Team Project 1 is optimistic of a “strong result” with its replacement Porsche 911 RSR after the original chassis was destroyed in a fire on Sunday, according to driver Patrick Lindsey.
The FIA World Endurance Championship GTE-Am points-leading squad sourced a new tub from Germany that was originally going to be its 2019 European Le Mans Series car. It made its first steps through scrutineering on Wednesday morning.
Lindsey, who shares the No. 56 Porsche with Joerg Bergmeister and Egidio Perfetti, admitted that the car is unlikely to turn any laps in today’s opening Free Practice session but will be ready to compete in the 1000-mile race on Friday.
“It’s surely going to hurt the last little bit of performance that we would have got from running the rest of the test day,” he told Sportscar365.
“We’re probably going to miss the majority, if not all of Free Practice 1. The goal here is to get our night laps so we qualify, even though I’m sure some kind of force majeure would allow for some exemption considering we all have laps here at night.
“The only thing it really affects is whatever testing program they have later in the month for that ELMS car.
“At the end of the day, that’s such a small price to pay for being able to get solid points for the championship here.
“It’s good because Egidio’s driven here before, Joerg obviously owns the place and I’ve got a lot of laps, so why not do whatever you can – even if it’s going to hurt other things – just to put a car on track.”
Lindsey, who was not at last weekend’s test, suggested that the need for a replacement car could be a blessing in disguise because of issues with the fire-damaged Porsche’s initial configuration.
“We’re going to run whatever setup was on the other car and see how it reacts,” he said.
“Joerg said the car that burned down wasn’t a great car in terms of setup, so we could end up just blind-luck finding something better than what you had before.
“So it’s not like it was the perfect setup, we weren’t exactly starting at the top of the mountain.”
This, according to Lindsey, has made the team optimistic of a solid result despite a dramatic start to its Sebring debut.
“Certainly, statistically, we’re going to be down on something, not having all the run time,” he said.
“But at the end of the day I still think we have a really good shot of getting a strong result – certainly a good shot at getting a podium.
“And if we get lucky, in terms of setup and everything, then we have a chance to win.”
John Dagys contributed to this report.