AWA Racing’s Fifth Place In LMP3 At The Rolex 24 Has Plenty Of Positives
WITH VERY LITTLE ON-TRACK PREPARATION PRIOR TO THE ROAR AWA RACING HAS SHOWN IT LEARNS FAST
As mentioned in a previous post, if it wasn’t for the unfortunate mechanical malfunction which we know know is due to a driveshaft costing them a lot of laps as they brought the car back to the garage for repair, AWA Racing could have been on the podium at their first Rolex 24.
Orey Fidani mentioned it was all about the team work : “The Roar and the Rolex 24 were a testament to the strong team bond that we have. The crew did an outstanding job working around the clock on the pit lane. When we had our misfortune at the end of the race, they worked quickly and efficiently, despite being up for more than 24 hours, and allowed Matt Bell to return to the track and take the checkered flag; it was impressive to witness. As for the drivers, the four of us work tremendously well together. We understand each and everyone’s strength, which is a key asset in an endurance race such as the Rolex 24. It was my first participation in this event, and I am eager for more. I can’t wait to see what Sebring has in store for us.”
Sure they had an unexpected visit of the car to the pits within 30 minutes after the green flag and it did cost them a couple of laps but they had managed to regain those laps and it looked like everything was running smooth.
Kuno Wittmer had plenty of praise for the team : “I am super excited to have finished this race with AWA. They are an exceptional team in my books. They are strong, ambitious, and very intelligent. For our first attempt at a 24-Hour race, we managed to finish P5, which was not an easy feat. We had some obstacles along the way. With about two hours to go, we blew the car’s driveshaft, which put us out of contention for the podium. But we had enough laps ahead of the sixth-place car, so we fell back and finished fifth. I think it’s something everybody should be proud of and take home and work from there. I’m over the top with this team; they are the best.”
Lars Kern is already looking forward to Sebring : “It was a pretty unfortunate end for us. Finishing P5 is an accomplishment, as it’s my best Daytona finish ever. I’m really proud of the achievement of the team. They did a brilliant job coming into this race without testing or considerable preparation. I think this is good, and we have to take it as it is, and we have to learn from this and come back here stronger next. We learned our lesson this weekend, and it’s time for redemption for the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Matt Bell has plenty of driving experience with LMP2 and LMP3 machines and was a tremendous help in getting the car ready for the Rolex 24 and was quite impress with the team’s performance on its first attempt : “It is a pretty big accomplishment for AWA to finish their first attempt at the Rolex 24. We almost had a problem-free race until one of the axel shafts had a failure with about an hour to go. But the guys did a great job fixing the problem in under 20 minutes and put us back out to see the checkered, which is always a big deal for those races. We didn’t quite have the pace to challenge for a win this time, but I think the team learned an awful lot and will come back stronger for the rest of the season.”
Looking back at all the preparations prior to arriving at the Roar, the little time putting “learning” mileage on the car, the fifth place result is a moment of pride for AWA Racing Andrew Wojteczko : “Im very proud of our whole organization, it was an amazing experience and really grateful to have the opportunity to do what we do. The team truly feels like a second family. Excited to get back to the workshop and make improvements, and arrive at Sebring ready to challenge for the top step.”
Certainly a lot of racing data will be looked through in the coming weeks to prepare for the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 16-19.
Image : Patrice Marchessault / PMstills Photography