A Ninth Place Finish For Alegra Motorsports 10th Rolex 24
BRAKE ISSUES IN THE RACE HAMPERED THE TEAM’S PROMISING PACE AND LAST MINUTE DRIVER LINE-UP CHANGE
Accustomed to seeing Alegra Motorsports running Porsche platform in recent years, the team had announced the decision to run the Mercedes AMG GT3 for this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the GTD class.
Right out of the box, they have showed great pace during the Roar even though it was not reflected with their 14th place starting position.
Only hours before the start of the race, Alegra driver Michael de Quesada tested positive with COVID-19, leaving the track immediately following IMSA protocols to self-isolate.
Alegra found a replacement driver in Mike Skeen: “Getting the call about a ride in the 24 was a huge surprise as I was already in New Orleans for a different race.” said Skeen. “That fact it was with a great program like Alegra Motorsports made it that much better. I immediately started looking at travel options and rushed back to Daytona. The team did a great job answering questions and getting me up to speed on procedures so that I could hop right in like I had been there all week.”
Daniel Morad was at the wheel upon the start of the race and managed to gain several positions during his stints. As the hours passed, the car started having braking issues and had to come into the pits. They quickly found out there was an issue with brake fluid and proceeded with the necessary repairs. Once the #28 Mercedes AMG GT3 was back on track, it was several laps down.
Although they were able to recover some of the lost laps through the remainder of the race consistently posting competitive lap times, they crossed the finish line in ninth place.
“Outside of the qualifying issue and that extended pitstop, I think we performed extremely well. We had to deal with a few challenges throughout the week, and I think the team did an outstanding job at handling them.” said team manager Tony Ditto. “This was our first full race with this new platform, and we had a good pace out there. You always want to be the first crossing that finish line, but we’ll take the P9 finish and the points in an endurance race like this.”
The team now turns their preparation towards the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours Of Sebring March 17-20.
Image: Steak+Sizzle Media Co