Focus Comes First
Two back to back endurance race wins in their home state could give anyone the sensation of security.
Though Performance Tech Motorsports is confident in its ability to see continued success at Circuit of the Americas this weekend, two months have passed since the No. 38 Prototype Challenge has been on track. The team’s last outing and win were at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida in early March. Prior to that, the team was celebrating its first win of the season at the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona.
Even with a period of time having passed, it would be simple to feel at ease when you walk into a race weekend undefeated, leading your class in points but Team Principal Brent O’Neill doesn’t believe in a relaxing day at the office. When Performance Tech shows up to a track, they get to work. His goal this weekend is to focus his team before the green flag at the Advance Auto Parts SportsCar Showdown.
“It has been two months since we last ran so we’re going to ease into this weekend,” O’Neill said. “We’ve always had a quick car at COTA, we’ve been good there so we’re looking forward to this weekend. Even though we haven’t tested in-between the races James and Pato have both been busy in other cars so they should be sharp and they’ve both been to the track before so they know the layout.
“Our big thing will just be not taking our eyes off the ball. I plan to have a discussion with the guys, the entire team not just the drivers about staying focused. If you get too comfortable that’s when you make stupid mistakes. I thought our driver changes at Sebring sucked so we have that to work on. We need to make sure everyone is on top of it this weekend so we can continue our winning streak.”
Performance Tech has performed well at COTA in recent years, taking home third in both 2016 and 2015. The 3.4-mile long course features sweeping turns and wide open straightaways for passing. The smooth track suits both the car and driver. Driver James French has competed on the course on three times while Patricio O’Ward has seen two days of testing in an LMP3 on the Austin, Texas track.
The No. 38 Ric-Man Construction / Neurospine Institute / Cardio Access / AIG Technologies / Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children PC is part of the main show this weekend. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race was formerly a part of the Lone Star Le Mans weekend in September. The weekend begins Thursday, May 4 with a full day of testing followed by the final practice and qualifying Friday, May 5.
Qualifying begins at 12:05 p.m. CT with the GT Daytona class, the PC class takes its turn at 12:55 p.m. Qualifying is streamed on IMSA.TV from 12:55-2:35 p.m. EDT. The 2 hour 40-minute Advance Auto Part SportsCar Showdown begins at 1:35 p.m. local time and will be streamed live on IMSA.TV and broadcast from 7-10 p.m. EDT on FOX Sports 1.