Halfway There: Performance Tech Petit Le Mans Ends Early
BRASELTON, Ga. (October 13, 2018) - Performance Tech Motorsports was forced to retire at the five-hour mark of the Motul Petit Le Mans.
Following a mechanical failure, Performance Tech Motorsports had no choice but to go behind the wall with its No. 38 Centinel Spine / Restitute Health ORECA LMP2. What first appeared to be a blown tire was soon diagnosed as major rear damage. The cause behind the damage was a sheared bolt from a new kit used during the repair from the team’s last race in July.
After reviewing the wreckage Team Principal Brent O’Neill deemed it too extensive to repair in the remaining time and retired from the race. Kyle Masson was running 12th when the issue arose.
“Everybody did a great job today,” O’Neill said. “We had an issue with the car shutting off on track and that kind of got us in a hole. Once they told us what to do to bypass the kill switches in the car we were back on pace. We just replaced all the hardware in the car after our crash at Mosport (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park). But one of the new bolts sheared off and that was the end of today. Disappointing.”
The team began the weekend by laying down lap times competitive to the front of the field. James French, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, qualified the No. 38 LMP2 14th overall and moved up to 12th in the first 20 minutes. Nick Boulle, Dallas, Texas, further advanced the LMP2 through the field into 11th eventually handing the car back off to French who fought to gain ground on the competition. Kyle Masson, Windemere, Florida took over for French and maintained position until the mechanical issue forced him to drop back in the field.
Performance Tech Motorsports competed in six of the 10 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, four of which were in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship. The team’s top qualifying position was fourth place at Daytona International Speedway. The Rolex 24 At Daytona also saw the team’s top finishing position of eighth. The 2018 season was one of learning for both the team and drivers as they transitioned to the Prototype Class and a closed cockpit car.
“Going into this year we anticipated it would be a learning year,” French said. “We had a new car and a lot of other things happening here. It certainly served to be just that. We made our fair share of mistake. I made mistakes driving and other little things here and there but we always recovered and kept pushing through. A lot was learned. Going into the future I think we’ll be able to use what we learned. We didn’t quite get the results that we wanted. It was a bit of a struggle but I enjoyed it and am looking forward to moving ahead.”
“This year I had a great time experiencing the prototype class in WeatherTech,” Masson said. “It definitely was a lot of fun being able to compete against such big names like Juan Pablo Montoya and Albuquerque and to be able to compare myself to them. We did struggle a bit towards the back half of the season. It was definitely intended to be more of a learning year. The team had to get used to a new car and us as drivers did as well. We didn’t have the results we wanted the last few races. There appears to be some kind of gremlin in the rear that is breaking the car from the inside out. We’re looking forward to moving along and seeing how next year plays out.”
“Obviously it was a little bit of a rough weekend,” Boulle said. “Our goal was to show up and push the whole time, learn as much as possible and see what we could do with the car. I think had everything stayed together we could have put some kind of result together. My teammate’s really lucky the car broke where it did, that could have been a really big shunt. I think there is still a lot learned from the weekend itself. I think we can build from it and find more speed in the future.