Transcript: Rolex 24 PC – 1.29.17.doc




THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by our Prototype Challenge class winners, co‑drivers of the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports ORECA FLM09, James French, Patricio O’Ward was another winner, we’re missing him, but we do have Kyle Masson and Nick Boulle. This is the second major U.S. sports car victory for the team, the first since the ALMS race in Baltimore of 2012, the first in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the first victory for all four of the drivers. Guys, congratulations.
Nick, why don’t we start with you. Obviously your car was pretty strong throughout the entire race. Just tell us what it means to get this win here today.
NICK BOULLE: To me, this is the most prestigious win in North American sports car racing. You get a lot of people from different disciplines, Jeff Gordon this year, guys from IndyCar and on and on. It’s a special, special day.
James put the car on pole, and it gave us a really great foundation and a lot of confidence, so we just stayed consistent, and despite being a young group, we’re smart and clean, worked our way through traffic, and it paid off.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Nick. Kyle, why don’t we move over to you. This is a close‑to‑home race. Can you tell us about getting the victory here?
KYLE MASSON: Well, it’s my first race in WeatherTech and my first win, and it’s pretty special to be here at Daytona, to win it as a one‑off race. But really, it was a team effort. We put together a really good team for the event, and we all performed spectacularly.
It is a local event for me, so it was mainly the one that I was trying to get into the most. It’s the one that has the most relevance in my local area, and so to bring home the win was really special.
THE MODERATOR: You’re from Orlando, correct?
THE MODERATOR: James, you started the race from the pole position. Again, this team, and you’ve been a part of it for quite a while, chipping away, chipping away it seemed like, and always very fast and close to the front. But for whatever reason it didn’t happen until yesterday and today. What finally fell into place for you guys to get this win?
JAMES FRENCH: I mean, I think it was a lot of pieces that had to come together. For one, just the nature of this race, you need luck on your side. There’s so many opportunities for things to go wrong, and with the crazy weather and everything, I mean, yeah, luck definitely played a part of it. But I think for the most part, it’s just having the right people involved. It’s such a close, close group of people at Performance Tech, and yeah, just having them all with the same mindset and all wanting to win for so long, it’s just bound to happen.

Q. James, you mentioned the weather. You were the unluckiest guy in the PC class with no roof over your head. How was it during the heavy rain? You must have been soaked with rain totally.

JAMES FRENCH: Yeah, to answer your question, the rain was just freezing cold. That’s the best way I can describe it. It was like 40‑something degrees, 42 degrees, and we were all soaking wet. It was cold, not a lot of grip. Basically trying to control the car in the slippery conditions with numb fingers and numb feet, it was pretty tough. But we all managed to survive.

Q. James, overnight obviously we had a lot of rain, and the PC class in particular had a lot of trouble adjusting to the conditions, and a lot of this discussion on Twitter seemed to center around really tricky power delivery. You have the most experience with the PC car since you drove both with the current rules and before the TC was added. Can you talk a little bit about the power delivery of the ORECA FLM09?

JAMES FRENCH: Yeah, so basically I think it was at Sebring last year, they added the TC systems, but they really only help in a straight line, so they don’t have a yaw sensor, so basically mid‑corner trying to get to power, it doesn’t really help you at all. So if you get to throttle it’ll eliminate the percent of slip in one axis, but yeah, you can still over steer and it doesn’t help you very much. Yeah, it’s still very difficult even with the TC.

Q. When you look at all kind of the lost opportunities you’ve had in PC where there’s been a lot of close‑to wins and just went away through almost no fault of your own, to actually get one, were you thinking, this is going too good, there’s going to be something, a $1.50 part breaks and go from there?

JAMES FRENCH: Yeah, I tried to ignore those thoughts, believe me, especially with this being the last season, and to not have a win up to this point, it definitely occurred that, okay, the opportunities are getting more and more slim. But yeah, it just seemed like everything was going really smoothly. To be honest, it wasn’t a surprise. Like I said before, we do have a really good group of people, and everybody puts in the hard work, so it was not too much of a surprise it finally came together.
THE MODERATOR: Gentlemen, congratulations, thanks for joining us.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

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