Premature End To What Looked Like A Potential Podium At Long Beach For Pfaff Motorsports
BY FINISHING FIFTH PFAFF NOW SECOND IN GTD PRO CLASS HEADING TO LAGUNA SECA AT THE END OF THE MONTH
Following the Twelve Hours of Sebring where the Plaid Porsche clearly had a pace disadvantage, Long Beach looked promising with the results of third and first respectively in practice sessions 1 and 2.
Qualifying third initially, the No. 9 Driveway Porsche 911 GT3 R Pfaff Motorsports started the race in second place following a penalty to the no. 25 BMW Team RLL post-qualifying.
Seen on the Instagram feed following the race, everything looked normal during the pitstop with the crew efficiently completing the tire change. At one point, you can see an object flying into the the Porsche’s radiator housing. The fuel man calmly removes it only to realize soon after their was a problem.
The flying wheel nut came form the adjacent pit stall as the crew was completing a pit stop also. Still spinning quickly after having been removed by a 14,000-rpm wheel gun, the wheel nut punctured the radiator.
Mathieu Jaminet drove the first stint and held on to second place as he brought the car in for Matt Campbell to take over.
“Of course, it was a disappointing end to the weekend,” said Jaminet. “We had a clean run until that and the car was spot on. The team did an amazing job, it was the third race in a row where I think we really performed and maximized the performance. I guess this would’ve been a nice P2 for us without the incident in pit lane. It’s just super unfortunate, I’m really disappointed and also losing the championship lead due to that. We’ll take the positives – the car is good, the team is doing great – we’ll bounce back in Laguna Seca in two weeks.”
Matt Campbell was never given the go ahead signal to get going as the burst radiator Calle the end of the race for the team.
“What can I say, it was one of the weirdest DNFs of my racing career thus far,” commented Campbell. “Obviously, Mathieu had a fantastic start. We were a solid P2 only a few seconds behind the Corvette and then in our pit stop, everything was going smoothly with the driver change and the crew was doing a phenomenal job once again. Every stop this year has been flawless. Unfortunately, this time a rogue wheel nut rolled down pit lane, flew up and hit our car and went into our front radiator area which caused the puncture. Once I started the engine and pressure was going through the system, water was coming out and we weren’t able to continue, which is a big shame. It was an easy loss of points there and I think we really had a chance for at least a solid P2. But nevertheless, it wasn’t meant to be and we’ll try again in Laguna Seca in a few weeks.”
The team of which the wheel nut belonged to received a drive-through penalty afterwards.
With this, Pfaff Motorsports has lost its first place in the GTD PRO standing as they were classified fifth.
They now turn their attention to the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the two-hour-forty minutes race on the weekend of April 29-May 1.
Image: Pfaff Motorsports / Lenssen Photo