Unfortunately the team’s race day was cut short following a drivetrain issue for the No. 90 Cadillac DPi-V.R with 40 minutes remaining in the 100-minute sprint race for the Troy Flis-led squad in Friday’s Round 5 of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
Spirit of Daytona Racing drivers Matt McMurry and Tristan Vautier were looking forward to putting an aggressive race plan into play as McMurry took the green from the sixth row. McMurry held his ground with the leaders early on, with lap times that were right in sync with the rest of the Cadillac Prototype runners before handing the wheel to Vautier.
Vautier continued to navigate traffic and worked on a way up the order, but he soon began to experience problems with the shifting mechanism in the laps leading up to the second pit stop. The stop confirmed the team’s fears that the situation was not repairable in the time remaining.
Vautier, McMurry and Flis focused on the positive aspects of the weekend and began to focus forward on the calendar. A recent successful test of their new Cadillac DPi-V.R at Watkins Glen has the team hoping to shake the bad luck and start a new streak of momentum.
“I started having problems downshifting into second gear two or three laps before we pitted,” said Vautier. “Second gear disappeared altogether on the in-lap – and that’s pretty much the only gear you use in every corner here. It’s a shame. We were so eager to come back after such a long wait and it’s disappointing especially because it’s three races in a row that something has happened to us. But that’s when you must be strong, in these moments of adversity. You have to keep your head up and try to take some positives away from here as we head to Watkins Glen. We had a good test there so hopefully we can get some momentum back there.”
“It was good to be back with the team, though it didn’t turn out to be the best weekend,” said McMurry. “We didn’t have the top speed that the other Prototypes did, so it was difficult to even get close enough to pass during the race. The car handled well, and we could do good lap times, but we just couldn’t get in there and mix it up. Hopefully it will be better at Watkins Glen. We were fast there during testing so now we’ll turn our focus in that direction.”
“We had a decent car and planned to play the strategy game to make up some track position today after we had some back luck in qualifying,” said team owner Troy Flis. “We really believe we had a top five car, but we’re disappointed not to get a decent finish. But that’s the way racing goes. We’ll look forward, now. We had a good test at Watkins Glen and hopefully we should be really competitive there.”
Next up for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the Spirit of Daytona Racing team is the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at historic Watkins Glen International June 28 to July 1.
Source. Sunday Group