Long Beach, California – April 17, 2018 - AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports finished 11th in the prototype class at the Bubba Burger Sports Car Grand Prix, which marked the third round of the 2018 IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship.
Gustavo Yacaman qualified 9th and had the quickest lap time of the of the LMP2 cars among the more dominant DPI machines. The start of the race looked promising off the line, but when Turn 3 came on the first lap, Yacaman was taken out by Kyle Masson of the #38 Performance Tech car who hit him in the back and spun him out. The Columbian fell to the back of the field but eventually climbed all the way back up into the top ten on the difficult 11-turn street circuit.
Sebastian Saavedra entered the #52 Ligier JS P217 during a full course yellow. After the race came back up to speed, Saavedra suffered an incident in Turn 9 resulting in an extra trip to the pits to repair some damage to the nose of the car. Despite the setback, Saavedra did his share of fighting back and held on to his damaged car to cross the finish line in 11th place in the prototype category. Next up, AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports will travel to Mid-Ohio where they are looking to claim their first top 10 result.
DRIVER - Gustavo Yacaman
"In the end, it was a disappointing result. At least we keep showing that we are picking up the pace and race by race we are improving. We are finished with the hardest races for us - Daytona, Sebring, and Long Beach. Now we move on to more normal race tracks like Mid-Ohio, which I'm really looking forward to because I think we have a more competitive car there. We will keep our heads down and keep working and digging so we can bring a result soon."
DRIVER - Sebastian Saavedra
"It was a bittersweet weekend for us, we started strong developing the car even more, which has been our priority since we started the year so we can find the speed to be able to fight against everyone. From my side, I made a big mistake during the race and had contact with the wall, damaging the suspension and losing any chance we had to be competitive at the end of the race. Now we need to move on and keep focusing on developing our car. The team did a great job in pit stops and helped us gain positions, but the differences between the DPI's and the LMP2's are still too big so the series really needs to work on that to give us a fair shot at all these races.”
TEAM OWNER- Gary Peterson
"We made real gains with the car since the first race of the season. With our only testing coming at the roar and no additional testing, this season has been tough. Gustavo's times were quick enough to claim quickest LMP2 car which put us ninth on the grid for start of the race. The car was not the best car in the race but we were gaining spots until the wall incident that Sebastian had in turn 9 damaged the car was too much and we had to coast home. Bobby Oergel, Tim Lewis our engineer, and his longtime AFS/PR1 Mathiasen crew did another great job."
TEAM OWNER - Bobby Oergel
"I’m very proud of the team as a whole, Gustavo did a great job in quali being the quickest of the LMP2s and we had a realistic shot of a top-5 finish in view. Fighting hard on the streets of Long Beach is always a gamble, and this time unfortunately we lost that gamble with some wall contact. But we know we have the potential to be up there and now we just need to keep working and show up in Mid-Ohio again looking for a strong result.