United Autosports crossed the line fifth in the LMP2 class today at the 70th Anniversary Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring International WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race.
The #22 crew of Jim McGuire, Guy Smith and Duncan Tappy drove a faultless race expertly navigating safety cars, avoiding driver penalties and staying out of trouble on track. Unfortunate timed safety cars ultimately put the team’s pit stop strategy out of sync with the other cars in the LMP2 class, resulting in the impossibility of making up lost laps and the chance to fight for a podium finish. Track conditions proved unforgivable as seven FCYs were brought out throughout the 12 hours of racing, with issues ranging from tyre blowouts, on-track collisions and mechanical failures.
Jim, who qualified eighth on Friday, started the race and kept close to the pack until an unfortunate error caused the car to lose power momentarily. With a lap down in the opening minutes of the race, Jim settled into a double stint quickly making his way to catch the LMP2 pack on track and moving up to sixth. Duncan Tappy then took over from Jim to make his LMP2 race debut with the team during the second hour, expertly handling the tough track and manoeuvring the car cleanly through traffic sitting comfortably in fourth before a further FCY was brought out.
Guy Smith settled into his triple race stints in the seventh hour of racing dealing with the track evolutions as the temperature dropped and the sun began to set. Having handed the #22 over to Duncan in the tenth hour, Guy jumped back into the car for a final triple stint ultimately crossing the line to take the chequered flag in fifth.
The team look now to the next International WeatherTech SportsCar Championship round in New York State for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen to fight for a podium that the team deserve.
“It’s great to finish the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring in fifth. The team did a faultless job, with no issues or penalties throughout the race. Everybody fought really hard and I think we were very unlucky to have not ended up on the podium tonight. I couldn’t be more pleased with the whole team’s effort, it speaks volume and I can’t wait for the next race.”
“I’m really happy to finish the Sebring 12 Hours as it’s an incredibly tough race, one of the toughest sportscar races in the world. I think we all showed really good pace, we were just unfortunate with the safety cars and not qualifying for the pass arounds to make up the laps we lost. I think we can be proud of our performance; the team did a fantastic job and whilst it would have been nice to have got on the podium, there’s always next time.”
“What a brutal race. I’d heard a lot about the Sebring 12 Hours and it was a tough one. For me, it was a first race in a P2 car and the first race in America for a while so it was really cool to get that race under my belt. I want to thank Richard and Jim for allowing me to race, I think it was a pretty solid effort which should set me up nicely for the European season. In regards to this race, it was a solid team effort with zero mistakes or penalties.”
“What a tough race for the team. All three drivers and car crew did an amazing job, to not make a single mistake over 12 hours is hugely impressive and they definitely deserved a podium at Sebring tonight.”
“Today was a strong performance by the entire team, backing up our WEC win yesterday with this fifth place finish in the 12 hour IMSA race. To take on such high profile and gruelling events over the same weekend was always going to be tough, but to be so competitive, with two very strong results, is a real achievement the team can be proud of.”
Source. United Autosports