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French Set for Full Season Effort at Performance Tech

James French confirmed in Performance Tech Oreca FLM09…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Performance Tech Motorsports has confirmed a full-season effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, in the final season of Prototype Challenge.

The Florida-based team will again enter its Oreca FLM09 for James French, with Mazda Road to Indy star Pato O’Ward and 20-year-old Kyle Masson both confirmed for the Rolex 24 at Daytona only.

O’Ward got his first laps in the spec prototype during last weekend’s Roar Before the 24, with the 17-year-old Mexican rising star posting the second quickest time in class, two-tenths behind French.

While O’Ward is currently confirmed for Daytona only, Masson is set to continue with the Brent O’Neill-led team in IMSA’s Prototype Challenge series full-time this year.

A previous report confirming O’Ward for the full season, indicated by a team representative, is untrue.

2016 Prototype Lites champion Clark Toppe, who was due to complete the lineup for the season-opener, has been ruled out after crashing the car at the Roar. A replacement driver has not yet been announced.

Performance Tech is the second PC team to commit to the full season, joining the Buddy Rice and Don Yount pairing in the No. 20 BAR1 Motorsports entry.

A total of five Oreca FLM09s are set for Daytona, including two-car efforts from both BAR1 and Starworks Motorsport.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Joe

    January 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Whoa…did they just fire Clark for his first day on the job blunder? Or am I reading into this too much?

    • Olly

      January 9, 2017 at 9:23 am

      I would think so…

    • VonMal

      January 9, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Tough car to get your head around without some testing

      I would think it was a decision on his party rather than the teams’.

  2. Billthe3

    January 9, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    As great as it is to have teams moving up to the new p class, having only 2 pc cars full season is going to be rather sad. Has IMSA said if they’re doing a split race again at Laguna? That will be interesting to watch with only 2 pc and 20 something gtd.

    • Joe

      January 9, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      2009 ALMS was sort of like that, too. The Vettes just ran around by themselves all year long in GT1. At least this will have a sort of competition to it.

    • Olly

      January 9, 2017 at 5:35 pm

      Laguna won’t have PC this year.

  3. Jeffrey Wagner

    January 11, 2017 at 6:30 am

    James French is blindingly quick! I hope he can get a seat in a P2 or GTLM car next year in IMSA.

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