LA Honda World Debuts with 1-2 Finish at Daytona

LA Honda World Debuts with 1-2 Finish at Daytona

27.01.2019: Racing in the ultra-competitive TCR class of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, LA Honda World Racing scored a remarkable debut performance with a one-two finish in TCR in Friday’s B

Racing in the ultra-competitive TCR class of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, LA Honda World Racing scored a remarkable debut performance with a one-two finish in TCR in Friday’s BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway.



Shelby Blackstock and Tom O’Gorman won in the No. 37 LA Honda World Honda Civic TCR, edging the team’s No. 73 of Mike LaMarra and Mat Pombo by just 1.605 seconds in the opening round of the rebranded IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.



All three of the team’s cars led during the final 45 minutes of the four-hour race. The event came down to an 11-minute sprint following the ninth and final caution period. O’Gorman quickly moved ahead of the class-leading Audi, followed by teammate Pombo as the two Hondas pulled away in the battle to the checkered flag.



“First race, 1-2, pretty impressive,” said team owner Luis Perocarpi. “Man, we’ve put a lot of work into this. Literally, we started this program with Honda a year ago today. We got the cars early and did a lot of work at the shop.



The Roar didn’t go how we wanted it to so we went back home, fixing everything we needed to. We showed what we could do here today.”




Blackstock started the No. 37 Honda in sixth position. He needed only 52 minutes to take the lead, and led 14 laps before turning the car over to O’Gorman after the midway point.



“It’s so good to be back in IMSA,” said Blackstock, who started in the series before turning his attention to open-wheel cars. “I’ve always had great success at Daytona. The team gave us an incredible car. The event started off rough, but it worked out great. We had a great plan to take care of the car.”
It was not only the debut run for the Honda Civic TCR, but it also marked the IMSA debut for O’Gorman.




“I’ve been racing with Honda for a long time - starting 12 years ago - so it’s great to step up to TCR and get the first win,” O’Gorman said. “I got chills when I saw the Daytona Speedway come over the horizon, because I never raced here before. Now, we’re in victory lane. It’s an exciting day.”
Pombo and LaMarra had a strong run, dominating the third hour after work in the pits helped get the car to the front.


“We went off strategy and came in early for some fuel,” LaMarra said. “Then we were able to have a shorter pit stop when it went yellow, and it played into our favor because we had a shorter fuel fill and were able to jump up a few spots.”



After running up front for many laps, the No. 73 team was fourth entering the final 30 minutes.


“We definitely had a winning car, but unfortunately we lost some track position in the pits,” Pombo said. “Congrats to our teammates. Mike drove a phenomenal stint and gave me a car that was perfect. Now we’re going to hunt for wins.”



The third LA Honda World Racing car of Max Faulkner and Colin Mullan was leading with 30 minutes remaining, but encountered a problem on the out lap following its final pit stop for the No. 52 Honda. It finished seventh.



“Unfortunately, something happened and we cut a tire,” Mullan said. “I wasn’t able to continue, so I pulled off onto one of the exit roads. It was unfortunate for our car, but I’m real proud of our team. We had the car all prepped up for this weekend, and it had never even seen the track before. We were in the race all the way up until the very end, and it’s great to have the team finish 1-2.”



Round 2 of the Michelin Pilot Challenge will be the two-hour Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 at Sebring on Friday, March 15.




   

 Sunday Group Management-also photos

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/la-honda-world-debut-finish-daytona---185793.html

27.01.2019 / MaP

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