Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin – August 6, 2018 – AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports leaves Road America with a 13th place finish at the 8th round of the 2018 IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship after an incident ended their race prematurely.
It all began as a regular start to the weekend. AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports had not participated in any testing at Road America so practice was spent getting the team's drivers and crew acclimated to the track and developing the setup of the Ligier JSP217. The pace and strategy looked promising going into the qualifying session. On what was set up to be Gustavo Yacaman’s fastest lap, the Columbian suffered a tire puncture on the rear left that put an end to qualifying, leaving him with the 10th place on the grid for the start of the race.
Yacaman’s start was clean and by the time he got to Turn 13 he was fighting with some cars for positions and spun off track but miraculously kept the car from hitting the wall. Yacaman was left stuck in the gravel and by the time he was able to get #52 AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports machine back to on track, the team was already a lap down. A smart strategy by the team put Yacaman in a position to gain the lap back under a yellow flag, but the red light for the pit lane exit fell just before the #52 could join the rest of the field after their pit stop, which prevented them from recovering their lap, and negated any hopes for a strong result.
Saavedra took over with an hour to go and had an off at Turn 14 shortly after he entered the race. The Columbian made a valiant effort to save the car, but unfortunately, he made contact with the wall, ending the race. With only two rounds left of the 2018 IMSA Weathertech SportsCar Championship, AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports will be back in action September 7-9thfor the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.
Sebastian Saavedra - Driver
"It was a very challenging weekend for the AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports car. The weekend started in a promising manner, even being a little behind the pace, but we were catching up with a really good solution and wereworking hard with Tim Lewis and Gustavo. Unfortunately, we had a puncture in qualifying along with unfortunate circumstances at the beginning of the race that put us behind. We are still looking through all the data from both incidents to see exactly what happened, but overall it was a weekend to forget and now we are focusing on the next two rounds. It’s been a tough season with a lot of promising areas, but we just haven’t been able to connect all the dots and show the true potential of the team and its line-up. I’m looking forward to Laguna, which is another place I have never raced before, but if the car continues performing we should be looking good.”
Gustavo Yacaman - Driver
“It was a really rough weekend for all of us at AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports. We did everything we needed to throughout the weekend with the practice sessions and the strategy, but I made a mistake on the first lap that put us a lap down and we were never able to recover from that. What happened at the end was a shame with Sebastian, but I feel really bad for the team and crew because we have all done a great job all season and have not caught a break. I really hope we can turn this around for the last two races and give the team what they deserve after working so hard all year.”