The Claro/TracFone DeltaWing Racing Cars team began the weekend with hopes of capitalizing on its performance among the leaders early in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. The team qualified in the top-10 for today’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and was feeling confident before broken left rear suspension led to an early exit for the revolutionary coupe.
Drivers Katherine Legge, Memo Rojas and Andy Meyrick were encouraged by the car’s performance as the weekend progressed, as the coupe came to grips with Sebring’s 3.74 miles of bumpy concrete and asphalt. Rojas started the race and experienced throttle issues on the pace lap, which led to a quick stop in the pit box to adjust the electronics. Following another stop early in the race, Rojas rejoined the fray 10 laps down and began to come back through the field. Handing over to Legge at the two-hour mark, the team had gained two of those laps back before incurring the suspension damage on lap 60.
“We will keep digging and working. The car will be fast at many of the tracks we’ll be racing on this year, so we will focus on that. These things happen in a development program such as this – the team will keep making the car stronger. We’ll continue our progress and come out strong at the next race.”
“We showed speed at Daytona and we’ve worked hard on our reliability, but this is tough circuit. We knew coming in that Sebring would be the most brutal track in terms of equipment, and that certainly proved to be the case. We learn more about this car at each track. We’re finding places to improve and that will only make us stronger in the end. We’ll take what we learned here and apply it to the next race and the entire season.”
“We had several problems to overcome early in the race. We thought everything was running fine until the rear suspension failed under the highest load going over the bump in turn 17. (Team manager) Tim Keene set a good strategy in terms of taking fuel under yellows and staying out when everyone pitted so we were able to gain back two laps, which is encouraging. We have an aero and straight line speed advantage, which doesn’t come into play as much at Sebring as it does at other tracks, such as Daytona. The car was designed to be low drag and to gain a benefit through better use of fuel and being lightweight. It is new technology and it is a learning process – it’s all a balance and if it was easy, everyone would do it.”