O’Ward retained by Performance Tech for whole 2017 IMSA season


Patricio O'Ward helped Performance Tech Motorsports take class victory at Daytona - Credit: Jake Galstad LAT Photo USA, courtesy of IMSA

Following his starring role with Performance Tech Motorsports during the recent Rolex 24 at Daytona, Mexican racer Patricio O’Ward has been signed by the outfit to partner James French for the remainder of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season.

Performance Tech Motorsports were the dominant outfit in the Prototype Challenge class, winning by twenty-two laps at the end of the 24 hour event at the Daytona International Raceway, and O’Ward has been rewarded with a full time drive.

“He’s really just awesome… It’ll be a good pairing and a plus for us is that we have two Silvers [Silver rated drivers] that are really fast,” said team principal Brent O’Neill on Motorsport.com. “It gives us options in the pits with what we can do with strategy.

“The only thing we’ll really be working on with Pato is how he still loses sight of time during the race. He comes from the format of 45-minutes races. He’s from the sprint race mentality so every once in a while, you have to tell him to rein it in.

“But he’s so professional in the car. He doesn’t throw the car off and he turns competitive lap times. They’ll be awesome team-mates and I know James is excited about it. They’re both great kids.”

O’Ward is delighted to be remaining with the outfit for the whole IMSA season, and is looking to do well in what is the last year for the Prototype Challenge Class.

“The PC car is so different than what I’ve driven before,” said O’Ward. “It’s heavy but it’s not a slow car. It was impressive when I drove it. The PC has 540 horse power, roughly I think. It’s an enjoyable car to drive. In the rain, it’s not so enjoyable. With the cold weather and rain in the Rolex 24 it was difficult to handle. That’s more the weather, though, not the car.

“It’s not as physical as I thought it would be. It’s the only open cockpit car in IMSA. So, it’s cool to be a part of the last year of the class.”

O’Ward and French will be joined again by Kyle Masson for the three remaining races that also form the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship – the 12 Hours of Sebring, 6 Hours of Watkins Glen and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.