Mathieu Jaminet believes Corvette Racing has the “car to beat” in the GTD Pro class following its runs in the opening three IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races of the season.
The Pfaff Motorsports driver heads into next weekend’s Hyundai Monterey Sports Car Championship at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca second in the points standings after a freak pit lane accident took he and co-driver Matt Campbell out of a likely podium finish on the streets of Long Beach.
While the No. 3 Corvette of Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor leads the championship race by 30 points, they also lost out in Long Beach due to a drive-through penalty for the errant wheel nut that punctured the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3 R’s radiator.
It came after a commanding opening stint by the Corvette, which took top class honors in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring following a controversial mid-event Balance of Performance adjustment.
“At the moment it seems like Corvette is the car to beat after Sebring and Long Beach,” Jaminet said Thursday prior to a pre-event Balance of Performance adjustment to the Corvette.
“From our side we are pretty confident the Porsche will be somehow up there.
“It’s just looking at the pure performance they showed in the last two rounds, it seems pretty impressive.
“They look a little bit ahead of the rest of the field, from our perspective at least.
“It’s difficult to say much more. But they seem to have an edge on performance and they also seem pretty good on tire degradation in Sebring but also in Laguna where we struggle quite a bit with the Porsche at the moment.”
Jaminet and co-drivers Campbell and Felipe Nasr came out on top in January’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, in what had been Corvette’s first race running to GTD specifications.
“[Corvette] is the car to beat and from our side honestly, the team is a good surprise from my side with the Pfaff guys,” Jaminet added.
“We’ve had three clean runs. For sure it was really unfortunate what happened at Long Beach. But again it was a good pit stop, good execution.
“The car is spot-on, so from this side we just need to keep on working hard, keep on doing our job in having clean races and we’ll try to keep on fighting in Laguna and the races after.”
Pfaff Had “A Lot of Emotions” After Freak Wheel Nut Issue
Jaminet said Pfaff is looking to move on following its odd end to Long Beach when the Corvette’s wheel nut inadvertently punctured its Porsche’s radiator while during the mid-race pit stop.
“It was a strange thing that more or less never happened before,” he said. “The wheel nut flew from so far behind to inside the radiator.
“From my side, initially I didn’t understand why the car was not leaving the pits.
“I started to be a little bit angry… then suddenly I realized when he started the engine that the water was going up the radiator and going on the windscreen.
“I was like, ‘Where did this come from? I didn’t hit anything.’ Initially I didn’t understand.
“A mechanic said we got a hole in the radiator from the wheel nut. The re-fueler saw it coming so he could explain it to us and then we had the video.
“We could clearly see what happened. For sure it was a lot of emotions because we thought we had a good pit stop and it was looking like a P2 for us.
“It was disappointing but these things can happen, even if you’re never prepared for it. It happened and we move on.”