Faced with Numerous Obstacles, the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports LMP3 Pulled out a Second-Place Finish at Mid-Ohio
By Mark Robinson
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – If ever a team was deserving of an award for perseverance, it had to be Performance Tech Motorsports during the emotional roller coaster that was the Acura Sports Car Challenge Presented by the TLX Type S weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. At least a well-earned podium finish was waiting at the conclusion.
Competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Prototype Challenge events at the Lexington, Ohio, track using a separate Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3) for each, Performance Tech’s crew was sent into scramble mode when its No. 38 Ligier JS P320 sustained an engine failure during WeatherTech Championship qualifying. With no replacement engines available, the team was faced with the unenviable task of running the No. 6 Motel 6-sponsored Ligier that was slated for only the Prototype Challenge race to take on the WeatherTech Championship race as well.
That meant the car – and drivers Dan Goldburg and Rasmus Lindh – would go all out as the No. 6 in the one-hour, 45-minute Prototype Challenge race in the morning of May 16; the crew would have about 90 minutes to rebrand the car and make necessary changes for it to pass WeatherTech Championship technical inspection prior to the reconnaissance lap and prerace gridding; and then Goldburg and Lindh would drive the now-No. 38 in the two-hour, 40-minute main event.
As difficult as that scenario appeared, Performance Tech was ready to take on the challenge – until disaster struck near the end of the Prototype Challenge race when Lindh, on his way to a podium finish, had a brake issue and made contact with a competitor on a late restart. He limped the car to the garage with left-rear damage.
Forced into ultra-scramble mode, the crew made the repairs and necessary changes to pass tech inspection and the Ligier that was now No. 38 – even though it still sported the Motel 6 livery from the Prototype Challenge – was ready to race. And race it did.
Despite starting from the rear of the LMP3 grid for changing chassis, Goldburg and Lindh maneuvered their way to second place at the checkered flag. Quite the reward for an all-around stellar team effort.
“This was a crazy weekend,” team principal Brent O’Neill said in what may be the understatement of the season. “To have the No. 38’s engine blow in qualifying was a kick to the gut, but the crew rallied and got the No. 6 ready to race in both events. I’m proud of them and the drivers for never missing a beat and overcoming all of the obstacles. We clearly had a car to win in both races and that second place feels like a win after the trials we faced.”
Lindh was pleased with the turnaround of fortunes.
“We had very good pace in the IPC race, then had a mechanical failure,” he said. “The guys pushed to get the car fixed for the WeatherTech race and did an amazing job. We had to start from last and we were able to drive up to second, which is not bad. Now, we can get ready for the next race.”
Goldburg said the weekend proved the mettle of the Performance Tech team and greater things are on the horizon.
“We had a tough weekend in almost all sessions leading up to this, so I’m really happy for the team and Motel 6 to come home with a second-place finish,” he said. “The team really powered through a lot. From switching cars to a brake failure right before the WeatherTech race, we all muscled through.
“For me personally, these were two of my best drives in both Prototype Challenge and WeatherTech. Specifically in WeatherTech, I had to use every tool in my kit to pull off passes at the twisty and tricky Mid-Ohio. I’m very happy with my drive from last to first, and Rasmus matched pace with all the best drivers in both series. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough for the win today, but it will come soon, I’m sure.”
The team and drivers have a chance to catch their collective breath before the next IMSA events. The LMP3 class next joins the WeatherTech Championship at the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, June 24-27 at Watkins Glen International. The Prototype Challenge races again July 1-2 as part of the IMSA WeatherTech 240 weekend, also at Watkins Glen. To purchase tickets or for additional information on either race weekend, call 866-461-RACE or visit TheGlen.com.