“We had a flawless weekend”

The PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca 07 will start from pole position on Saturday at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the LMP2 category, after an excellent lap from Ben Keating.

The Texan, who will team up with double ELMS champion Paul-Loup Chatin, rising British star Alex Quinn and Frenchman Nicolas Lapierre, four-time class winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, clocked 1:40.541.

PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports performed well throughout practice on Friday and Saturday, while working on the further development and set-up of the #52 Oreca 07. The last session before qualifying was stopped prematurely by red flag due to weather conditions.

Ben Keating set off for his qualifying laps in rather tricky conditions. « Today was one of the trickiest qualifying sessions I’ve had because of the big change in wind direction, said Ben Keating. In Daytona, the bus stop is a critical corner for achieving a good lap time. All weekend we had a headwind in that high-speed corner, which helped the handling of the car with the downforce. But for qualifying we had a tailwind of 19 mph, which affected the handling of the car considerably in this corner. In addition, it gave us a steep headwind descending into the banking. Fortunately, I was able to use another competitor to catch his slipstream on the straight, which made a big difference in the lap time.

I have to congratulate the whole PR1 team. We had a flawless weekend. We have completed our entire testing protocol. We learned a lot and I expect to have a great car for the race. »

© 2023 Michael L. Levitt

“The Roar before the 24 and qualifying went very well, says team principal Bobby Oergel. I can’t really explain how proud and happy I am of not only the great job Ben has done to put us in pole position, but also what Paul, Alex and Nico have done this week to continue the development of our car. The crew did a great job and worked very hard for this pole position. We are on four poles out of four, now we need victory at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona! »

« I couldn’t be happier with the team’s performance last weekend at the Roar, said team principal Ray Mathiasen. It looks like our pre-season testing program has paid off and we’re in a great position to win the Rolex 24. It’s been a long time since we last won there. With 10 cars competing in LMP2, we will definitely need a solid performance and a bit of luck wouldn’t hurt. »

Now all eyes are on the 61st edition of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, which will be held this Saturday, January 28.

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