Masson Keeps Perspective During Tough Season Finale

Saturday, October 1, 2016

BRASELTON, Ga. (Sept. 30, 2016) – Kyle Masson finished his rookie season in Mazda Prototype Lites Presented by Cooper Tires under rough circumstances at Road Atlanta but is putting it all in perspective as he looks back at his first season with Performance Tech Motorsports.

After ending Race One with a DNF (Did Not Finish) and Race Two multiple laps down Masson looked at the season finale as a statement of maturity and a turning point in his career. No longer will Masson be a rookie. He will step into each Prototype Lites race with experience and only build upon what he has already learned.

Throughout the season Masson has honed his racecraft through lessons on and off the track. He’s spent multiple hours running data with the team and watching video to better understand the flow of racing. Masson put his data to use on track through testing, practice and racing every chance he received. He has developed his own style; one he will still work on improving next season.

In Race One Masson was collected by the No. 30 of Maxwell Hanratty after the No. 30 turned in on his No. 18 NeuroSpine Institute L1 due to driver error. Masson was prepared to redeem his weekend in Race Two, however he properly diagnosed a braking issue and brought the car in to have the brakes corrected.

Masson rejoined the field five laps down. He soon found himself back at the front of the field turning quick lap times of 1:20.724. Masson had gained on the No. 10 of Clark Toppe in his hunt to gain back laps. However, Masson as a seasoned driver himself knew to not interfere with Toppe’s drive for the championship win. Masson kept pace and tucked behind the No. 10 to finish out his season on a clean note and watched Toppe take home the 2016 Mazda Prototype Lites Presented by Cooper Tires Championship.

“Overall, it was a very positive weekend even though I didn’t finish where I wanted to finish,” Masson said. “we had a DNF in Race One due to the impact of hitting the wall in Turn 1 due to contact. Race Two went really well from the beginning. I took third after starting fourth and was keeping up with Clark. But my brakes started to fail, so I ran two laps with no rear brakes and was locking up the front. Wheldon kept up to me and that’s when I pitted to fix them. We bled the brakes, I went back out and immediately went back to race pace lap times.

“All in all, the fact that I was able to do that and still be quick showed that I had a great car. So I’d like to thank Performance Tech for that. I just keep growing, that’s all I can do. We’ll try to get the championship next year. We’ll definitely look into getting new brakes for next year, this year has been a positive experience so next year should be good.”

Team Principal Brent O’Neill was proud to see Masson focus on the larger picture while on track as it proved his continued maturity.

“Kyle did awesome. This was a big learning experience to be in there fighting with more experience each race,” O’Neill said. “Every session he pushed himself faster and faster. We look forward to him being back in the car next year and chasing the championship ourselves. He did great out there today. He radioed in at one point where he thought he was faster than Clark. But he knew Clark had a shot at the championship so he stayed behind, that takes a lot of maturity. We’ve enjoyed having him and his family this year, they’re great people and great to work with. Kyle will be a force to be reckoned with next year.”

For more information on the Prototype Lites weekend visit results.imsa.com. Performance Tech Motorsports will begin preparing the Prototype Lites car for off-season testing as soon as the Petit Le Mans weekend comes to an end. First the team will take the No. 38 NeuroSpine Institute Prototype Challenge into a 10-hour battle at Road America for the 19th Annual Petit Le Mans Presented by Harrah’s Casino Resort.

For updates from the team follow Performance Tech on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. For more information visit performancetechmotorsports.com.

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