AFS Merges with PR1/Mathiasen for Sports Car Debut

Credit: AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports

AFS Racing will make its sports car debut as it merges with PR1/Mathiasen for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

Colombian racers Sebastian Saavedra and Gustavo Yacaman will pilot AFS/PR1Mathiasen Motorsport’s Liger JS P217 in the prototype class.

AFS owner Gary Peterson and PR1 owner Bobby Oergel will share team principal duties.

“As a former owner and driver in open wheel racing I’m excited to be joining a great team by partnering with owner Bobby Oergel’s PR1 team,” said Peterson.

“Along with Bobby, I hope to continue on building the team with Onroak for technical support.

“With both our involvement we have been able to put a very good selection of drivers to run the races starting within weeks.”

AFS has enjoyed success in IndyCar and Indy Lights, most recently with Saavedra in the 2017 Indy 500.

Credit: John Cote

Peterson added that he won’t be closing the door on IndyCar just yet.

Like AFS, Saavedra will also be making his sports car debut after a number of years in single seaters. He finished third in the 2009 Indy Lights championship, before progressing to IndyCar in 2010.

“I’m very excited with this new chapter of my career, and very honoured and humble to be part of building this new organisation,” he said.

“It’s something that has been in the works for two years now and making it a reality is definitely one of the highlights of my career.

“I’m looking forward on the whole concept of Team Colombia and building a very strong alliance and performance team in what will be a very competitive season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.”

Saavedra will partner fellow Colombian Gustavo Yacaman, who returns to the championship after a two-year absence.

He took a number of podiums and a race win in the 2014 IMSA SportsCar Championship before switching to the World Endurance Championship. Competing with G-Drive Racing, he finished third in the LMP2 class in his debut season.

The 26-year-old believes racing with Saavedra will help him develop as a driver.

“Seb comes from IndyCar where you need to drive at the very limit and push very hard every lap so I am looking forward to learning something from him on that side,” he said.

“On the same token, I have a lot of experience in endurance racing and really understand it well. I know when to push and when to take a step back so I hope I can pass along what I have learned in the past five years to him.

“For me it’s also very special to be back in a Ligier and working with Onroak Automotives as I have had a lot of success in the past with this manufacturer. I really look forward to building on where we left off two years ago after a great couple of seasons in IMSA and WEC.”

The team is now preparing for the Roar before the Rolex 24 in Janurary.