The newly formed AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports team hit the track for the first time this weekend at the Roar Before the 24 with its recently announced driver foursome of Gustavo Yacaman, Sebastian Saavedra, Roberto Gonzalez and Nick Boulle. Their #52 Ligier JS P217 completed three days of trouble-free testing as they prepare for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the first event of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The test marked the first time that the newly formed team has been on track since coming together as the result of a partnership between AFS Racing and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports. The squad focused on getting all four of their drivers familiar with their race car and the Daytona International Speedway roval track, and on developing the new 2018 aerodynamic package for the Onroak Automotive built Ligier JS P217.
With only a short two-week break to prepare the car for the grueling 24-hour race, the AFS/PR1 Mathiasen crew will now head back to the workshop as they ready themselves for the 56th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which will take place on January 25th to 28th.
Sebastian Saavedra Driver
“An exciting beginning of the season on our side. It was very interesting to feel for the first time the Ligier JS P217 car, I felt very comfortable and got up to speed quite quickly with the help of my experienced teammates which have made this transition quite seamless. There’s still quite a good amount of things we need to understand with the new upgrades which will give us more speed. It was great to meet Roberto and Nick for the first time and to work with Gustavo, we are building a strong relationship right away. I look forward to coming back in a couple of weeks after digesting this first experience, it will be a great week for us!”
Roberto Gonzalez Driver
“It was great to finally get to meet anyone and to do my first laps not only in a Ligier, but also it was my first time at Daytona. We had a very productive test, we weren’t as fast as we would’ve liked but we made a lot of progress with the car and we’ll just pick that up in a couple of weeks and continue working towards a strong result in the race!”
Gustavo Yacaman Driver
“I’m quite satisfied with the test, we managed to test and learn a lot of things with the new upgrades on the car. We still need to find more speed but we are getting there little by little. Obviously it won’t be an easy race, the championship is more competitive than ever but that just pushes us to work even harder!”
Nick Boulle Driver
“It felt great to be back on the banks at Daytona. The Roar Before the 24 always goes quickly, but I think we accomplished a lot. We have a few weeks to take a step back and develop a plan of attack for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The focus now is solely on developing the car for the race with all of the data we gathered through the weekend.”
Gary Peterson Team Principal
“Overall I was very impressed with the AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports team and crew overall, I believe we have a strong team and combination of drivers to be able to challenge for a good finish at the Rolex 24. We still need to fine tune the car with the new Ligier upgrades, but we are all working hard on it so we improve and can be running consistently inside the top 10.”
Bobby Oergel Team Principal
“For the whole team this test was very important to gather as much data and seat time as possible. With amount of trouble-free mileage, we were able to log over the weekend I am thankful for our crew and drivers to not have had any mistakes that would have compromised those goals. Sebastian came to terms right away with doors and windows around him, Nick settled back in to the LMP2 car and showed he’s ready to attack the Rolex 24. Roberto as expected got right to it and proved his experience and pace is up to the challenge. Gustavo having a lot of track-time at Daytona was a big help to assisting his teammates while also putting in some good laps himself.”
Source. Speed Group/AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports