PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports will place its faith in youth as the California-based LMP2 team marches into the new season with 20-year-old Frenchman Gabriel Aubry and 21-year-old American Matt McMurry as the team’s full-time drivers. Its endurance racing drivers will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Aubry, who races for the Jackie Chan DC Racing outfit, currently holds first-place in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s LMP2 category, and McMurry, whose most recent WeatherTech SportsCar Championship outings came in a Spirit of Daytona Cadillac DPi-V.R., represent everything team co-owner Bobby Oergel is hoping to build upon in 2019.
“These are young drivers who can use IMSA’s LMP2 class to continue their growth and shape themselves into the kinds of drivers who are ready to be hired by the factory teams,” he told RACER. “They are no doubt two of the top up-and-coming guys out there and we have no doubt that with them we can go fight for the Rolex 24 win, and the championship. I really want to thank all of our team sponsors for helping us make this happen so late in the game, and we can’t wait to finalize our lineup and go win Daytona!”
Ray Mathiasen was further emboldened by IMSA’s call to separate P2 into a class of its own after inking two next-generation drivers.
“I’m very supportive of the decision to split into a separate class to compete for the championship since the pro-am structure is a much better fit for our racing business plan,” he said. “I hope to hear soon about additional LMP2s joining the series; the more the better. But we’re in for the full season regardless of the final car count. I can’t wait for Daytona.”
Aubrey and McMurry will share the No. 52 ORECA 07-Gibson starting at the January 4-6 Roar Before The 24 test at Daytona International Speedway.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to continue to prove myself in the prototype ranks and really appreciate the call up from Bobby and the team’s supporters,” said McMurry, who doubles as a full-time college student outside the cockpit. “Daytona is always a great way to start the season. The drivers present are so strong and I can’t wait to take on the challenge.”
The signing of Aubry, who owns three wins so far during the 2018-2019 FIA WEC ‘Super Season,’ speaks to PR1 Mathiasen’s growth in IMSA prototype competition.
“I am delighted to start a new adventure in the US, and to join a great team as PR1,” he said. “I am looking forward to race and compete in this new environment. The championship will take us to legendary tracks to which I will have to quickly adapt. I am also pleased to do this program on the LMP2 ORECA 07, the same car I am used to racing in WEC. I’ve been training hard since my last race in Shanghai and I can’t wait to be back in a car in Daytona.”