Practicing Perfect: Performance Tech Brings Perfect Season to The Glen
Performance Tech Motorsports has painted a vivid picture of what domination looks like in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazdaseries this year.
The team has the perfect record, winning all four of the Prototype Challenge class races thus far. James French, Patricio O’Ward and Kyle Masson are possibly the most talented lineup Team Principal Brent O’Neill has put together. Certainly, the winningest.
A record like this comes from a strong team. The crew pours over the car before every race to ensure each part is in working order and performing as it should. Then it is up to each driver to push himself and to make mature decisions on track. This means knowing when to make a move or when to hang back. With 39 entries on track at once, that decision to be mature comes more often than one would think.
The trio of French, O’Ward and Masson get another shot to bring the car home safe and sound and rack up another win at this year’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International. Last year the team brought home a second-place finish and as always, this year Performance Tech is going for a win.
“The Glen is a lot like Detroit and with the added amount of time on track you have the same goal, to keep the car safe,” O’Neill said. “I think the guys will do fine. James and Kyle have a lot of experience on this track. Pato hasn’t raced here yet but he gets up to speed so quickly we don’t really worry about him. And again, like I said, this track is actually like Detroit.
“They’re mature drivers, they’ll drive a clean race. At this point it’s not the worry of our guys making a mistake, it’s the worry of someone else’s mistake messing up your race. A mature driver can minimize those situations. The Glen is a great track for the PC car so we should have a good race.”
The IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series returns to action after a two-month hiatus. Masson is joined by his teammates Andres Gutierrez, Dr. Robert Masson, Stephen Dawes and Howard Jacobs. They will run two, 45-minute sprint races over the course of the weekend. Masson, Dr. Masson, Dawes and Jacobs will run the MPC class with Gutierrez remaining the lone LMP3 representative for the team.
O’Neill took his IMSA PC group to The Glen for testing in mid-June. He walked away feeling confident about what each driver was able to accomplish. Based off testing performances O’Neill is expecting to see a few more familiar faces on the IMSA PC podiums over this weekend.
Nearly halfway through the season Masson has dominated the MPC class, winning each of the four races. In the P3 class Gutierrez is making a name for himself after earning his first win in Race Two at Barber Motorsports Park. He’s finished on podium every time prior. It’s like son, like father for Dr. Masson. He earned a third-place finish, his first podium finish, at Barber Motorsports Park. Dawes and Jacobs are hot on his tail awaiting their own podium finishes.
Testing allowed the drivers to tune in a setup for The Glen. With that out of the way the team will be able to focus on getting up to speed and learning the nuances of the track. The Glen was newly paved last year, but with bumps and divots paved over it still leaves behind a large learning curve.
“The test went great at The Glen, it was a pleasant surprised how quick everyone was by the time we left,” O’Neill said. “It’s a big track so it takes a little while to get up to speed. It’s also a hard track to learn. It’s very technical and it’s high speed with ups and downs. There’s quite a bit elevation change. But they all did well. Andy (Andres) was the only one who couldn’t join us, he still had school and we always respect mom’s wishes. He’s a lot like Pato though, he learns quickly. He also raced here with us last year so he knows the track.
“The track has certainly changed from last year to this year. It’s still smooth asphalt but weathered in, the track has a different grip level. We had to make a lot of changes to the setup we used last year in these cars. But when we left The Glen, we felt like we landed on something good as far as setup goes.”
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