IMSA Spotlight: Pato O’Ward
Driver: No. 38 Performance Tech Oreca FLM09
What has winning at Daytona done for you and your career?
“Winning at Daytona opened a door into the world of sports car racing for me. It has given my career a bigger name and value to what it was, and I’m very happy about that because it is such a special race to win.”
How instrumental was your performance in the team’s class win at Daytona in securing a race seat for the rest of the season?
“My performance that weekend was very important because that would have defined the question that many were asking about me, which was, ‘Can he do it?’. The whole team never doubted me, but I think a few outside the racing paddock were a little concerned since I am so young and the race conditions were not ideal at all.”
Where do you keep your Rolex? Have you worn it or is it still in the box?
“My Rolex is nice and secure in my safe. Of course I’ve worn it a couple times, but I want to keep it for special occasions since it’s such a special watch to me.”
Coming from an open-wheel background, what appeals to you about sports car racing and is this what you see yourself doing down the road?
“Open wheel racing is very different to sports car racing. Many people have asked me this question and honestly the difference is major.
“Open wheel is like sprinting, and a sports car race is like a marathon. I have such a passion for racing that doing any sort of driving cool cars I might [do] is good to me. It can be GT cars to Formula 1 cars, I really don’t mind.
“Of course I would prefer open wheel because thats what intrigues me the most; that is what I watched since I was a young boy. But I have grown into liking prototypes a lot more now than what I used to.”
What are you and Performance Tech hoping to accomplish this season?
“This season the goal is to win the championship and win as many races as we can.”