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Performance Tech Aiming for 2019 Return After Tough Season

Team principal Brent O’Neill praises hard work through a difficult year; 2019 pre-season work underway…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Performance Tech Motorsports team principal Brent O’Neill has praised his team’s perseverance after a difficult first season in LMP2 whilst hinting at a 2019 return.

The No. 38 Oreca 07 Gibson ended up running a reduced six-race IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship program that was affected by on-track incidents and the sudden passing of crew chief Frankie Parzych in August.

O’Neill confirmed that his team is now pushing to get ready for next year, although no exact program details have been announced.

“Keeping up with the constant changes is one of the biggest tasks over the course of the season, especially this year taking on the new project of the LMP2 car,” he said.

“There is no offseason this year. We’ve already started over. The second Petit Le Mans ended, the 2019 season started.

“You need to be working on the next season as soon as possible to get ahead of the curve as quickly as you can. It’s a race to the next race.”

Performance Tech ran the first four races of the season before skipping Detroit to focus on testing its new Oreca.

After returning for the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, the team then missed the next three rounds following a heavy practice crash at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

While its LMP2 entry retired from its end-of-season comeback race at Motul Petit Le Mans, the team did manage to clinch the IMSA Prototype Challenge LMP3 Masters’ title at Road Atlanta with Cameron Cassels.

“For us to go to Petit Le Mans and have the results we had was really something,” said O’Neill.

“We had pace and the cars were quick. We were able to help Cameron win the Masters Championship, which he really deserved after sticking out such a rough year.

“Through it all, nobody wanted to quit. We decided to go and do what had to be done and we’ll be back again in 2019 ready to go.”

“Frankie Wouldn’t Want Us to Stop”

Performance Tech’s season was heavily impacted by the sudden passing of long-time crew chief Parzych at the age of 58.

Parzych, who first partnered O’Neill in the 1990s, was a crucial part of the team’s rise through the prototype ladder.

“We had a lot of adversary with Frankie passing and having to let go an employee of ten years,” said O’Neill.

“You have to stay after it and working while making sure you’re ahead of it. It’s really a delicate balance.

“The guys that work around us and worked with Frankie all put in an extra effort because Frankie wouldn’t want us to stop.

“It would have been easy for us to say we lost Frankie, call it a day and go sit on a beach somewhere, but it’s not what anyone wanted to do. We aren’t those people.”

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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