Friday, January 18, 2019

Spirit of Daytona Ready for Detroit After ‘Incredible’ Watkins Glen Test


A successful test at Watkins Glen International will give way to the return to competition for Spirit of Daytona Racing during the upcoming visit to the Raceway at Belle Isle Park.

Tristan Vautier and Matt McMurry will turn their first public laps in the Florida-based team’s Cadillac DPi-V.R since Vautier crashed heavily while contending for the victory during March’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

That race-ending crash caused enough damage that the team decided to temporarily step away to recoup, but team owner Troy Flis is confident the team will be strong despite missing the events held on the streets of Long Beach and at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

“Our test at the Glen was pretty incredible,” Flis said.

“It wasn’t that we went out and set a track record or anything like that, but it was one of the most productive tests that we’ve ever had. We unloaded, had a very solid car right from the start and then were able to work through every single thing our our list. That never happens!”

After swapping its Riley Mk. 30 for a Ligier JS P217 during last season as the new DPi-LMP2 formula debuted in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Spirit of Daytona was instantly competitive at Daytona and Sebring with the Cadillac DPi, but the team hasn’t quite felt caught up.

“We’ve been kind of on the back foot ever since moving to the new Prototype configuration working with different platforms and manufacturers and sometimes things coming together just at the last minute,” Flis said. “So we were often just reacting to what was coming at us instead of being able to plan and look further down the road.”

Now no longer behind the ball, the team intends to put Belle Isle experience of their own plus that of Vautier and McMurry to use during the 100-minute race, set to take place June 2.

Aaron Durant
Aaron Durant
Aaron Durant leads The Apex as its editor-in-chief. When not bringing his racing journalism vision to life at The Apex, Durant enjoys snowboarding, playing the drums, reading and trudging through an endless queue of podcasts.


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