PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports hs confirmed the driver lineup for its sixth consecutive season with the ORECA FLM09 in the PC class for the second season of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. Michael Guasch, of Pleasant Hill, Calif. (ABOVE, left), will be returning to full-season competition with PR1/Mathiasen alongside team newcomer Andrew Novich (at right) of Novato, Calif.
In 2013, Guasch was the first driver to campaign a full season in the #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports PC car, earning victory at the 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and securing the American Le Mans Series PC class driver’s championship.
After a career of racing front-wheel drive cars in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Novich expanded to rear-wheel-drive downforce cars in 2014, competing in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites series. After securing multiple pole positions, a victory at Road America, and finishing a close second in the series championship, Novich is confident in his ability to get the V8 powered spec-prototype to victory during in his first season in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
“The last time we ran a full season together we were able to win the driver’s championship, which was incredible for all involved,” said Guasch. “After taking last year off, 2013 seems like a long time ago, which is why I am so eager to get started this year.
“All of the recent changes to the PC class should make for close competition and the schedule is better than ever. It’ll be great to drive with Andrew all year as well. Both of us are NorCal guys and I’m hoping we can spend a lot of time training together and even hitting up the kart track at Sonoma throughout the year. We had a great test earlier this year, my fitness is at an all time high, and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports always engineers one of the fastest cars in the class. We are looking to have everything we’ll need to repeat and expand upon our 2013 successes.”
Added Novich: “My first year in Lites was eye-opening, just getting used to the horsepower ratio and high downforce levels. They were a blast to drive, making my transition to the PC car much easier. In all honesty, the PC car is a dream to drive, but it definitely keeps you on the edge during the high-speed corners.
“Our test at Buttonwillow went perfectly and I thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone from PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports. We just clicked immediately, as though we were old friends already. I immediately felt an incredible sense of camaraderie with everyone, which just may be a key advantage in a series that is known for extremely tight racing with brutal margins of error.
“Even though this will be my first year in the series, the championship-winning examples Michael and PR1/Mathiasen have set are motivating me to become a quick study and to get us to the top step of the podium as soon as possible.”
“2015 is looking to be a phenomenal year,” said team owner Bobby Oergel. “It’ll be great having Michael back in the car, he’s one of the most dedicated and intense competitors we’ve ever had on the team. Andrew will be a new addition, but he’s already shown incredible speed and potential during our tests at Buttonwillow. He got along with all of the crew and provided immediate feedback to get the car where we all needed it to be.
“This will be our sixth year in the PC category, but that certainly doesn’t mean that we can rely on institutional knowledge or assumptions. The technical package includes changes to the ride height, pulling out the air restrictor, revised engine camshafts, and increases to the downforce package at certain tracks. It’ll be key to get a handle on these changes as soon as possible and the find those precious tenths needed to run up front in this highly competitive spec category. One thing that hasn’t changed is the team’s commitment and dedication to win, so I know we’ll once again be challenging for wins and championships.”