Performance Tech Continues Sebring Success
Performance Tech Motorsports closed the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda weekend with a win in MPC and a third-place finish in LMP3.
Drivers Kyle Masson and Andres Gutierrez did it again. Masson led flag to flag and walked away with a perfect weekend. Gutierrez was left wanting more but none the less pleased with finishing third on the podium in LMP3, he finished second in Race One.
Race Two featured another hectic start with MPC and LMP3 cars intertwined in a battle for rightful position in their corresponding classes. At the front was Gutierrez in his No. 12 Ligier JS P3 battling for position. He went toe to toe with the No. 14 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Norma M30 but fell back to third after the No. 14 overtook him Turn 1 with a move on the outside.
Also, running in the LMP3 class was teammate Alan Wilzig in the No. 23 Ginetta LMP3. Wilzig was put to test in Race Two. Near the end of his battle, Wilzig was hit from behind and sent into a spin by the No. 21 ODU Engineering MPC. The spin in Turn 7 caused a reaction of near misses and spins by other competitors. Wilzig sustained damage to the right rear of his car and was forced to pit. The team quickly fixed the No. 23 but the race remained under yellow through the finish.
Masson stayed back from the battle ahead of him and focused on keeping pace and running his own race. The Florida native walked away with the win but not before throwing down a track record in his No. 18 Èlan DP02. Masson had a best lap time of 2:00.059 running at 111.7 mph, a new track record for his class.
Behind Masson in the MPC class his father Dr. Robert Masson in the No. 11 started from the ninth position and refused to look back. Teammate Stephen Dawes in the No. 38 began his fight forward from the eleventh position, at one point coming together with Dr. Masson causing him to spin. Dawes continued his aggressive fight to the front, Dr. Masson collected himself and continued pushing forward. Later in the race, Dr. Masson’s skills would show again as he cleared the carnage from the Turn 7 incident. Dr. Masson would battle from the back of the pack to a seventh-place finish.
Dawes kept his car clean the rest of the race to take home a second ninth-place finish. Howard Jacobsfollowed Dawes across the finish line. Jacobs fell a lap down early in the race but was able to recover the lap thanks to a wise strategy and the two cautions that came out during Race Two. Jacobs takes home a pair tenth place finishes after the Sebring weekend.
Team Principal Brent O’Neill is walking away from this weekend with contentment. He will put a plan in place to continue shaping each of his driver’s racecraft so that they might all be in a fight for a championship.
“The cars all came back in great shape,” O’Neill said. “It’s a shame one of the guys in the MPC class just plowed into the back of Alan’s P3. All the cars came back in good shape, though. Andy did a great job getting P3 and Kyle won his race. I think now that all of the guys have a little experience under their belts we can really start pushing them. It was a good start to the season. Off we go to Barber.”
Stay updated with all things Performance Tech Motorsports. Visit the team at performancetechmotorsports.com or connect on social media. Like the team on Facebook for stories and photos. Follow the team on Twitter for news updates or Instagram for behind the scenes photos.