The Return Long Awaited: Wilzig Returns to Performance Tech in LM P3

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Alan Wilzig is returning to Performance Tech Motorsports and IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda in the LM P3 Ginetta.

Wilzig, the 2011 and 2012 Lites 2 Champion and Masters Champion, last ran with Performance Tech in 2013 for select races in Lites 2 and is returning for the upcoming season of IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda for the enjoyment of the LM P3.

IMSA’s announcement to introduce the P3 to the development series peaked Wilzig’s interest immediately. The power and challenge the car presents, along with a reasonable price point, solidified his decision in rejoining the series. His next call was to Team Principal Brent O’Neill to put a deal in place for 2017.

“The LM P3 is the first car that's close enough to P2,” Wilzig said. “Yet it’s at a price point that allows me to not only buy the car but also pay to campaign a full championship season,” Wilzig said. “I can compete in a championship for what a seat in a P2 car would cost for four days of fun at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Plus, I get to keep the car.

“The Ginetta platform suits me particularly well. I tested many cars and was measurably faster in the Ginetta. I've been following the company for three years and I look forward to training with the factory drivers and engineers in the UK this June.”

Wilzig enters the opening race weekend at Sebring International Raceway with little practice in his P3, two hours exactly. Time aside, Wilzig knew the car was a perfect fit for him right away. The handling of the P3 complimented his race craft on track but still tested his abilities. Returning to prototype racing with the P3 was the perfect step up to further racing career, progression being a point of focus since he began racing in 2006.

“I'd like to come back and show everyone how much I've learned since I left IMSA,” Wilzig said. “I didn’t start racing until I was 40-years-old. I'm still a smart, safe and courteous driver but now I have the skills and experience to compete with anyone in the class.”

Wilzig is ready for the fight ahead of him though he stepped away from prototype racing in 2013. Since he stepped away he’s been racing his GT4 Lotus 211 in Lotus Cup USA and the Historic SportsCar Racing on tracks such as Daytona International Speedway as well as Sebring International Raceway.

Wilzig even expanded into the high adrenaline world of bike racing. He spent time on the back of his Yamaha motorcycle racing around the country in the Yamaha Champions Riding School.

However, whenever he feels the urge to slip in a little work on his racecraft he need not look further than his own backyard, literally. Wilzig built a 1.15-mile long road course in the yard of his Columbia County New York estate. He invites friends and foes alike to challenge him in supercar events and in general partake in his passion for racing.

Though he has his own track, Wilzig is happy to return to a few of his favorites that land on the Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda schedule.

“Sebring's bumps and walls get in your blood,” Wilzig said. “Lime Rock is local for me, so by far I’ll have the most family and friends at that race. Barber is the first track I ever dragged a knee-slider riding a race bike, so I’ll take that to be a good omen.”

Of course, part of Wilzig’s excitement was rejoining O’Neill and the Performance Tech Motorsports crew. The recent win in the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona only fueling his desire to be back competing with the team.

“I came back because they finally won a Rolex 24,” Wilzig said. “I’m kidding. Brent O'Neill has been an extraordinary friend and team principal since 2010. It sounds corny but they are really my racing family. I have seen Brent turn away well-funded gentlemen drivers because, well, let's just say they were a, "gentleman," in racing-parlance only. He’s a man I have great respect for and enjoy working with.”

For O’Neill, the feelings are mutual. He’s excited to add a friend and another P3 to his 2017 lineup.

“Alan is a really great guy that has always supported our team,” O’Neill said. “We’re happy to have him back under the tent. Every year we go to Lime Rock he hosts the entire team at his home and lets us work out of his garages. That’s just the kind of guy he is, so it’s good to have him back. I think he’ll do really well in the P3. We have a lot of guys that will be able to feed off each other and it should be a good year.”

Rounds one and two of the 2017 season of IMSA’s Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda take place March 15-18 as part of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida weekend. Look for Wilzig’s Wilzig Racing Manor P3 in each of the 45-minute sprint races that will take place on the legendary 3.74-mile course.

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