In the final race ever for the Prototype Challenge class in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship before it is discontinued ahead of the 2018 season, the #26 Bar1 Motorsports trio of Tomy Drissi, John Falb and Garett Grist claimed their first victory of the season at the Motul Petit Le Mans, denying the #38 Performance Tech Motorsports team a clean sweep.
Bar1 Motorsports had been forced to watch the #38 take victory after victory in 2017, but their determination never to give up was evident in the ten-hour season finale, with the #20 machine of Buddy Rice, Daniel Burkett and Don Yount following home it’s sister car to claim a well-earned one-two finish at Road America.
Team owner Brian Alder was full of praise for the team after seeing his two cars battle for honours at the weekend, and he felt they deserved the result after working hard throughout the season to deny the #38 the sweep.
“We’re just glad we didn’t give them [No. 38 Performance Tech] the broom so they could sweep the year,” said Alder on bar1motorsports.com. “We’ve been working hard and the crew guys deserve this. They worked hard the entire year and never gave up. This one’s for them, they did a great job.
“No one should overlook the efforts of Don Yount, Buddy Rice and Daniel Burkett in the No. 20 car. They put up a hard fight taking second. They struggled with gearbox issues late in the race… but they were right there all day long.
“They also worked unselfishly to help get the No. 26 car up-to-speed earlier in the week. They aren’t obligated to do that… but they did. That say’s a lot about those guys.”
With the category disappearing in 2018, Alder admits work has long been underway on the team’s future, with a move in to the top Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class the most likely destination for Bar1 Motorsports.
“Obviously, we think it’s a shame these cars are going away,” said Alder. “There were times over the past seven years where the PC class provided positive numbers to entry list and some extremely close and exciting racing on the track. As a team, we were proud to be part of it.
“We’re still putting the finishing touches on our 2018 plans. Our goal is to continue competing in the WeatherTech Championships. We’re putting it together, we’ll be on the grid somewhere in the P2 class.”