IMSA Spotlight: Sebastian Saavedra
Driver: No. 52 AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 Gibson
How excited are you to be making the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship your focus in 2018?
“I gotta say it’s hard to describe the extent of my excitement. It’s something that didn’t happen overnight so I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas Day or his birthday, counting the days down.
“At the same time is starting from scratch as the only world I know is the open-wheel world. It’s like changing schools when you are in high school and you don’t know anyone around you. Should be pretty fun.”
How did the deal with your longtime supporter AFS and PR1/Mathiasen come together for this program?
“[In] 2015 being at Ganassi [in IndyCar] and seeing their Ford GT program develop from scratch made me learn a lot about this fast-growing world. AFS saw this too.
“With the introduction of the new Prototype class was the perfect timing to jump on this boat not too far behind everyone else.
“When I called [co-driver Gustavo] Yacaman and introduced for the first time ever the ‘Team Colombia’ concept, he knew the right people to connect us with.
“Within a week we were sitting in a restaurant in LA with Bobby Orgel from PR1, Gary Peterson from AFS and Toni Calderon, an experienced team-building machine.”
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
“I might be the most positive guy you’ll ever meet, but I do have to pace myself here. For me everything starts at the Roar, I’ve done a simulator session at Dallara with the DPi, that’s as far as my experience goes.
“But I’m confident on catching up quick. I have a great team of people surrounding me that will help make this transition.”
What do make of the level of competition in the Prototype class for next year?
“I know it’s going to be crazy competitive out there. Daytona might have one of the coolest P lineups in a long time and having people like Penske join the party only shows how well oriented this series is.”
What race or races on the IMSA calendar are you most looking forward to experience?
“I’ve never been to Laguna Seca – yeah, I said it – and I can’t wait to check such an iconic place out. Also, I’ve done thousands of testing miles at Sebring, but I have never raced there. I love the unknown.”