Victorious: Performance Tech Motorsports at Road Atlanta
BRASELTON, Ga. (October 12, 2018) -Performance Tech Motorsports prevailed through the trials and tribulations of Road Atlanta ending their season on the podium steps and as champions.
The 2018 season hosted a plethora of changes for the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series, the biggest of which being a switch to the one hour and forty-five-minute race format. Performance Tech took these changes head-on, ending the season the same way they started; victorious. Team Principal Brent O’Neill had high expectations for his men and is walking away from the weekend full of pride.
“It was a great season and a good weekend,” O’Neill said. “We had John DeAngelis come on board, he did a great job. Steve stayed out there with no issues and finished third. Cameron had his best race of the year, fitting for the last race. He got first in masters and fifth overall which is really good against all those kids. I wish everyone could finish the last race on the podium, but we finished strong in the championship standings as a team and we can all be happy with that.”
Cameron Cassels, British Columbia, charged into the weekend with his eyes set on the Masters Championship. After starting the race from 11th he skillfully avoided one incident after the other, picking off his masters competitors as he went. Cassels’ meticulous driving earned him a fifth-place finish overall and a win in the LMP3 masters class. The win ultimately crowned him the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda Masters Champion.
Stephen Dawes, Sidney, New York, entered the weekend with a goal to remain consistent and finish on the podium. He executed far beyond this goal with his No. 22 A.I.G. Technologies prototype. Upon the start of the race, Dawes went to work executing undeviating lap times to finish the race third. This podium finish was just what Dawes needed to bump him ahead in points for third place in the MPC Championship.
Howard Jacobs, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, walked away from a record-breaking season with a fourth-place finish in the MPC Championship. Jacobs qualified his No. 77 Cardio Access MPC eighth and drove his cleanest race to date before handing it off to James French, Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Plagued with cautions and penalties French used the remaining time to work his way through the field placing the No. 77 fourth in both the race and the championship.
Dr. Robert Masson, Windemere, Florida, and son Kyle Masson took to the track together for one last race in the No. 11 Masson Spine Institute Elan DP02. The pair topped the charts in both practices and qualified second in the MPC class. While an issue with the brakes during the race would halt their podium aspirations the father-son duo was happy to spend a weekend together sharing the sport they love. The Masson’s finished ninth in the race and seventh in the MPC Championship.
The Performance Tech Motorsports / Charles Wicht Racing No. 7 LMP3 had a successful weekend introducing drivers Leo Lamellas and Andrews Evans to Road Atlanta. Though the pair had never driven the track before the rookies quickly got up to speed running top-ten times in practice. Evans qualified the car eighth but was collected in a first lap incident that would push him back to fifteenth. He fought his way back onto the lead lap before handing the car off to Lamellas who would fight to finish thirteenth overall.
The Performance Tech Motorsports crew finished repairs on John DeAngelis’s No. 18 MPC in record time for the start of his first Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda race. Starting from 10th DeAngelis immediately put his head down and went to work picking off competitors. He drove a near flawless race finishing his first IMSA sanctioned event in seventh.
After celebrating their driver and team victories this season Performance Tech Motorsports will switch its focus to this weekend's main event; the Motul Petit Le Mans. The No. 38 Centinel Spine / Spine LMP2 qualifies today, October 12, at 2:40 p.m. ET. The green flag falls on October 13 at 11:05 a.m. ET. The race is streamed on imsatv.imsa.com through its entirety as well as on FOX Sports 1.
“It was an insane race,” Cassels said. “ I kind of expected that since it was the last race of the season. I knew everyone would throw everything down. The car was really good. The Performance Tech guys put a fantastic car together so it was really just up to me to stay out of the trouble that kept happening all around me. This time thankfully I wasn’t part of any of that trouble so it was really fantastic.”
“This was my third time on the podium this season,” Dawes said. “ This is my end of the full second year so I have a lot more comfort in the car which I think helped me out a lot. I was never at the speed of the guys putting down the fast laps. I was a second or a second and a half behind them, but I was consistent. I think that’s what got me where I am. The consistency was key.”
“It was a great season all around,” Jacobs said. “Working with James as both a coach and a co-driver helped me so much. I have great teammates whom I love dearly. Performance Tech, as usual, did an amazing job and I will be back running something with them next year.”
“Second is a solid result,” French said. “ We had a really great car from the start. There was a bit of understeer but as the fuel ran out it got better and better. I don’t get to run with these guys often so it was really fun to be able to go out there and race with them. I had some really good battles with the front guys. Obviously, I wanted to win for Howard but I don’t think we can complain about fourth. He did the whole first half of the season without me so hats off to him. Thank you Performance Tech for giving us a fantastic car, they didn’t miss a beat the entire time.”
Dr. Robert Masson
“We had a good day in regards to driving, there really were no mistakes,” Dr. Masson said. “ We’ve learned this is racing. As far as what our intentions were to race together it’s been the time of my life. Being crystal clear I have the most fun when I’m racing with Kyle. The excitement of racing with him and the pressure, in a good way, to have to follow him. I love the stress of having to keep up with him. Overall I know looking forward I’m looking to race with him in a higher class. Kyle’s goal in racing is different, he’s got a clear path to the professional ranks so I need to be careful to stay out of his way while still looking forward to racing with him at that higher level.”
“The last races I’ve been to I have been a tag along with my dad,” Masson said. “They have been some of the best races I’ve been to in the last year and a half racing. I had my championship season last year so obviously, it was all about me and winning races. To join my dad as a family event to help him learn how to go through the steps and the process of obtaining his own championship started out as a really cool idea. As the season went on we got more into the mindset of making a fun, family-friendly environment that focused more on the fun rather than the results. At the end of the day we’re a father-son duo, the only father-son duo actually, and we wanted to make it special and make it about that. Racing with my dad has been very humbling and a great experience this year and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
“It was a pleasure for me to drive with CWR this season,” Lamellas said. “It was my first year in real race cars, I came from Brazil last year with karting. I now understand the hard work it takes form everyone. Andrew did a great job in this race and now we’re looking forward to next season.”
“Lap two I gained two positions from eight to sixth place after a really difficult qualifying,” Evans said. “The car felt really strong but unfortunately I got pulled into an incident in Turn One as an innocent bystander pushing me into the gravel. I fell a few laps down which wasn’t the way I wanted to end a weekend but the car was really strong and the team did a great job all week.”
“It was an honor to race here,” DeAngelis said. “ The Performance Tech team is amazing. Having Carlos and Caesar here to get my car back together after the wreck saved my weekend. Even though my car looked like patchwork it drove fantastic. I still have a bit of an issue with Turn 5, but I managed not to hit the tires this time. It was a great team of competitors and it really is just such an honor to race here and I’m looking forward to doing it again.”