A recently announced joint entry between Charles Wicht Racing and Performance Tech Motorsports has solidified its lineup for the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda season, in Pato O’Ward joining Leo Lamelas in the No. 7 Ligier JS P3.
The reigning IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge champion will make his series debut at Sebring, where he also will compete in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Performance Tech in Prototype.
Lamelas started the IPC season at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 with Charles Wicht sharing driving duties. Lamelas and Wicht finished seventh in the first ever endurance event for the series.
While O’Ward has no shortage of experience with endurance racing as a frequent competitor in the WeatherTech Championship, he has minimal experience in an LMP3 having only tested the car.
“This is a great fit to have Pato in the car with Leo,” said Performance Tech Motorsports team principal Brent O’Neill said. “These kids are both fast. The goal was to put a winning lineup together and I think we did just that.
“I think Pato having a lot of experience in Prototypes now will help Leo and give him something to work off outside of the car.
“Pato has tested the car before, and he knows Sebring, so I don’t see him having any issues. Leo seems to be a steady driver. I expect them to do really well.”
“I really think we have a winning lineup here,” said Charles Wicht. “Leo did a phenomenal job at Daytona so I knew we had to push to find the best driver to pair with him. Luckily that person is right under our tent now.
“This is a benefit of being teamed up with Performance Tech. I’m really excited to get to work at Sebring; I know these guys are going to do a great job.
“I don’t know that anyone will be surprised by their speed, but I think they’ll impress a lot of people.”
O’Ward is also set for a full season of Indy Lights competition, driving for Andretti Autosport, with the July 6-8 round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park the only direct clash, with the Mazda Road to Indy-supported series racing at Iowa Speedway that weekend.
Both IPC and Indy Lights are in action at Barber Motorsports Park on April 19-22.