Performance Tech IMSAPC: Five Podium Finishes at Watkins Glen
Performance Tech Motorsports left Watkins Glen International with five podium finishes, including two wins, after Round 5 and Round 6.
Race One saw a first for Performance Tech this season; Kyle Masson finished third in the MPC class. Masson was spun by the No. 7 of Kris Wright nine laps into the race. This was only the second-time Masson had not been the leader of the MPC class. He drove valiantly from the 22ndposition over the next 11 laps to his third-place finish.
Dr. Robert Masson had a season best in Race One finishing second in MPC Masters. He finished fifth overall in the MPC class. Stephen Dawes and Howard Jacobs finished 10th and 11th in the MPC Masters championship respectively. Dawes laid down an improved fastest lap time of 1:54 flat. Not to be out done, Jacobs also improved his fastest lap time with a 1:57.58.
Andres Gutierrez continued his podium streak with a third-place finish. Gutierrez began the race from third and immediately began hunting down first and second place. Gutierrez had a few looks during the race as first and second battled for position. He steadily waited for a chance to overtake, but the end of Race One came before the opportunity arose.
Race Two proved to be a unique challenge of its own. The race was run nearly entirely under yellow due to heavy rain. The field had two laps of green racing at the very end of the 45-minute sprint. Though the rain slowed the track never dried. Cars spun off sporadically as they slowly rounded the circuit.
It was a spin by Race One winner Colin Thompson that called off the first try at green flag racing. After the confusing yellow-green, no start the course stayed yellow until two minutes remained in the session.
In those two minutes of green racing Gutierrez and Masson secured their class wins, they finished one, two overall. Dr. Masson nearly missed another Masters podium, finishing fourth. Dawes and Jacobs finished together once again with a sixth and seventh-place finish.
Team Principal Brent O’Neill was happy to walk away with more hardware in hand. More so, O’Neill was happy to have each car in one piece after the hectic weekend. The series has a short turn around with Round 7 and Round 8 coming up next weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
“For our guys, especially Stephen, Howard and Dr. Masson who have never raced in the rain, I have to give them a lot of credit,” O’Neill said. “They just kept a cool head. Really all weekend, they all had some of their best times, best finishes this weekend. Kyle did a great job just keeping the car in one piece. Today was a little redemption after being spun by Kris yesterday. His run up to P3 proved how good he is actually. He was just wicked fast and didn’t make any mistakes.
“I saw Andy race in the rain in an F4 car, so I told everyone not to worry. I knew he’d be a rocket ship. That’s a testament to Andy who is so quiet and doesn’t say much. That’s how you win races in the rain; you don’t get wound up. He struggled in Race One a little; the race didn’t come to him the way we had hoped. He turned it around in Race Two and did a great job. It was a good weekend.”
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