O'Ward Joins Lamelas in IMSA Prototype Challenge
DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (March 5, 2018) - The combination Charles Wicht Racing, Performance Tech Motorsports entry solidified its entry lineup, Patricio O'Ward will join Leo Lamelas in the No. 7 Ligier JS P3.
O'Ward, 18, will make his IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda debut alongside Lamelas, 19, at Sebring International Raceway. The same weekend he will compete in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advanced Auto Parts. This is the pairs first race sharing the P3 together and they will do so for the full season of IMSA Prototype Challenge.
Lamelas started the IMSA Prototype Challenge season at the Roar Before the 24 with Charles Wicht sharing driving duties with him. Lamelas and Wicht finished seventh in the first-ever endurance event. Lamelas showed plenty of speed at Daytona International Raceway, making it pertinent that Wicht and O'Neill find a quick driver to compliment his skill.
Enter O'Ward, who impressed the crowd by qualifying fourth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype Class during the Rolex 24 At Daytona. O'Ward joins the IMSA Prototype Challenge series with minimal experience in the P3; he's only tested in the car. However, O'Ward has the uncanny ability to make anything he drives fast. Pair that talent with his overall prototype experience and O'Ward is sure to turn heads once again.
Lamelas and O'Ward set the grid with qualifying Thursday, March 15, at 12:20 p.m. ET. The hour and 45-minute Race Two takes place Saturday, March 16. The race will be broadcast Thursday, April 5, on FOX Sports 2. Check your local listings for details. For a full weekend, schedule visit imsa.com.
"I really think we have a winning lineup here," Wicht said. "Leo did a phenomenal job at Daytona so I knew we had to push to find the best driver to pair with him. Luckily that person is right under our tent now. This is a benefit of being teamed up with Performance Tech. I'm really excited to get to work at Sebring; I know these guys are going to do a great job. I don't know that anyone will be surprised by their speed, but I think they'll impress a lot of people."
"This is a great fit to have Pato in the car with Leo," O'Neill said. "These kids are both fast. The goal was to put a winning lineup together and I think we did just that. I think Pato having a lot of experience in Prototypes now will help Leo and give him something to work off outside of the car. Pato has tested the car before, and he knows Sebring, so I don't see him having any issues. Leo seems to be a steady driver. I expect them to do really well."