AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports proved their potential as a fighting team over the weekend by completing their first race ever, the Rolex 24 at Daytona in twelfth place. In what was an untypically calm race for the majority of the competitors, the drivers and crew of the #52 Ligier JS P217 crossed the finish line after overcoming a number of their own challenges.Read More
Daytona Beach, Florida – January 24, 2018 – After an insightful three days of testing at Daytona twenty days ago, AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports returns to Florida for the 56th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway and their first race of the year. Gustavo Yacaman, Sebastian Saavedra, Roberto Gonzalez and Nick Boulle have all arrived and are prepared to get in their #52 Ligier JS P217 and compete for the first checkered flag of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The Rolex 24 at Daytona marks the opening of the 2018-racing season around the world. Drivers from any and every championship flock at the chance to put the Rolex 24 notch in their racing belts, which makes the race one of the most unique on the calendar. Top drivers from F1, IndyCar, NASCAR, and Formula E will be amongst the contenders for the top step on the podium on January 27th.
To get that checkered flag, AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports must continue tuning their set up and new 2018 aerodynamic package of the Onroak built Ligier JS P217 as well as dial in the drivers with the car during two practice sessions on Thursday before qualifying on the same day from 4:45-5 pm EST. One more hour and a half practice session will run after qualifying from 6:30-8 pm EST. Friday will be heavier with the off-track duties for the drivers, but they will still have a final chance to make the #52 their office for the weekend and adjust those last minute tweaks with a practice session from 9:40-10:40 am. The green flag will wave for the fifty entries of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship season opener at 2:40 pm EST with a fireworks show at 11 pm EST as the cars make their way through the night. The final laps will be counted and the checkered flag will call the close of the Rolex 24 at Daytona at 2:40 pm EST on Sunday.
“I'm ready and excited for what's coming this weekend. Since the roar, we've been working hard so we can start on Thursday with the right momentum. It has been an important week for the whole team and everyone including the drivers, engineers, and crew are ready to take on this challenge. I can't wait to get in the car. We are waiting to see what will happen with the balance of performance from the series because obviously the DPI's have shown to be quite a bit quicker than the P2's. It's all a part of what makes the series so exciting!"
“The time has finally arrived and the season is about to start with the most important race, the Rolex 24 at Daytona. We've all driven the car now and we feel great and there's a strong chemistry between the drivers and Gary Peterson, Bobby Oergel, and the rest of the team. We still need to keep working on the car. We made some positive changes at the roar and I think if we keep moving in the right direction we should be in good shape for the weekend."
“I'm completely ready and eager to get the Daytona weekend started. It's always complicated to begin the first race of the year with the biggest event, and there's still a lot of things that we need to learn together since we are all new to the team. We've improved a lot since the first test and I think that will show this weekend. We will keep working hard. Thursday will be a busy day, but I'm feeling very confident that we will be quite strong."
“The waiting game is almost over! I feel more prepared physically than I've ever been and I think we are ready to take on Daytona again. I'm still wearing my watch from last year so hopefully, it carries some luck with us into this year!"
“As this is the first endurance race that I have been involved in as a team principal, I'm looking forward to this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona. My expectations for the team would be at least finish in the top ten. With some luck, if we stay out of the garage, we should have a decent finish for this newly formed partnership between AFS and PR1."
“I'm really looking forward to the race week getting underway. We've all worked so hard in a short time to assemble this program, the roar was a first for the drivers and all of us together. Now we can come back to the same track and get straight to it with a sense of knowing more of what to expect and grow from."
Daytona Beach, Florida – January 8th, 2017 – The newly formed AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports team hit the track for the first time this weekend at the Roar Before the 24 with its recently announced driver foursome of Gustavo Yacaman, Sebastian Saavedra, Roberto Gonzalez and Nick Boulle. Their #52 Ligier JS P217 completed three days of trouble-free testing as they prepare for the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the first event of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The test marked the first time that the newly formed team has been on track since coming together as the result of a partnership between AFS Racing and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports. The squad focused on getting all four of their drivers familiar with their race car and the Daytona International Speedway roval track, and on developing the new 2018 aerodynamic package for the Onroak Automotive built Ligier JS P217.
With only a short two-week break to prepare the car for the grueling 24-hour race, the AFS/PR1 Mathiasen crew will now head back to the workshop as they ready themselves for the 56th running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which will take place on January 25th to 28th.
“An exciting beginning of the season on our side. It was very interesting to feel for the first time the Ligier JS P217 car, I felt very comfortable and got up to speed quite quickly with the help of my experienced teammates which have made this transition quite seamless. There’s still quite a good amount of things we need to understand with the new upgrades which will give us more speed. It was great to meet Roberto and Nick for the first time and to work with Gustavo, we are building a strong relationship right away. I look forward to coming back in a couple of weeks after digesting this first experience, it will be a great week for us!”
