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Apr 30, 2014 - 05:32 PM
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Performance Tech: New Car, New Track, No Looking Back
Posted by: newsla on Apr 30, 2014 - 05:31 PM
USCR News
Performance Tech: New Car, New Track, No Looking Back


At Round 2 of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, Performance Tech Motorsports earned a DNF, an acronym capable of causing a team to become its own worst enemy.

 

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As Performance Tech heads to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix Powered by Mazda May 3-4, the team will move past the DNF (did not finish) and focus on the race at a track where it finished third last year.

Team Principal Brent O'Neill looks at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit as a fresh start for the No. 38 ORECA FLM09 Prototype Challenge car. O'Neill and the team are ready to see if their hard work pays off after dedicating more than 100 hours to rebuild and repair the car after a race-ending crash on March 15 at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.

"We'll have a good run at Laguna," O'Neill said. "It's a new car from Sebring; we've been able to test it, and it's running strong. Two days after the crash at Sebring, we moved on. If you don't expect for something like that to eventually happen to you in racing, you shouldn't be in the sport. Charlie (Shears) has a history of being strong at Laguna Seca, and David (Ostella) will pick it up fast, no doubt about that. Looking forward, I think you'll see us on the podium."

The strategy for the team will look similar to a sprint race since this event features just a two-hour race.

That suits drivers Charlie Shears and David Ostella, who both come from development series with a sprint-race format. Ostella moved up to the Prototype Challenge class from the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin and Shears climbed from the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series.

Shears has a long list of wins at Mazda Raceway; collecting six podium appearances at the California circuit.

"I enjoy Mazda Raceway," Shears said. "It's a smoother track that requires more precision on braking and throttle, and with the sand, it makes it a little icier. It's also a shorter track without a whole lot of rest, and I like that. The size of the track and the way you have to drive the track suits my style.

"Each driver has about an hour in the car. It's very much like a sprint race for us, so it is a difficult one, but I think we'll do well there."

Ostella's last appearance at Mazda Raceway was three years ago in Star Mazda. He acknowledged he'll have little time to relearn the track and find his pace.

"I'm looking forward to being back with my second family," Ostella said. "After Sebring, this team has become such a great support system. I look forward to being back on track with them. My goal is to get up to speed, keep it clean and get Charlie in the car this time."

Qualifying for Performance Tech takes place at 5:15 p.m. PT Saturday, May 3 with the race starting at 10:15 a.m. Sunday, May 4 as the first half of the two-part race. The PC category will race alongside GT Daytona, while the Prototypes will be on track at 2:45 p.m. with GT Le Mans.

Live television coverage of the PC-GTD race will start at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday on FOX Sports 1.


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