Performance Tech Driver Savors His WeatherTech Championship Debut; Riley Motorsports Adds Second Michelin Pilot Challenge Entry
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It took Dan Goldburg more than a decade to reach the pinnacle of North American sports car competition. He enjoyed the view and is ready for more.
Goldburg made his IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship debut on March 20 at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts. It came at his home track, Sebring International Raceway, and in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 that co-driver Rasmus Lindh qualified on the pole position in the Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) class.
Lindh, Goldburg and third driver Mateo Llarena dominated the early portion of the 12-hour race, leading 93 of the first 118 laps. Just past the halfway point, however, the No. 38 met the fate of so many other competitors throughout the years on Sebring’s notoriously bumpy circuit. A muffler rattled loose on the rear of the car, causing heat damage to the electric harness and threatening to melt a brake line. The team was forced to retire from the race.
The disappointing result couldn’t dampen the memory for Goldburg, who initially joined Performance Tech in 2008 but didn’t start his first WeatherTech Championship race until 13 years later.
“This is huge for me,” the 42-year-old Floridian said. “I’ve been driving on track at Sebring for 20 years, I’ve been working with Brent (O’Neill, team principal) and Performance Tech for over 10 years, and I’ve come to the Twelve Hours to support the team for almost the past decade.
“My hopes have always been to someday run the Twelve Hours of Sebring,” Goldburg added. “It’s truly a dream come true, but just running it isn’t the goal. I want to be the absolute best team member I can be and give my all towards a podium or even a win.”
Goldburg first drove for Performance Tech in 2008 in IMSA Lites, a forerunner of today’s IMSA Prototype Challenge development series that uses LMP3 machines. Joining the Prototype Challenge series last year, Goldburg finished fourth in the point standings. He and Lindh teamed for all but the first of the six races, nabbing a second-place finish at Road America. It’s a result they replicated in the Prototype Challenge race at Sebring held a week before the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours event.
Goldburg credits learning from Lindh, the talented 19-year-old Swede, including more focus on his diet and workout regimen. It’s helped raise Goldburg’s game to make the jump to the WeatherTech Championship, which added the LMP3 class this season.
“The transition to racing in WeatherTech was not as tough as I expected,” Goldburg said. “The first race being at my home track was definitely a good move. I have so many years lapping here that I’m comfortable knowing how the car will react anywhere on the track. When you have DPis whizzing by one side, a GTLM on the other and an LMP2 a few car lengths behind, it’s good to be comfortable on out-of-the-ordinary lines.”
Goldburg isn’t sure when his next WeatherTech Championship opportunity will come. Until then, he and Lindh will continue driving the popular No. 6 Motel 6 LMP3 in the Prototype Challenge. Both the WeatherTech Championship and Prototype Challenge will be in action the weekend of May 14-16 in the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio.
Riley Motorsports Adds Second Toyota for Michelin Pilot Challenge Season
Riley Motorsports announced the expansion of its IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge program to a second Toyota Supra GT4 entry, beginning with next month’s race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The team will partner with Bluff City Racing to field drivers Anton Dias Perera from Memphis, Tenn., and Australian Scott Andrews for the remainder of the Pilot Challenge season.
“It’s great to be working with Anton and Scott and to add another GR Supra GT4 to the mix,” said Bill Riley, Riley Motorsports principal. “This has been such a great platform to work with, and I’m looking forward to much success with this driver lineup.”
Dias Perera and Andrews drove the No. 10 LAP Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT GT4 in the first two Pilot Challenge races this season. They will now be teammates with Javier Quiros and Alfredo Najri, co-drivers of the No. 14 Toyota, in the Riley Motorsports stable.
“Riley Motorsports is such a well-established name with a lot of great pedigree, so I’m very excited to be racing with them,” said Dias Perera, the founder of Bluff City Racing. “The GR Supra GT4 is a relatively new platform in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge. I like the idea of being the first customers in the championship and being involved in developing the car with Toyota. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
In addition to his Pilot Challenge duties, Andrews also drives a Riley Motorsports Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) entry for the team in the WeatherTech Championship. He was part of the winning lineup in this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona and finished third last month in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts.
“I’m really looking forward to competing in the rest of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season with the new GR Supra GT4,” Andrews said. “It’s a great honor to continue my relationship with Riley Motorsports as well as my teammate Anton, who has already done a great job in the GS (Grand Sport) class this season and noticeably improved during our short time together. I have a lot of confidence in the people around us and we hope for some strong results.”
The Pilot Challenge race at Mid-Ohio is scheduled for Saturday, May 15 as part of the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio weekend. Tickets are available at midohio.com.