In their IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship debut, TR3 Racing has raced to the halfway point of the 60th Anniversary running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The team has made a strong first impression, taking the win in the qualifying race last weekend to score the GTD Pro pole for Saturday’s race start with the No. 63 Lamborghini of Miami Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo – GTD Pro.
Starting on the pole position, Marco Mapelli in the No. 63 Lamborghini led the field of GT entries to the green flag. Mapelli maintained the race lead through the opening laps when the first full course caution appeared. The Lamborghini team decided to amend their strategy bringing Mapelli to pit lane for a driver change to Rolf Ichenin.
On lap 98, quick handling by Ichenin kept the No. 63 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo from being collected in a multi-car incident. Unfortunately, the maneuver did result in slight body work damage that would require repair on the next pit stop on lap 139. Mapelli took over the controls of the GTD Pro entry and returned to the course two laps down but the team has fought back to the lead lap and is currently leading the race with 12 hours to go.
The sister No. 19 Piloti Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo – GTD of Jeff Segal, Bill Sweedler, John Megrue, Giacamo Altoe started the race from 17th on the grid, with Sweedler manning the controls from 51st overall at the drop of the green.
Making his IMSA debut, Megrue battled door-to-door on lap 89 through the international horseshoe before contact with a fellow GTD competitor spun the No. 19 Lamborghini. Megrue rebounded to complete his 36 lap stint before handing the car over to 2014 Rolex winner Jeff Segal as the entry raced back up the order to move to the lead.
At the seven hour mark, the TR3 Racing crew utilized pit stop strategy to extend the lead of the No. 19 in the GTD category by a full lap as the field returned to green flag racing.
That advantage was reduced when the No. 19 Lamborghini was issued a penalty resulting in a stop plus 3 minute, 30 second hold. Altoe resumed racing in 10th running next to the sister No. 63 entry, with the foursome pushing up to 8th as the race hit the halfway mark.
“So far the race has had some setbacks for us, but we’ve been able to fight back from everything and are ready to keep in contention here through the night,” said TR3 Racing’s Arther Romanelli. “We just need to keep executing as a team and then we can focus on going for a result at the close of the race. So we’re happy with where we are and just looking forward to keeping a good rhythm going with both of our Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo entries and be there at the end.”
Source. Sunday Group