Austin, Texas (17 September 2016) – Hopes of a return trip to the Circuit of the Americas podium for VISIT FLORIDA Racing went unfulfilled on Saturday when a driveline failure on the No. 90 Corvette Daytona Prototype took drivers Marc Goossens and Ryan Dalziel out of contention for a top-three run.
Goossens opened the race from the fourth row after qualifying the car seventh during an afternoon session on Thursday. He had made his way up to fourth in the order when he reported that the car had lost drive just about 35 minutes into the race.
“I just lost drive there, pulled off and tried to diagnose what was wrong,” said Goossens. “I realized it was the driveshaft and I thought that we were done for the day. Fortunately, the VISIT FLORIDA guys were able to make the repair to the car and we were able to get back out there and make up a little ground. It’s a shame, we were on pace with the other Corvette Daytona Prototypes. We’re still dialing in this traction control issue and don’t have it where we need it. The car had massive understeer during that first run for me. We have one more race to get it right and we’ll try to get it done at Petit.”
Once back in the paddock, the VISIT FLORIDA Racing crew determined than an upper rear wishbone had broken which caused the failure. Undeterred, the ‘Boys in Blue’ went to work to make repairs in temperatures that soared near the 100 degree mark and returned the No. 90machine back to the track with an hour remaining in the race. Once back out on track, Goossens and Dalziel utilized the remaining time as a test session with the team continuing to look for improvements on the car.
The final laps saw the No. 90 VISIT FLORIDA Racing Corvette DP gain a position over the No. 55 car that had retired from the race.
“The Visit Florida Racing team has such a strong record of finishing races without a mechanical issue, and they added to that streak again today,” said Dalziel, who will also race in Saturday’s World Endurance Championship race at Circuit of the Americas in an LMP2 machine. “They worked so incredibly hard in this intense heat so all the credit to those guys for getting us back out there. Sometimes things like this happen in racing so we’ll turn the page forward to Petit in two weeks and hopefully give VISIT FLORIDA the result they deserve.”
(For more information on Dalziel’s double weekend at COTA and to donate to his Rett Syndrome Research Trust campaign, visit: https://rafflecreator.
VISIT FLORIDA Racing will complete its 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season in two weeks at Road Atlanta with the 10-hour Petit Le Mans event. The event will be the final race of the Daytona Prototype era, as the series transitions to the new DPi car in 2017.
“We’re not sure what caused the failure today, we’ve seen wear on them before but never a failure,” said Team Owner Troy Flis. “The biggest thing is that when the part broke, the axle came and wrapped up around, so typically the repair wouldn’t have taken that long. We made some other changes to the car for the rest of the race to try and learn for the next one at Road Atlanta. We picked up one championship point on the (No. 55) car there at the end and that’s all we could do. I just hope we have a good showing at Road Atlanta. It’s been a tough year for the whole VIIST FLORIDA Racing team. We’ll regroup, and do the best we can at Petit and try to get a podium out of it. We’ve had a couple of podiums this year but this team deserves a lot better than the results we’ve had this year. I’d like to give the guys a win, so we’ll do whatever we can and fight to the end.”
With a strong VISIT FLORIDA activation at the Road Atlanta track, the team is looking for a big result. The Petit Le Mans event takes place September 28-October 1.