The AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports team will be hitting the track this weekend at the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Advanced Auto Parts, the second round of the 2018 IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship. Drivers Sebastian Saavedra, Gustavo Yacaman and Roberto Gonzalez will pilot the #52 Ligier JS P217 at the grueling endurance race as they look to improve on what was a difficult weekend at the season opener at Rolex 24 at Daytona where the team placed 12th in the P category.
Although Yacaman and Gonzalez have had previous experience at the 3.7-mile, 17-turn Sebring International Raceway, this weekend will mark the first time for Saavedra who is competing in his first IMSA season after a successful IndyCar career. Their team however is no stranger to the bumpy circuit, achieving multiple pole positions and wins in the past years.
Activities for the 12 Hours will begin this Thursday with three practice sessions, followed by a final practice session on and qualifying which will take place Friday at 12:30pm est. The 12-hour race will get the green flag Saturday at 10:40am.
Sebastian Saavedra Driver
“I’m very excited to come back to the track after Daytona, it’s been a long month and a half of preparation and getting ready to compete in such as historic event as the 12 Hours of Sebring. We’ve been working quite hard since Daytona, and that leaves us in a positive position to start the weekend. We are ready to continue working and developing this team and really looking forward to a positive weekend that starts off the rest of the year for us.”
Roberto Gonzalez Driver
“I’m very excited to return to the 12 hours of Sebring where in 2012 we almost captured the win before having mechanical troubles. This year will be much tougher because of the competition in the P category is so high, but we are ready for the fight. Daytona was a tough one for us but we learned a lot. We’ve used this time to focus on the areas that we need to improve, and we are arriving to Sebring with high hopes and ready to fight. We’re really looking forward to a good result here.”
Gustavo Yacaman Driver
“After a long wait we are now ready for Sebring, which is the toughest race of the year. It is a very technical circuit, it is very bumpy and it demands the maximum from driver and machine. We learned a lot in Daytona and we are ready to apply that here at Sebring. This year the competition is super high and that’s why we are here, to compare ourselves to the best in the world and put Colombia’s name up top!”
Gary Peterson Team Principal
“I’m looking forward to racing this weekend’s race at the 12 Hours of Sebring. This is just my second sportscar race, the first was the Rolex 24 Hour with Bobby Oergel’s PR1 Racing outfit. I believe the team, including the engineers and drivers, learned a lot that we can take into the next race. The most important thing we learned during the race was how to deal with the handling issues that are apparently the norm for our Ligier Chassis. We survived and had a decent finish for our first race. I look forward to a clean race and hope to have another finish and collect some more championship points. For my part, I want to listen and learn more of the strategy for this type of racing after coming from open wheel IndyCar racing which are typically sprint races.”
Bobby Oergel Team Principal
“The boys have been working hard since Daytona and we are ready for this weekend here in Sebring. We all know how tough this race track is and we know it’s important and keep focused as we set the car up during the practice sessions, Saturday is the big day and the one that matters. We have a solid group or drivers and the team has had great success here in Sebring so we are definitely looking forward to a good result here.”
Source. AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports