24 Hours of Daytona: A first race tinged with bitterness for Sean Creech Motorsport

28 January 2024 - Sean Creech Motorsport's first race in LMP2 on Sunday 28 January came to a premature halt. The team, which was competing in the 24 Hours of Daytona with its Ligier JS P217, was forced to retire after 19 hours racing and finished in ninth place in the LMP2 classification. Obviously, it was a big disappointment after the promising practice sessions in the ROAR, but it has given the team's motivation an extra boost in view of the next round at Sebring.

The ROAR preparatory round went off very well for Sean Creech Motorsport and the drivers of the #33 Ligier JS P217 (Lance Willsey, João Barbosa, Nolan Siegel and Jonny Edgar), who were making their debut in the LMP2 category.

The team continued its momentum during the first three free practice sessions on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 January. As the last free practice session was coming to an end, the Ligier JS P217 had an off-track excursion that caused significant damage. The team began repairing the car straight away.

The next day, the #33 Ligier JS P217 was on the grid in the early afternoon for the start. The opening hours of the race went off without a hitch despite the heavy traffic on the track. But after sunset, the team suffered a mechanical problem which was eventually solved.

The hours passed and the relays followed one another. In the morning, a few hours before the chequered flag was shown, a problem with the rear bonnet forced the #33 Ligier JS P217 to stop in the pits and withdraw.

“Coming off the highs that we experienced at the Roar to, well, to the agony of defeat that we faced here in the race, it's very, very unfortunate,” said Willsey.

“It was a super challenging day,” added Siegel. “Probably the most challenging day that a lot of people on this team have ever had in racing. But when you start a program like this with a new car, new everything, I don't think anyone expected us to go through the race with no issues. The team is working through all the issues, and I know things will get sorted out for the future.”

The next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Challenge race, the 12 Hours of Sebring, will take place on 16th March.

For the race results, CLICK HERE.

For more information about the Ligier JS P217, CLICK HERE.