First Time for Everything; Masson Clinches MPC Championship
Performance Tech Motorsportskept its momentum going at the Grand Prix of Trois Rivères with three podium finishes, an overall pole and a clenched championship.
The biggest news of the weekend came after the dust had settled. Kyle Massonclenched the MPC class Championship after the Trois Rivières weekend. Masson’s championship comes with multiple accolades including MPC pole and setting new track records at each venue. His triumph at Trois Rivières included the first time an MPC has sat on the overall pole. Masson’s No. 18 Èlan DP02 took pole with a lap time of one minute, 7.798 seconds.
Race One presented a more somber first of the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda season, no Performance Tech entry ended Race One on the podium. Though Race Two would change the tone, there was undoubtedly a moment of surprise after Race One.
Masson had contact on lap one and was forced to pit for repairs. He would finish the race four laps off the leader. Masson would turn his fortune around in Race Two with a win. Dr. Robert Masson’s Race One ended after contact as well.
Dr. Masson slowed to take the apex behind an LMP3 as he pushed through Turn 1 but was unable to see the stopped MPC ahead. The No. 72 of Tazio Ottis was stopped on track when Dr. Masson collided with Ottis. Neither driver was injured as Dr. Masson’s quick braking eased the collision but the damage was too great for either car to continue.
The Performance Tech crew had the No. 11 back in working order for Dr. Masson and Race Two. Dr. Masson quickly studied his race data, making the most of the seven hours between Race One and Race Two. In Race Two, he took on the 1.52-mile, 10- turn street course with ease to claim his second-place finish in the Masters Championship.
Stephen Dawes earned his first podium of the season in Race Two with a third-place finish in the Masters Championship. It was his first podium of the season. His third place paired with a fourth-place finish from Race One for one of his strongest performances of the season. He’ll look to continue this trend in the final two races in October.
Howard Jacobs proved that clean and steady does just the trick. Jacobs steered clear of any damage during both races but was still forced to reckon with fierce competition on a very technical track. For him, it was the changing elements that created the biggest hurdle during Race One. Race Two was all about implementing lessons learned from Race One and keeping up stamina to fight after a long, grueling day.
Team Principal Brent O’Neill was proud to see his team accomplish so much on their first street course. He focused on the many positive takeaways from a weekend of first.
“Race One wasn’t what you would call great,” O’Neill said. “Colin and Kyle made contact, and that was it for Kyle. Poor Dr. Masson couldn’t see past an LMP3 in front of him so when that guy went to go around a stopped car he had no where to go. Overall, the guys learned a lot over the weekend. Howard had some of his best lap times, he had a slow, lazy spin that held him back which was unfortunate. Stephen had some of his best times too. Racing at a street course is so difficult, I always say a it’s like racing the devil. The walls are always trying to suck you in to them. Everyone did a great job. Atlanta have some ground to make up.”
The final race of the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda season is at Road Atlanta for the Motul Petit Le Mans weekend Oct. 4 through Oct. 7. The race weekend in Braselton, Georgia, will feature two 45-minute races on the 2.54-mile track. With Masson having clinched the MPC Championship that leaves the MPC Masters championship still up for the taking at Road Atlanta.