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Performance Tech to Skip Detroit

Performance Tech to forgo Detroit race, focus on testing for Watkins Glen return…

Photo: IMSA

Performance Tech Motorsports has elected to skip next weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle, with the team citing a focus on a “rigorous testing” program prior to its return to IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition next month at Watkins Glen.

The Brent O’Neill-led team has had mixed results in its first year in the Prototype class, with James French and Kyle Masson coming off an 11th place finish at Mid-Ohio with their Oreca 07 Gibson, in what has generally been a struggle for all LMP2 competitors so far this year.

“Detroit is a great event but we’re going to skip the race this year in favor of more testing,” O’Neill said. “Being that Detroit is a street course and a non IMSA weekend it just doesn’t get us the quality track time we are wanting right now.

“I spoke with Kyle and James and they agreed we could make better use of our time if we spent the budget on testing and prepared for Watkins Glen.”

A team spokesperson told Sportscar365 they have testing planned in the build-up to the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. However, it is not currently listed in IMSA’s private testing declaration form.

O’Neill said they plan to complete the remainder of the season.

“We’re excited to go back to The Glen this year because its Centinel Spine’s home race and they have a few special things planned for the race, he said.

“We look forward to doing the remainder of the WeatherTech season and will miss the great fans at Detroit. But we’re excited to see the results testing can bring.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Sorc

    May 23, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Another LMP2 bites the dust, we’ll never see them back again.

    • pdxracefan

      May 23, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      Where, in the article, did you read that? Oh, just forecasting then.

      • Sorc

        May 23, 2018 at 7:54 pm

        Sorry, my reading skills are terrible.

    • Chris

      May 23, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      I think they will be back for at least Road America since it is James French’s home track and not too far from the shop. They aren’t closing up shop they are spending money elsewhere on testing, if they just said we are looking at future options different story, but this just seems like getting young drivers more track time in the car.

  2. Avery

    May 23, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Translation: Kyle still has nightmares from Long Beach.

    • guest

      May 24, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      More like, We know who’s going to win Detroit already.

  3. Detroit Kinda Sucks Anyways...

    May 23, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    I see them going to going to the Glen and being a legitimate threat to the DPi teams. The LMP2 teams were good last year, as the 52 almost won the race on a late restart.

    • Matt

      May 24, 2018 at 6:35 am

      I think this is fair since it’s not like they had a bad accident, and plus street courses are notoriously rough on the car.

  4. vanillachinchilla

    May 24, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    I think its time to slash Detroit, as he says its not an IMSA weekend, and imo its just a weak event. Sometimes good racing but track is blah, and street courses just seem like the wrong place for cash strapped teams to be playing around with expensive sports cars. Add in that the full IMSA schedule is really tough to fund already and I just can’t see the justification. Its conflict with LM test day will surely be an issue for more teams in the future if regulations do eventually converge as i suspect they will…

  5. Andy Flinn

    May 26, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Vanilla, first it was the conflict with Le Mans. Now it’s a conflict with the Le Mans test schedule. IMSA will NEVER win that one. Meanwhile, 20 years later the WEC is STILL scheduling races that directly conflict with the 2018 Petit Le Mans.

    Also, three quarters of the IMSA grid (more than two dozen DPis and GTDs) aren’t eligible to race at Le Mans, anyway.

    IMSA schedules a DPi and GTD race at Detroit so the series and teams can avoid a WEC-style hole in the race calendar and a situation where people are sitting around – not racing – for months.

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