Progress and Practice Makes a Near Perfect Weekend
Performance Tech Motorsportscontinues to advance in the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazdapoints championship after adding hardware to their collection at Barber Motorsports Park.
Performance Tech walked away with four podium appearances by various drivers. Kyle Masson continued his hot streak. Dr. Robert Masson earned his first podium with the introduction of the Masters Championship in the Mazda Prototype Challenge class. Andres Gutierrez as the lone Le Mans P3 entry for the weekend did not disappoint, he earned his first win of the season.
In the MPC class, Masson took home top honors in both Race One and Two. Masson began both races from the pole position. He lost his lead only once over the weekend, he sat in second for three laps in Race One. Dr. Masson couldn’t let his son have all the fun this weekend. He finished Race Two with a third-place finish on the Masters Championship podium.
Race Two saw another first for the team, Gutierrez earned his first win in the LMP3 class. Nearing the end of the race Gutierrez went toe to toe with 2015 champion Kenton Koch and came out ahead, he overtook Koch going through Turn Two. Then hunted down leader Colin Thompson. Gutierrez went deep into Turn 5 and made the pass for the win. He finished Race One with a second-place finish.
Off course, Stephen Dawes fought through a bout of influenza that cut his practice time short. A tough break at a physically demanding track like Barber. With determination and focus Dawes fought through the symptoms to finish 12th in Race One and 10th in Race Two, ninth and sixth place finishes in the Masters Championship. His 12th place finish in Round 3 came after being spun at the start of the race.
MPC teammate Howard Jacobs enjoyed a demanding and luckily less eventful weekend than Dawes. He continued his progression on track with an 11th and 12th place finish overall and two, eighth place finishes in the Masters Championship. His continuous improvement was obvious between Race One and Race Two with his quickest lap time improving from a 1:30.707 on lap 13 to a 1:30.350 on lap 6.
Team Principal Brent O’Neill walked away satisfied from the weekend. For this group of drivers, he knows it’s about having fun and winning, this weekend checked both off the list.
“They all showed improvement this weekend which is encouraging and we’re moving up in the points standings,” O’Neill said. “Kyle lost a little focus in traffic in Race One but gained it back and took home two wins. He did another amazing job this weekend and so did Andy. Andy is starting to come into his own in the Ligier. And Robert earned a podium finish after a penalty was given to the winner for passing under yellow. I know he has to be happy to finally have his first podium. To have three guys on the podium is just awesome. Stephen and Howard are getting faster and faster each weekend so I don’t think it’ll be too long before we have a Performance Tech-only podium.”
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