BAR 1 Motorsports Turns in a One-Two PC Class Finish at Petit Le Mans
In an upset victory over the current PC class champions, BAR1 Motorsports emerged in the 20th running of Petit Le Mans as the spoiler with a dominating 1-2 finish Saturday at Road Atlanta. Literally slamming the door on a seven-race PC win streak by the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports team, it was the first career victories for the trio of Tomy Drissi , John Falb, and Garett Grist.
|#26 Bar1 Oreca|
Just past the halfway point in the 10-hour race, the No. 38 machine was involved in an incident with the No. 13 LM P2 car. BAR1 teammate, Buddy Rice grabbed the lead in the No. 20 Southwest Funding / One Capital / Gas Monkey Energy Drink car, then just two laps later, Tomy Drissi took the lead from Rice. The teammates traded the class lead a couple of times in the sixth hour, but ultimately, Tomy and his co-drivers pulled away over the last three-and-a-half hours to win by eight laps.
While this was the first WeatherTech Championship win for all three drivers of the No. 26 BAR1 Motorsports Murder on the Orient Express / TOP 1 Oil ORECA FLM09, it was Tomy’s fourth career IMSA win. Drissi has enjoyed three previous victories in the American Le Mans Series. Falb and Grist had not won previously at the top levels of IMSA.”
And while the win comes in the final race in the class, team owner Brian Alder acknowledged the effort with a tip of the hat to his BAR1 teammates.
“We're just glad we didn't give them [No. 38 Performance Tech] the broom so they could sweep the year,” he said. “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,” said Alder. “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.”
The (LeMans) Prototype Challenge class debuted in 2010. The PC prototype chassis is built by French manufacturer Oreca and known as the FLM09. The PC race cars use Chevrolet’s naturally aspirated V8 6.2L LS3 engine, the very same engine that powers the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro. The cars feature a full carbon fiber chassis, carbon brakes and an Xtrac sequential gearbox with paddle shifting. The cars weigh in at a mere 900 kilograms and can reach speeds of 175+ mph.
|#20 BAR1 Oreca|
“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,” added Alder. “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.”
In 2013 BAR1 ended season with three consecutive victories, including two double podiums. The team was second in 2013 PC team championship while Chris Cumming took second in driver championship.
BAR 1 finished second and third in the 2017 Championship run.