Forty 7 Motorsports notches IMSA SportsCar Encore win at Sebring
After 4 hours of racing on the enduring bumps of Sebring Worldwide Raceway, Forty 7 Motorsports walked away because the victors of the second annual Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore.
IMSA Prototype Problem regulars Jonatan Jorge and Joel Janco paired up with IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driver Tristan Nunez to beat the remainder of the sector – which additionally included GT3 and GT4 machines – within the No. 47 Norma M30.
The trio all have earlier ties to one another. Jorge coached Nunez by way of the karting ranks and his introduction to automobile racing; Jorge and Janco have been longtime co-drivers within the LMP3 sequence; and Nunez and Janco even have competed towards one another in earlier races.
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“That’s what this weekend was for from the start, simply to go on the market and have enjoyable,” mentioned Nunez, a full-time Mazda driver within the WeatherTech Championship Daytona Prototype worldwide (DPi) class. “(Jonatan’s) the man who made me into the driving force I’m as we speak, so to have the ability to come again and rekindle that six years of not working collectively and to return right here and win a race, it’s fairly particular. It’s come full circle.”
In the meantime, Jorge and Janco competed full-time this previous common season with PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, profitable the Bronze Drivers Cup.
“It was purported to be enjoyable for us,” mentioned Jorge. “I’m right here with Joel, who’s mainly my dad, and Tristan who’s my little brother. It was simply an unbelievable job by all people. The staff did an incredible job. It was our first time with this automobile and this staff. I can’t be happier. It was nice to have the household right here as properly. I couldn’t be extra happy with these guys and hopefully we get to do it once more quickly.”
“I’ve received to thank Forty 7 Motorsports for the Norma we drove as we speak, which was simply superior,” mentioned Janco. “In fact, JJ and I’ve been collectively a very long time. Tristan and I’ve really raced one another within the final decade and it’s only a dream come true.”
In the meantime, it was a giant day for Riley Motorsports within the GT courses at Sunday’s Encore. The staff’s two entries received of their respective courses – the No. 74 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Lawson Aschenbach and Gar Robinson and the No. 35 Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Dylan Murry and Jim Cox.
“For me, this 12 months ended at Street Atlanta, so that is actually a part of the brand new 2020 season,” mentioned Staff Proprietor Invoice Riley. “To get one thing stepping into our first race for the 74 automobile, with 74 Ranch Resort, and Lawson and Gar, it actually couldn’t have gone a lot better. Then, to see Dylan and Jim drive like that, I simply thought that was nice. Jim drove an superior opening stint, similar to Gar, and it was a brilliant strong begin for each groups for 2020.”
The No. 74 staff is new lineup for 2020 with Riley within the WeatherTech Championship GTD class, utilizing the Encore to prep for his or her upcoming season. A name close to the tip of the race to vary two tires as an alternative of 4 propelled them into the lead.
“I believe at the beginning, we’re all thrilled to be at Riley Motorsports,” mentioned Aschenbach. “Invoice Riley has been somebody I’ve revered for a very long time, somebody I’ve at all times wished to race for. Now I’m getting that chance and there’s no higher technique to begin the connection off with a win. Right this moment, actually, was about Gar. Gar ran an Ironman stint. He ran two hours and 30-something minutes by himself, straight by way of and saved it cool, ran nice laps. He was proper there and actually that’s why we received.”
In the meantime, Murry and Cox cap off an impressive first season with Riley Motorsports. The pair raced a full season within the IMSA Michelin Pilot Problem Grand Sport (GS) class, even incomes their first sequence victory at Watkins Glen Worldwide in June, additionally a four-hour race.
“I completely love these longer races; that is what I thrive for,” mentioned Murry. “I actually really feel like I excel in them as a result of within the longer races it’s all about persistence and doing excellent lap after excellent lap. We’re two out of the previous three wins within the four-hour races, so Riley Motorsports and Mercedes-AMG undoubtedly know the four-hour races. Mercedes-AMG is aware of what they’re doing after they put collectively an endurance automobile as a result of that’s what we simply confirmed as we speak.”
On the finish of the day, although, there was nice unhappiness within the paddock as information filtered again that common Ansa Motorsports LMP3 driver Dr. Tim George had succumbed in a Sebring hospital to the medical points he suffered on the mid-point of the race.
The Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore formally concludes the 2019 racing calendar for IMSA. The 2020 season will kick off at Daytona Worldwide Speedway on Jan. 3-5 with the Roar Earlier than the Rolex 24 At Daytona testing weekend, with the distinguished twice-around-the-clock race getting underway on Saturday, Jan. 25.