Onroak Automotive scores another victory in the Sebring 12 Hours
IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship, Round 2: Sebring 12 Hours
After their win with the Ligier JS P2 in 2016, Onroak Automotive and Tequila Patron ESM scored their second victory in the Sebring 12 Hours this weekend with the Nissan DPi. United Autosports, on their first outing in the Florida classic, were rewarded with an excellent fifth place with their #32 Ligier JS P217, the second Onroak Automotive chassis entered for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Rounding off this weekend's excellent results at Sebring was the victory of the Ligier JS P3 run by Charles Wicht Racing in the IMSA Prototype Challenge.
The #22 Nissan DPi won the second round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship beating the #10 and #31 Cadillac DPis after a flawless race. The Tequila Patron ESM team left nothing to chance and built this victory thanks to a perfect strategy, a fast and reliable car, and a very quick driver line-up comprising van Overbeek–Derani-Lapierre. The American team was also backed up by close collaboration with Onroak Automotive and Nismo.
Unfortunately, the race of the second car entered by the American team lasted only a few seconds. After a great qualifying performance that put him on the front row of the grid, Olivier Pla was the victim of contact with the #90 Cadillac DPi in the first corner. The impact damaged the transmission beyond immediate repair forcing Sharp–Dalziel-Pla to retire.
In addition to the Nissan DPis run by Tequila Patron ESM, Onroak Automotive's involvement in the American Championship was completed by two Ligier JS P217s.
It was United Autosports' first outing in the race and they put on a good, incident-free performance bringing their #32 Ligier JS P217 home in fifth place after figuring in third position. In the wake of their fourth place in the Daytona 24 Hours, this result rewarded the work of the team and its drivers, in particular Phil Hansson who showed a remarkable turn of speed. It bodes well for the Anglo-American team's return to the European Le Mans Series.
The #52 AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Ligier JS P217 made a great start to the race to lead the LM P2s, but then fell back down the time sheets after contact with a GT LM, 30 minutes after the lights went green. The team lost precious time, several laps in fact, repairing the electric harness of the alternator damaged in the incident. However, the overall speed shown in practice and in the race by Saavedra–Yacaman-Gonzalez promises good results to come for the team and its Ligier JS P217.
After the Daytona 24 Hours and the Sebring 12 Hours the next round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship will take place in the streets of Long Beach on 13-14 April. It will be a short race lasting 1h40min.
Jacques Nicolet : “After winning Daytona, Sebring and the Petit Le Mans with the Ligier JS P2 in 2016, we're very proud to have triumphed again in the Sebring 12 Hours, this time with Nissan and still with Tequila Patron ESM. After our wins at Road America and in the Petit Le Mans in 2017, another victory in the Florida classic is a great reward for the work carried out by our teams and all our partners. It also consolidates the great relationship we've enjoyed with Tequila Patron ESM since 2015.”
Photo Big Tom Photography