“It was great to finally get to meet anyone and to do my first laps not only in a Ligier, but also it was my first time at Daytona. We had a very productive test, we weren’t as fast as we would’ve liked but we made a lot of progress with the car and we’ll just pick that up in a couple of weeks and continue working towards a strong result in the race!”
“I’m quite satisfied with the test, we managed to test and learn a lot of things with the new upgrades on the car. We still need to find more speed but we are getting there little by little. Obviously it won’t be an easy race, the championship is more competitive than ever but that just pushes us to work even harder!”
“It felt great to be back on the banks at Daytona. The Roar Before the 24 always goes quickly, but I think we accomplished a lot. We have a few weeks to take a step back and develop a plan of attack for the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The focus now is solely on developing the car for the race with all of the data we gathered through the weekend.”
“Overall I was very impressed with the AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports team and crew overall, I believe we have a strong team and combination of drivers to be able to challenge for a good finish at the Rolex 24. We still need to fine tune the car with the new Ligier upgrades, but we are all working hard on it so we improve and can be running consistently inside the top 10.”
“For the whole team this test was very important to gather as much data and seat time as possible. With amount of trouble-free mileage, we were able to log over the weekend I am thankful for our crew and drivers to not have had any mistakes that would have compromised those goals. Sebastian came to terms right away with doors and windows around him, Nick settled back in to the LMP2 car and showed he’s ready to attack the Rolex 24. Roberto as expected got right to it and proved his experience and pace is up to the challenge. Gustavo having a lot of track-time at Daytona was a big help to assisting his teammates while also putting in some good laps himself.”
Daytona Beach, Florida – January 4th, 2017 – AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports announced today that Roberto Gonzalez and Nick Boulle will complete its driver lineup in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportscCar Championship. Gonzalez will join full time drivers Gustavo Yacaman and Sebastian Saavedra for all four rounds of the Patron North American Endurance Cup, and Boulle will complete the four-driver line up for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Gonzalez is an ex-IndyCar driver who also brings ample sportscar experience to the table after competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2017 in the LMP2 class, and in various events in IMSA in the PC class over the last few seasons.
Boulle is no stranger to Rolex 24 at Daytona, the 28-year-old already has one class win under his belt after capturing the checkered flag in 2017, and also finished second in 2016 in the PC category.
The AFS/PR1 Mathiasen squad will hit the track for the first time this weekend at the Roar Before the 24 where their red and yellow LIgier JS P217 will get its first chance to measure up what will be a highly competitive and busy Prototype field.
“I’m super excited to be back at the Rolex 24 at Daytona — even more so to be with the strong AFS/PR1 Mathiasen squad. The race this year is going to be spectacular and I couldn’t be more excited to test our strength against some of the best drivers from around the world. I’m excited to get to the Roar with all my co-drivers to get acclimated before the race and get our car to the front.”
"I'm really looking forward to having Roberto and Nick in the AFS/PR1 Mathiasen car, they have both proven to be fast and reliable drivers and they know what it takes to win a 24-hour race. They will be a great addition to our lineup with Sebastian and Gustavo, I cant wait to finally see everyone this weekend and get this season started!"
“I couldn’t be happier with the addition of Roberto for the Patron North American Endurance Cup and Nick for the Rolex 24, they both have a great attitude and solid experience in prototypes recently. We as a team have history with both drivers and their families and feel like is simply another extension of our history with them.”
Fresno, California – December 19, 2017 - AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports announced today that it will field its #52 Ligier JSP 217 in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with full time drivers Sebastian Saavedra and Gustavo Yacaman behind the wheel. This new entry is a result of a merger between AFS Racing and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, and will see Gary Peterson and Bobby Oergel sharing duties as Team Principals.Read More
Monday, October 2, 2017—Fresno, CA – The PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team is ready to take on the final round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship this weekend at the Motul Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Frenchman Julien Canal will join Olivier Pla and José Gutierrez for the 10-hour endurance race.
This will be the first year PR1 Motorsports has competed in the LMP2 category at Petit Le Mans. PR1 Motorsports won Petit in 2015 and 2016 in the PC Class and they are hoping to make it three wins in a row for the California-based team this weekend.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 – Fresno, CA –PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports finished P7 at the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday.
José Gutierrez qualified the No. 52 Ligier P5 for Sunday’s 2 hour and 45 minute race with a 1:17.822, only two-tenths away from P2 in class.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 – Fresno, CA –The PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team and drivers are ready to get back on track for the penultimate round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It’s been just over a month since the last LMP2 contest at Road America and drivers José Gutierrez and Olivier Pla are ready to score their first victory for PR1.Read More
Tuesday, August 8, 2016 – Fresno, CA – The PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team finished the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase P7 after a hard fought 2 hour and 45 minute battle on Sunday.
