Race 2 Summary
When the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series announced it would field the new LM P3 cars in 2017, ANSA Motorsports was one of the first to commit to running a Ligier JS P3. One of the team’s pilots for the first two rounds of competition this year is young talent Nico Jamin, 21, from Rouen, France.
Jamin entered the grid for Round 2 on pole after leading every lap and winning the weekend’s first race as part of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida. From the drop of the green flag for the second event, Jamin pulled away from the field and built a gap of more than seven seconds on his competition by the eighth lap.
A full course yellow interrupted Jamin’s groove just beyond the halfway mark, but the Frenchman still cruised to victory with the confidence of having led every lap of the weekend.
Colin Thompson recovered from a disappointing first round to finish second in his Norma M30 for Kelly-Moss Road and Race, followed by Andres Gutierrez in the Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P3. This marked Gutierrez’s second podium of the weekend.
Competition in the Masters class was a virtual repeat of Round 1 with Lonnie Pechnik taking the class win for P1 Motorsports and Naj Husain, from Extreme Speed Motorsports, holding off Doug Peterson’s HP-Tech machine for second position. The trio of podium finishers for both rounds were all driving Ligier JS P3 cars. Pechnik barely missed getting his second overall podium of the weekend finishing fourth in the field.
The Mazda Prototype Challenge class (MPC) hosts competition in equal-specification Mazda-powered Élan DP02 cars. Kyle Masson, who finished fifth in last year’s championship, let the class know that he’s looking to win this year by sweeping his second win of the weekend in his Performance Tech Motorsports DP02. Masson was among the cast of drivers who won the Prototype Challenge class in the 24 Hours At Daytona back in January. He attributed much of his success during the WeatherTech championship weekend to experience gained in the MPC cars.
Series veteran Brian Alder, owner and driver of the BAR1 Motorsports entry, grabbed the second podium step by holding off a charging Tazio Ottis of JDC Motorsports. It was the first podium of the weekend for the pair.
Race 2 Driver Quotes
Nico Jamin – No. 20, ANSA Motorsports - LM P3 Winner
“It was a very good race and I am super happy for ANSA Motorsports. Ligier and Onroak did a good job. My car was amazing today. We made some changes from Thursday and I have nothing to say about the car except that it was just amazing. I could do whatever I wanted and control the race. When the caution came out, I was still pretty comfortable, because I knew I would have a strong car at the restart. We were about to pull a pretty good gap and then another yellow came out. I wish we had more green time for the fans but I hope they still enjoyed it. I enjoyed it.”
Lonnie Pechnik – No. 17, P1 Motorsports - LM P3 Masters Winner
“We changed our suspension and set up from Thursday completely to try to find more speed to get up to Andres. We think we actually gained something, but unfortunately the car was a little bit too pushy on entry and it was costing me a little bit of time but even though I set the same time—we believe it’s probably the right direction to go. We’re looking forward to going to Barber (Motorsports Park) and seeing how well the car will do there. Great job by P1 Motorsports. JC (Perez) did an amazing job this whole weekend. I can’t say enough. He’s a novice in the field and he’s only been doing this for a year. He’s really come a long way and I am really proud of him.”
Kyle Masson – No. 18, Performance Tech Motorsports - MPC Winner
“We started on pole in class and fourth overall and the start went much better today than yesterday. I was able to stay ahead of the LM P3 cars that were behind me. I got out and warmed up the tires and started throwing down good lap times and kept my lead throughout the race. Physically it wasn’t as demanding a race as Thursday.”