G-Drive Racing by Algarve Pro Racing has regularly featured at the head of the LMP2 classification during the first half of the 60th Rolex 24 at Daytona (29-30 January).
Having served a drive-through for a jump start during the opening minutes of the twice-around-the-clock race, the #69 quartet of John Falb, Tijmen van der Helm, James Allen and Luca Ghiotto have been a fixture at the top end of the LMP2 pack ever since.
Full Course Yellows (FCY) and Safety Cars have been frequent, and the stop/start nature of the race has resulted in numerous reshuffles in the order, but G-Drive Racing by APR has led at various intervals, firstly during an impressive stint mired by sickness for Van der Helm and later with Australia’s Allen and Italy’s Ghiotto at the controls.
The #68 G-Drive Racing by APR crew, Francois Heriau, Oliver Rasmussen, Ed Jones and Rene Rast, sustained a puncture and then fell off the lead lap while G-Drive Racing by APR fixed a mechanical issue during the first quarter of the Daytona 24 Hours.
However, they have also been carrying a damaged toe-link, sustained in a spin that occurred during Rasmussen’s stint, and they were some nine laps adrift of the lead LMP2 pack when the race reached half-distance during the early hours of Sunday (30 January).
Tijmen van der Helm (#69 G-Drive Racing by APR ORECA 07 LMP2): “My stint was pretty good. I struggled with traffic at times because multi-class racing is new to me, even though I’ve trained on the simulator and gained experience during the ‘Roar Before The Rolex 24’ tests and free practice. I pushed as hard as possible to break away from those behind us and, while we got a bit lucky with Full Course Yellows, our pace was really good and I was able to keep hold of first place in class, even though I felt sick.”
Luca Ghiotto (#69 G-Drive Racing by APR ORECA 07 LMP2): “It’s great to be racing a prototype in the Rolex 24 at Daytona. It’s new to me but I’m enjoying the experience so far. My first race stint wasn’t easy because I initially had some issues with my back and I didn’t have the pace, but I was surprised that my back got better as time went on, and my speed increased too. The cold temperatures made it difficult to keep the tyres in the optimal range, although I thought it would be much worse. We’re just trying to keep things smooth for now because It’s a long night and there’s still a long way to go. We’ll see how it goes.”
Ed Jones (#68 G-Drive Racing by APR ORECA 07 LMP2): “My first race stint was extremely tough because we’ve been carrying quite a lot of damage on the right-rear since Oliver’s spin. It’s killing the left-rear tyres and I spent most of my stint just trying to keep the car out of the wall, which was difficult and frustrating. Ultimately, it was all about surviving for three hours, but I hope it’s ok for my teammates between now and the end of the race. We’ve had so much bad luck so far, I’m looking for a straightforward run to the finish.”