Muscle Milk Pickett Racing’s PC team of Mike Guasch, Memo Gidley and Roger Wills had a strong showing in their debut by placing fifth in class in the 12 Hours of Sebring race this past weekend.
At the beginning of this grueling race, the trio was running well and moving up from their sixth place starting spot. Starting driver, Guasch, did a great job on his opening stints managing the traffic of this 64 car field and keeping the car in contention. The team elected to keep Mike in the car for a triple stint to help with race strategy towards the end of the race.
At the two and a half hour mark, Gidley jumped in and immediately started to move the Muscle Milk/Molecule race car forward. The American had a good, clean run and things were looking up for the team.
At hour four, Gidley pitted and handed the car over to Wills, who is joining the team for two of the longer races this year. Although new to prototype racing, Roger adapted quickly and immediately started to close the gap on a couple of cars in front of him. Unfortunately on his second stint, Roger lost control of the car under braking about half way through the race and went backwards into the wall, causing extensive damage to the rear of the Oreca FLM09.
The crew did an amazing job of getting the car back on track but had lost 29 laps to the class leader in the process. After this incident, the Muslce Milk/Molecule #5 continued to run strong and went on to take the checkered flag fifth in class and pick up important championship points.
Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will be back in action April 13 and 14 at the Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Memo Gidley, #5 Muscle Milk/Molecule Oreca FLM09
“We had a good run today. It’s important at this race, because it’s such a big points paying race where so much can go wrong, that you finish and collect those points. It’s one of those races that could have been better, but it could also have been worse.
“I was coming in here with the expectation of if we could get on the podium that it would be awesome, but we were just a little short of that. “We’re going to hit our stride and it’s probably going to be soon, so for the time being, picking up fifth place points is great for the Muscle Milk / Molecule car.”
Mike Guasch, #5 Muscle Milk/Molecule Oreca FLM09
“I started the race and had a very good stint in which I ran in third for quite a while.
“Unfortunately, we did have a few issues today, but overall it was still a satisfying day. Roger’s incident was unlucky and the car got pretty banged up so kudos to the team for getting us back on track. Thanks to them we were able to get back out there and score some points towards the PC Championship.”
Roger Wills, #5 Muscle Milk/Molecule Oreca FLM09
“I’m disappointed. I don’t know what happened. It felt like the left rear locked up. The car just snapped around and went backwards into the wall. Luckily it went in parallel and hit it but it did do a fair bit of damage to the left rear. I hadn’t made a mistake all week so I was upset with myself, but that’s motor racing.
“The guys did an amazing job to fix the car and get back out, and they did it much quicker than what I thought it would be. It’s good for the whole team to get the car home and pick up points so I’m happy for the guys who worked so hard all week to get us ready for today.
“I look forward to returning with the team later this season.”