AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports finished 11th at the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Advanced Auto Parts this past weekend. The new team showed promising speed despite multiple trips to the garage during their second race of the 2018 IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship.
Sebastian Saavedra started 13th on the grid, which resulted from a spin on his flying lap during qualifying where he showed promising speed. The Colombian quickly made up for it after the green flag, making his way up to ninth place. Saavedra found trouble in Turn 17 when his #52 Ligier JS P217 spun and made contact with another competitor. The first trip to the pits for repairs only cost the team one lap, which Saavedra gained back and drove right back into the fight.
On lap 117 an unfortunate electrical issue sent the car to the garage, and the crew of AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports worked away to fully resolve the problems. The remaining six hours of the race built confidence in the driver and crew as they showed great strong pace – something previously struggled with at Daytona. Besides the result, the car showed it had speed and that AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports will be a strong contender for the rest of the 2018 IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship.
Sebastian Saavedra and Gustavo Yacaman will follow the crew of AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports west across the United States to Long Beach, California for the Bubba Burger Sport Car Grand Prix taking place on April 14th.
Sebastian Saavedra Driver
“We semi-survived the 12 Hours of Sebring. It was quite an experience. First of all, I have to say thank you to AFS/PR1 Mathiasen for their work during the race and all the preparation beforehand. It was not an easy one for sure. We were incredibly strong and so quick, but I made a mistake in the beginning, which really hurt us. After that we started having a few issues with the alternator and the battery. The base was there, and the speed was there, but some of those unfortunate events were quite unpredictable which happens a lot in endurance racing. I’m looking forward to Long Beach.”
Roberto Gonzalez Driver
“It was great to be back here again at Sebring after six years. It was a pretty eventful race. Sebastian had an accident in Turn 17 that caused some damage to the car, but we were able to gain the lap back and we were still in the fight. After two or three hours into the race we had electrical problems and had to spend a lot of time fixing that. From there on, it was a different race. We had fun and we enjoyed it, but it’s a shame we did not get the results we wanted.”
Gustavo Yacaman Driver
“It was a pretty tough 12 Hours of Sebring for us. We had some alternator issues from a small incident at the beginning of the race and after that we just had to do damage control and try to learn something and bring it home. It is what it is, and other than the mistake at the beginning, Sebastian did an amazing job with his pace. I think the car is now something we can work with for sure. There was a huge improvement from Daytona to here and now I am more positive about what the season will bring.”
Source. AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports