Running Our Race: Performance Tech Finishes Fourth at Mosport

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Performance Tech Motorsports finished fourth after starting from the pole position at the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

James French qualified the No. 38 FER-PAL Infrastructure Prototype Challenge second for the 2-hour 40-minute race. After CORE Autosport changed its starting driver post qualifying, resulting in the team starting at the back of the PC field, French held the pole position.
French ran the majority of his stint in second place. At the start the No. 85 PC of JDC Motorsport attacked quickly from behind. French and the team decided to allow the No. 85 to pass so he could focus on running his own pace.
French still had enough speed to hold off the rest of the field and then some. French had the fourth fastest lap in the PC field with a 1:12.374. He fell behind professional drivers Renger Van der Zande, Colin Braun and Tom Kimber-Smith by just tenths of a second.
“We struggled with the car all weekend due to lack of practice we didn’t have a lot of time to work on the car,” French said. “Everyone seemed to struggle with the same issues. It improved in time for qualifying. I was happy with my performance and I was happy with my performance in the race. It felt good to be within tenths of guys like Colin and Renger. Traffic was horrendous, it felt like you were constantly catching GTD traffic.
“But we made it through and brought the car home safe and now we’re set for Lime Rock. I want to thank all the guys for working so hard over the weekend. They didn’t have a lot of time but somehow they got the car ready in time for the race.”
Kyle Marcelli hopped in to take over for French and to finish the sprint race. Marcelli entered the race toward the back of the PC field after a long pit stop. As the Ontario native turned laps the No. 38 became increasing difficult to handle. He communicated that the car was loose, meaning the rear tires lose traction and the car is overly easy to steer often causing the car to fishtail.
Marcelli fought to hold on to fourth, he brought the car home without incident or damage.
“Just missing out on podium is tough but with the difficult handling I think we still managed a good finish with good points,” Marcelli said. “I think we can be proud of a fourth place finish, we proved we were strong in qualifying. We definitely had the pace. But the car just became increasingly loose throughout the race which is where we struggled.
“Happy to have a good result at my home track and for the FER-PAL Infrastructure guests. I hope they got to enjoy the race and the pre-grid. It was great to have them all out supporting us. Also, thanks to the Performance Tech crew and James for another good race.”
Team Principal Brent O’Neill was happy with the weekend’s results and another top five finish.
“It was really a great race for us,” O’Neill said. “We really couldn’t fight the pace Simpson in the No. 85 was trying to set so we let him past and from there just ran our own race. James did an excellent job this weekend, I was really impressed with him. Unfortunately for Kyle the car became rough to handle the last hour of the race. James had said it was a little loose and I about 20-minutes into Kyles stint he had said it was worse. But we finished fourth and the crew did a great job and so did Kyle and James so you can’t be mad about that.”
The No. 38 next heads to Lakeville, Connecticut July 22-23 for a split class race. The PC field along with both GT fields will take on Lime Rock Park in the Northeast Grand Prix. The race will be broadcast live on FOX with a 3 p.m. ET start time.
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