How meaningful was it for you and your team to secure the final win for the Prototype Challenge class in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship?
“Winning the final race in the PC class is great for our team. BAR1 was founded in 2011 and this is the only car we have run at the top level of IMSA, so to win the final race is just amazing.
“I feel this puts an exclamation point on all of our efforts over the past six seasons! Its also a great momentum booster for the off-season, if there is such a thing,”
What has the class meant to you and your team over the years?
“The PC class has allowed many teams and drivers the opportunity to enter into the top level IMSA racing at an affordable price. Without this class many of us would be on the outside looking in, rather than on the track against some of the greatest drivers in the world.
“For BAR1 we jumped into the deep end and were able to build a solid foundation in a stable class of racing. We didn’t have to worry about changing cars every few seasons.
“If we had the added expense of having to purchase new cars every 2-3 years, I’m not sure we would be in the same position we are at today.”
The last WeatherTech Championship win for your team also came at Petit Le Mans. Has that event become a special one for you and your crew?
“Petit LeMans has always been special for our team, as a team we are constantly evolving and working on ways to make all of our operations and technical procedures more efficient and streamline.
“Going into the weekend we felt we were right where we wanted to be as a team.
“We have a solid group crew members, mechanics and engineers that meshed nicely and the drivers of the No. 26 Top1 Oil car jelled well, everything came together perfectly.
“Given that it is the final race of the season, it is our last chance each year to get everything just right! We will continue with this solid group of guys as we expand our program to fit our 2018 plans.”
How far along are you in the planning process for 2018 and what do you hope your programs in IMSA will look like?
“Plans are coming along nicely for our step up to the Prototype class. As far as which car, there are so many great options, as a team we need to look at what is the best option for our program to have success in 2018.
“Moving up to the top class will make everyone raise their game from crew to drivers. We are currently in the process of taking applications and interviewing additional staff who can help us raise our level both on and off the track.
“We have been in prototype racing since our beginning and its a safe bet to say we will stay with racing prototypes for many years to come.”
What are your thoughts on the future direction of the Prototype Challenge series with some format changes on the horizon?
“Im really excited about the 2018 Prototype Challenge Series schedule. I felt this was exactly what IMSA has needed to do for awhile.
“Longer races and the option for a co-driver makes the series more attractive to anyone who has had this series on their radar.
“We have had more driver interest for our 2018 MPL program than we have had in any other year.
“We know first hand the importance of the IMSA ladder, we have had six drivers, including myself, who have moved from the MPL class into PC cars over the past few seasons.
“We are looking to expand this program as well, running a few P3 cars is definitely on our radar for 2018. We want to internally have the ability to help our customers move from P3 class into the top level of IMSA racing.”