On Saturday, José Gutierrez qualified the #52 Ligier JS P217 in second position just behind the Cadillac of Wayne Taylor Racing. Although the weather report called for rain during the race, the green flag flew under blue skies on Sunday.
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 – Fresno, CA – After nearly a month away from the racetrack the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team and drivers are ready to return to the track for the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America. José Gutierrez will once again team up with Frenchman Olivier Pla for the 2 hour and 40 minute battle around the 4-mile Wisconsin circuit.
Gutierrez and Pla scored the team’s best finish, P4, in their last outing together at the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen. However, the duo is ready to bring home a podium finish this weekend.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017 – Fresno, CA – It’s a quick turn around for the IMSA WeatherTech teams after the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen. The PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team heads north of the border for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park with on track activity kicking off on Friday, July 7.
PR1 alumni Nick Boulle and David Ostella will join the team for the sixth IMSA WeatherTech round at the infamous Canadian circuit.
Monday, July 3, 2017 – Fresno, CA – After a tough start to the 2017 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports finished P4 at the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of the Glen. Olivier Pla qualified P2 for Sunday’s enduro and set the fastest lap of the race with a blistering 1:33.314.
“The pace from the car was unbelievable the entire weekend, and the team did an amazing job throughout the weekend,” stated Pla.
June 21, 2017 – Fresno, CA – Olivier Pla will join PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports in next week’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen in the No. 52 Ligier JS P217. The event marks the third round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. Pla will pilot the LMP2 machine with Mexican ace José Gutierrez.
The Ford Factory pilot, who is also an Onroak development driver, tested with PR1 at Sebring in March and was able to bring a lot of knowledge about the car to the team. Team owner Bobby Oergel is looking forward to having the Frenchman on board for the Six Hours of the Glen.
Monday, May 8, 2017 – Fresno, CA— The fourth round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship at Circuit of the Americas started out very promising for the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team. Drivers José Gutierrez and Marco Bonanomi showed competitive times in each of the three practice sessions, and Gutierrez qualified P5 for the start of Saturday's Advanced Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown.
However, before the green flag fell, the No. 52 machine ran into an issue on the pace lap which forced the car to return to the garage before they could even complete a single race lap.
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 – Fresno, CA—Veteran PR1 driver Tom Kimber-Smith will miss the fourth round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship at Circuit of the Americas in two weeks. Kimber-Smith, who finished fifth at the BUBBA Burger Sportscar Grand Prix at Long Beach, has elected to miss the race in order to return to the United Kingdom to take care of his mother who is currently battling cancer.
“Tom will unfortunately miss the next race at Circuit of the Americas. He needs to be able to spend time back in the UK with his mother who is presently undergoing treatment for cancer,” said team principle Bobby Oergel.
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 – Fresno, CA – After a difficult start to the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech season, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports scored a top five finish in last weekend’s Bubba Burger Grand Prix of Long Beach with drivers Tom Kimber-Smith and Will Owen behind the wheel.
After struggling with mechanical issues during the first two races of the season, the team was pleased to finish on the lead lap and in the top five of the prototype class. For Kimber-Smith, the Grand Prix marked his second visit to the infamous Southern California street circuit. However, this was the first appearance from his teammate Owen.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 – Fresno, CA – European Le Mans Series LMP2 driver Will Owen will join the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team alongside co-driver Tom Kimber-Smith for the BUBBA Burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach. Owen, who has worked and tested with PR1 before, is excited to join the team for the third round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship on the infamous Southern California street circuit.
“The opportunity to run my first IMSA race came very quickly, but I am so glad we have made it work with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports,” explained Owen.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 – Fresno, CA—After completing a productive two-day test at Sebring International Raceway three weeks ago, the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team and drivers are headed back to the 3.74-mile Florida circuit to battle for an overall win at the 65th running of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.
With no reports of rain in the forecast for the weekend, unlike the last year’s race, which was red flagged due to torrential downpours and lightening, drivers Mike Guasch, José Gutierrez and Tom Kimber-Smith are ready to get back behind the wheel of the #52 Ligier for a dry 12 Hours of Sebring.
Monday, February 27, 2017 – Fresno, CA – The PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports team completed a successful two-day test at Sebring International Raceway late last week. Although the team still struggled early on with some mechanical issues, and had to replace the engine from the Rolex 24 overnight on Thursday, they were still able to make great progress on Friday in preparation for the 12 Hours of Sebring.Read More
Wednesday, February 1, 2017 – Fresno, CA – In their debut race in the IMSA WeatherTech P2 Class, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports finishes P9 after facing torrential rains, near freezing temperatures and mechanical gremlins during the 2017 Rolex 24.
The PR1 team and drivers Tom Kimber-Smith, Jose Gutierrez, Michael Guasch and RC Enerson completed a successful pre season test at the Roar earlier in January. Although the test was not free of issues, they were able to use the time between the Roar and the Rolex 24 to remedy those glitches and prepare for the 24 Hour race.