LMP3s Deliver ‘Adrenaline Rush’ For Prototype Challenge Competitors Ahead Of Daytona Opener
Thursday, December 7, 2017

IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda teams and drivers alike had rave reviews this week after the series turned its first laps at Daytona International Speedway. The single-day test served as a prelude to the Prototype Challenge’s inaugural race at Daytona, which will take place on Jan. 6, 2018 as part of the annual Roar Before The Rolex 24.

“This is the first time I have run here, so this weekend is eye opening for me,” said Jim Garrett, who piloted the No. 42 P1 Motorsports LMP3 at the test. “The new car is a heck of a lot of fun and being able to get some laps in and have feedback from [co-driver] Robby (Foley III) and some of the other guys has just been everything that I have needed to get me up to speed.”

A total of five Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) closed-cockpit prototypes turned laps at the test, along with an additional six Mazda Prototype Challenge (MPC) class open-cockpit prototypes, with more expected when the series returns for its season-opener at Daytona in January. The two classes again will share the track in 2018, with the series shifting from its longtime sprint race format of two 45-minute races per event weekend to a single 1-hour, 45-minute endurance race.

Veteran IMSA competitor Corey Lewis has experience at Daytona in a variety of cars, most recently competing in the Rolex 24 At Daytona for Change Racing, but was blown away by the performance of his No. 17 P1 Motorsports LMP3.

“It’s like being in a fighter jet compared to a street car,” he said. “It’s so cool to be here in the car we’re in, in the Prototype. It’s so much different than what we’re used to…it’s very much an adrenaline rush.”

Lewis is also a fan of the new endurance format in Prototype Challenge which allows teams to run a single or two-driver combination with a required minimum-time pit stop.

“I think it really suits the car and I think that’s what the series needs as it is kind of the feeder into the WeatherTech Championship,” he said. “You get the feel for what the WeatherTech show is like and having experience in that series and now bringing up the drivers and teams, I think it is a real good thing for the series overall that IMSA put together.”

The inaugural Prototype Challenge endurance race at Daytona will be streamed live on IMSA.com.