Performance Tech Motorsports finished sixth in the Rolex 24 At Daytona following a remarkable comeback after an early on-track incident sidelined the No.38 Performance Tech Motorsports LMP3.
The No. 38 Ligier JS P320 took the green flag at Daytona International Speedway as a top contender to win the 59th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the newly formed LMP3 Class. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championships endurance classic has a long history of being cruel to its competitors, however, when made victim, Performance Tech Motorsports rose above. The team rallied to keep the No. 38 in battle mode and ultimately preserved through 24 grueling hours finishing in sixth place.
For Team Principal Brent O’Neill days like these are a true test of team strength and spirit.
“We started this race with every expectation of being a part of the fight for the win,” O’Neill said. “I told my guys to keep it clean and consistent which is exactly what they were doing when a GTLM took Cameron out in hour two. From there we knew it was even more important to run as close to a flawless race as possible.
“The crew repaired the car and got it back on track in record time and didn’t miss a step from there. I’m really proud of Cameron, Rasmus, Ayrton, and Mateo for pushing to the limit on track while still preserving the car. Once again, the team was tested, and once again, we came out on the other side better than anyone expected.”
The Swedish superstar, Rasmus Lindh, demonstrated the poise of a seasoned pro as he started the 59th running the Rolex 24 at Daytona. His superb racecraft was showcased as each deliberate turn advanced him further up the field. It was in the hands of Lindh that the No. 38 was pushed into first place overall for a full double stint.
Team veteran Cameron Cassels rose above chaos during his stints in the No. 38 embodying the true spirit of endurance racing. An overzealous GTLM car forced him off track in hour-two causing a slew of mechanical gremlins. Cassels stayed calm, cool, and collected, piloting the car safely to the garage for repairs. Once rejoining the field and for the remainder of his stints, Cassels maneuvered the No. 38 with his sights set solely on the future, disallowing the past to affect his technique or demeanor.
The first of the team’s two 16-year-olds, Ayrton Ori, took the reins for his initial stint long after night and track temperatures had fallen. He showed a mastery of the Ligier JS P320 over the course of the race as he chipped away at his lap times while focusing on clean and consistent driving. Ori drove the majority of his time in the dark, no small feat for a Rolex 24 at Daytona rookie.
The pack was rounded out by 16-year-old Mateo Llarena who proved himself a quick study and tough competitor. With each passing stint, the Guatemalan improved his pace and overall racecraft in the No. 38. He led the Ligier JS P320 through five undeviating stints, exactly as the team requested, marking the youngster as a strong endurance driver.
Rasmus Lindh, Driver of the No. 38 Ligier JS P320
“This was a tough race for us,” Lindh said. “Especially because we had the car and pace to be there at the end. But this is racing, and some things are out of our control. Thank you, Performance Tech, for this opportunity, I’m looking forward to our next race”
Cameron Cassels, Driver of the No. 38 Ligier JS P320
“The thing that really stood out from this was the start,” Cassels said. “To be taken out on your out lap by an overzealous driver is really tough. I’m sure he didn’t mean for it to happen but that really ended our chance to win. Daytona is a place you love to hate or hate to love and every year at 3:00 a.m. you swear you’ll never do it again, but I still want to come back redeem myself every year.
“Overall, it was a good race and after the out-lap incident, we ran a flawless race. The guys absolutely thrashed on the car to get it out there and run the pace it did, it was really impressive work by all of the drivers and all of the crew who got it out on the track. I want to also say I was super stoked before my first stint to see the post from my family cheering me on from home and having a big Daytona party. That was really cool and unexpected. Thank you.”
Ayrton Ori, Driver of the No. 38 Ligier JS P320
“I think there are definitely things I could have improved on but for my first Rolex 24 it was really good,” Ori said. “This was an amazing opportunity and honestly I’m still trying to soak it all in. I really want to thank Novonordiskus and Performance Tech for supporting me and helping me get here.”
Mateo Llarena, Driver of the No. 38 Ligier JS P320
“The Rolex 24 really is all about teamwork,” Llarena said. “To fix the car and get it on track again takes a lot of skill and communication. We finished which was a really big deal for everyone. We all drove for four or five stints. The Rolex 24 is very important so even finishing it is a big achievement. I think we’re all eager to get back here one day and fight for the win again.”
Source. Performance Tech Motorsports