’re all signed up to come back next year. I’m looking forward to improving and getting on a few more podiums.”
For Team Principal Brent O’Neill, it’s not his feeling of success but his driver’s success that means the most.
“Winning the team championship is always a big deal because it means everybody had a good year,” O’Neill said. “You can’t win a team championship without everyone working together and doing well. That’s what these guys did this year. Everyone worked really well together and helped each other out, crew and drivers. We’re really proud of what we were able to accomplish this year; it’s a testament to everyone’s hard work.”
This championship is Performance Tech’s third team championship win in the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series. The team’s lineup is to remain intact for the 2018 season with potential additions in the works. For news and updates leading up to the 2018 season start in January at Daytona International Speedway visit perforamncetechmotorsports.com.