It appears as though Nico Jamin isn’t the only Mazda Road to Indy driver who can make his way around Sebring International Raceway well. After this past weekend’s events, Pato O’Ward can also call himself a winner at the road course.
Driving for Performance Tech Motorsports with teammates James French and Kyle Masson, O’Ward came home victorious in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring PC Prototype Challenge Class. After starting in second, French put the team’s No. 38 Oreca FLM09 into the lead, with the team leading the rest of the way over the 12 hours as each driver took a turn behind the wheel. Notably, the team also placed fifth overall.
For O’Ward, it marks his second win of the season as he started out the year by winning the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in his class.
“I think it’s something really special to have in your career,” O’Ward said. “To win the Rolex 24 when your 17 and then to win Sebring when your 17. It’s actually really cool to win the last year of an open cockpit car. That’s cool to have that in your resume. And I’m looking forward to next year I want too, I want to do it all again. I want to, hopefully, win the Rolex again and, hopefully, win Sebring again. Every race is hard; we just need to replicate the work we’ve done over the last couple of weeks. The team did their job, I did my job, and James and Kyle did their job. The team put a lot of work into the car and into us. I’m very satisfied.”
O’Ward announced in February that he would be racing for Performance Tech all season long in IMSA, with his sights set on the championship.
Despite his focus being on the sports car racing, he also has taken part in some open-wheel action this season, finishing fifth and third in the St. Petersburg Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires events to currently sit third in points, 20 points behind Colton Herta. A lot of people were expecting O’Ward to be one of the front-runners this year in Indy Lights after placing second in the Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires standings last year.
With IMSA being off until May when they run the Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit Americas, it’s very possible O’Ward could once again drive for Team Pelfrey at Barber Motorsports Park in late April. O’Ward nor Team Pelfrey have yet to announce any plans for Barber.
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