Florida’s Performance Tech Motorsports has steered away from the Dallara P217 chassis team owner Brent O’Neill expected to use next season, and has chosen ORECA’s 07 as the tool to embark on its first IMSA Prototype campaign.
Winners of the final WeatherTech SportsCar Championship PC title, Performance Tech will compete with the Gibson V8-powered WEC P2 chassis carrying its familiar No. 38.
“We know everybody going into this,” O’Neill said. “Everyone is expecting to see Dallara or Ligier but we look forward to continuing the relationship we’ve built over the years – it was the right choice for us. It’s a big step for everybody but it’s a less steep curve to continue with ORECA because we’ve been working with them all along. ORECA was a part of our success this year.
“They did great through this process. We’ve had fun getting people excited about the new car. This, the car announcement, played out well for both of us. Everyone was asking ORECA who the car was for and our team was excited. But we’re happy to announce with them and excited to get to work.”
Along with BAR1 Racing, CORE autosport, JDC-Miller Motorsports and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, Performance Tech becomes the fifth PC entrant to move up to Prototype. Like CORE and JDC, O’Neill’s outfit will strengthen ORECA’s footprint in the series. With the No. 54 CORE chassis, the Nos. 84 and 85 from JDC, and now the No. 38 from Performance Tech, the French constructor will own the majority of IMSA’s WEC P2 entries. The team’s move away from the Dallara P217 also means that, for now, the Italian chassis will be the only WEC P2 example missing from the Prototype field.
“We are really glad to partner Performance Tech in moving up to LMP2,” said ORECA technical director David Floury. “The team is strong and has shown it in LMPC and we have developed a very good relationship through the year. ORECA will for sure support as much as possible to help Performance Tech continue to achieve success.”
Performance Tech won all but one PC race in 2017 with Pato O’Ward, James French, and Kyle Masson at the controls of the No. 38 ORECA FLM09-Chevy. Of the three, only O’Ward is aiming to change his career path with a return to the Mazda Road to Indy. Although drivers were not announced, a reference to the business owned by Masson’s father was included in the release.