Performance Tech Motorsports is set to make its 24 Hours of Le Mans debut in 2020, courtesy of Cameron Cassels winning this year’s Jim Trueman Award.
Cassels, who was part of the Florida-based team’s Michelin Endurance Cup-winning lineup in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, earned IMSA’s auto-invite to be used in the LMP2 class.
According to team principal Brent O’Neill, plans are already being put into place for the French endurance classic.
“For sure we’ll be over there in some capacity,” O’Neill told Sportscar365.
“I actually just had a meeting with ORECA on whether we bring this car over or borrow one. We’re organizing the [rookie] sim testing now.”
O’Neill said Cassels’ 2019 season-long co-driver Kyle Masson will likely join the Bronze-rated driver in the lineup, although they are not yet “100 percent sure” on the third driver at the time.
“It’s exciting for the team and to actually have ORECA giving us a hand with this, I think it will make it pretty seamless to go over,” O’Neill said.
“We don’t have any great expectations of us being the smartest guys in the world to run Le Mans for the first time.
“I think Anthony [Megevand, ORECA customer racing service manager] is going to do a good job getting us organized and I think we’ll be set.”
O’Neill said his team will “for sure” work with an established European outfit for the event, which will be arranged by ORECA.
Cassels: Le Mans Has Always Been a Dream
Cassels said he’s looking forward to his Le Mans debut, which looks set to come ‘many years’ earlier than initially expected.
The 50-year-old, who got his professional racing start just four years ago, is coming off a diverse year of racing that’s also included IMSA Prototype Challenge and Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America competition.
“[Le Mans] has always been a dream,” Cassels told Sportscar365. “What driver doesn’t dream of going to Le Mans?
“Saying that though, that was a dream that was many, many years down the road. I didn’t think it could happen it could happen as early as next year.
“But I didn’t think there would have been an opportunity to drive in the Rolex 24 at Daytona this year.
“Things certainly accelerated as far as my goals were and what I was able to achieve both for myself and as a team.
“I think it will be an awesome opportunity for not just me but everybody who has been supporting me all year.
“What better way to cap off a fantastic season than having the Trueman Award to bring everybody over.”
Performance Tech Planning Full-Season IMSA Return
O’Neill said plans are also being put into place for a full-time return to the WeatherTech Championship next year.
The 2020 season will feature seven eligible rounds for LMP2 machinery, with all but the Rolex 24 at Daytona counting towards the season-long championship.
“Our intention is to do a full season here,” O’Neill said. “I love this atmosphere.
“This is a pretty attractive program with the six [points-paying] races. The cars are really good and are attractive. Our phone is ringing again. People are interested in doing it.”
O’Neill said he’s hopeful of “an announcement” soon that will confirm a Bronze-rated driver mandate for the class, which has been discussed in the paddock between current and prospective LMP2 teams.
“I think it will bring fresh faces into P2,” he said of the potential rules change. “Once it gets started, it will be just like PC and it’s going to grow.”