Performance Tech Motorsports was forced to retire from the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advanced Autoparts after starting the race from pole position.
The No. 38 Ligier JS P320 was enjoying a dominating weekend at Sebring International Raceway when disaster struck at the six hour and 30-minute mark. The muffler on the left rear side of the car was knocked loose causing extreme heat damage to the electric harness controlling the car as well as threatening to melt the brake line. Unfortunately, the impending damage combined with the already diagnosed issues left the team no choice but to retire the No. 38 from the race.
“This is a rough one,” Team Principal Brent O’Neill said. “We had the car and drivers to win the race, hands down. We dominated the first five hours and I have no doubt we would have continued, but unfortunately the muffler came loose and wreaked too much havoc internally. There’s too much risk sending the car back out in a situation like this, so we’ll just take this in stride and look towards the next event.”
Driver Rasmus Lindh kicked off the teams’ weekend on a high note showcasing the raw speed of the No. 38, earning the Motul Pole Award. With the drop of the green flag, he immediately rocketed ahead of his competitors building over a 45-second gap in the first 90 minutes of the race. He had just taken the reins for the No. 38 for his next stint when the car was deemed unsafe to continue.
Driver Dan Goldburg christened his debut in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship by leading the LMP3 the majority of his stints. He held off some of the fiercest competition in the prototype world in breathtaking battles. He also highlighted his own endurance during a triple stint, something even the most seasoned professionals don’t often pursue.
Drive Mateo Llarena entered the race just as track temperatures and battles were hitting the peak. The 17-year-old managed traffic like a multi-class racing veteran while keeping consistent lap times. When the electrical gremlins began to be revealed he stayed calm and collected piloting the No. 38 safely to the pits for inspections.
Rasmus Lindh, Driver of the No. 38 Ligier JS P320
“This was a great weekend up until it wasn’t,” Lindh said. “Performance Tech Motorsports gave us such a fast car that I’m sure could have won. It really hurts to watch a win slip away like that. Thank you to the team, I’m looking forward for another chance to fight at the next race.”
Dan Goldburg, Driver of the No. 38 Ligier JS P320
“I had a really good feeling about the team and my co-drivers this weekend,” Goldburg said. “There was a good energy in our pits which makes our result even more disappointing but we take our lickings and move forward. I’m pleased with our setup and pace, we had a car to win”
“The transition to racing in WeatherTech was not as tough as I expected. The first race being at my home track was definitely a good move. I have so many years lapping here that I’m comfortable knowing how the car will react anywhere on the track. When you have DPi’s whizzing by one side, a GTLM on the other and a LMP2 a few car lengths behind it’s good to be comfortable on out-of-the ordinary lines!”
Mateo Llarena, Driver of the No. 38 Ligier JS P320
“I’m happy with my overall lap times and performance this weekend,” Llarena said. “I learned a lot of great things about the car, and I think we had a real shot at the podium. It’s a shame we had to retire the car, but this is racing.”
Source. Performance Tech Motorsports