Performance Tech Motorsports finished second in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship LMP2 class at Daytona International Speedway for the 57th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona with a silver and bronze rated lineup.
Performance Tech ran 24 hours of racing without issue, starting from the fourth position and advancing to third. It was the only team to run the Rolex 24 in the LMP2 class without issue. Drivers Kyle Masson, Dr. Robert Masson, Cameron Cassels and Kris Wright, kept the No. 38 Centinel Spine/Orlando Health/ Be The Match ORECA LMP2 out of the drama that caused 13 full course cautions.
Dry conditions Saturday gave the race an urgent pace as competitors brutally traded paint on track. Driver and crew were tested on and off track with the sudden stop and go pattern of the race after cloudy skies turned to rain Sunday. The mentally taxing race became a survival competition based on strategy.
As fatigue of the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic set in Sunday, the heavy, unrelenting rain began to collect in areas on track leaving deep puddles of water. Race Control mimicked that of a stop light taking track status from green to yellow to red. IMSA was forced to call a one hour and 37-minute red flag due to inclement weather conditions on track from heavy rain early Sunday morning. After 6 a.m. ET Sunday the field received less than one hour of green racing. The race ended under red with Performance Tech in position to take over the lead by capitalizing on the error of its competition.
The team’s success in finishing another Rolex 24 At Daytona on podium relied heavily on clean execution by the pit crew and drivers. Kyle Masson played the lead as the most seasoned driver at Daytona by turning the most laps. Wright turned the fastest lap of the race for Performance Tech. Cassels began the event with the least number of laps turned during practice but kept the car clean and out front. Robert Masson conquered night stint after night stint and battled through changing weather conditions as the track turned from dry to wet. Without the solid concentration of each team member, the finish would not have been possible.
Performance Tech Motorsports’ next race is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring taking place March 13-16 at its home track, Sebring International Raceway. Performance Tech Motorsports’ IMSA Prototype Challenge program, as well as the LMP2 program, will race over the event weekend.
Brent O’Neill, Team Principal
“Everybody on the team did a really great job,” O’Neill said. “Daytona is not about just being fast, sure you have to stay on the lead lap but if you want to win you have to run a clean race. That’s what we did today. All the guys did a great job. Kyle really stepped up. Cameron and Robert really held their own out there and the conditions we asked them to run in were tough. Some of the pros were out there spinning, it was not an easy race for anybody. Kris did a great job behind the wheel, this was his first run here and with us. I’m really proud of my guys, we did exactly what we were supposed to do, stay calm and make no mistakes.”
Kyle Masson, Driver
“To end up on the podium with my dad is what’s making this so special,” Masson said. “We were so close to First. I could be upset about missing out on first because they threw the red, but then again it was pouring pretty hard so it could have taken us out and we could have had much worse results. We have to be happy with our second place. I’m also really happy I was able to bring my dad up to the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship level and help him get his first podium.
“There was definitely a lot more pressure on my shoulders but I just tried to stay calm and level headed. To some extent I tried not to pay attention to the fact that I was the pro because if I had that in my mind-set I would have overperformed. We came here knowing we wouldn’t be the fastest car but that we could be the most consistent.”
Dr. Robert Masson, Driver
“Daytona has been really great for the Masson family,” Dr. Masson said. “Kyle won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2017 in the PC class. I won here in the IMSA Prototype Challenge in 2018. Now, together, we have a second-place finish in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. I can only be happy with a second place in my rookie WeatherTech experience. The team did a fantastic job.”
Cameron Cassels, Driver
“It was an incredibly exciting race for me,” Cassels said. “I didn’t think I would make it to this race this soon seeing as I haven’t been driving that long. To make it to this race this year in the 50thAnniversary of IMSA and my 50thbirthday was really neat. I was able to race against guys I met in Skip Barber years ago.
“This all came together after meeting Brent a few years back. We had a plan going into the race but had no expectations good or bad. We just aimed to not make any mistakes on or off the track. I think we did a great job of executing that plan. To have my wife and one of my daughters here to experience my first-time racing in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona was also extra special.”
Kris Wright, Driver
“This was awesome,” Wright said. “Going into the race with a bronze, bronze, silver, silver lineup competing against a team like Dragonspeed with an all pro lineup, trying to beat them on speed alone just wasn’t reasonable. We just tried to keep it clean and run consistent laps. We came up really short at the end of the day, we were so close, but it was still a great experience overall.”
Source. Performance Tech Motorsports