eEuroparts.com At The Roar Before The 24 – 2019
Daytona is one of the biggest races of the year for most IMSA teams on both sides of the paddock. For the IMSA Weathertech Sports Car Championship, the 24 hour race is as close as you can get to Le Mans without buying the plane tickets. Due to the logistical problems with staging a 24 hour race, along with support series also putting on endurance races, the Roar Before The 24 gives all IMSA teams a chance to get their main practices done and work out bugs before the big event kicks off later in the month.
In the freshly renamed Michelin Pilot Challenge, eEuroparts.com racing used the Roar Before The 24 has the first opportunity to get the new team together as a whole. The experience would end up being a crucial familiarization with new faces, new equipment, and even new cars.
Last year, we brought a single car. The #10 Audi RS 3 LMS driven by Lee Carpentier and Kieron O’Rourke. For 2019, the feel was a little different. With 4 cars, including one joining the GS class, the crew has grown substantially. Last weekend everyone was able to get together and really work the equipment, making modifications where necessary and making sure the regulation requirements are met in all circumstances.
Team owner Matt Moran says this about the four day testing weekend.
“The difference between how the crew operated on Thursday, and how the crew operated as we left on Sunday was incredible. With 4 side-by-side garages with some of the best and most experienced race crew in the paddock, what seemed like mild chaos quickly formed into a well oiled machine. The learning curve associated with a new racing operation is quite steep, and the entire team was able to learn fast. With only a few loose ends to tie up, we are in an excellent position to be competitive right out of the gate.”
The new drivers acclimated quickly to the new hardware, and eEuroparts.com ROWE Racing managed to stay near the top of the time sheets. The #61, Roadshagger Racing by eEuroparts.com entry topped the time sheets in the last session, with the #10 TCR just behind with Lee Carpentier behind the wheel. The new R8 piloted by Kenton Koch put the 8th fastest time down of the weekend, out of 74 drivers that put a lap in during the test weekend.
“Although this test is not about measuring all out speed, having the fastest trap speed in TCR and placing high in GS was a definite boost in confidence. We will be putting in a lot of late nights in preparation for our race on the 25th, and the good results really gives us drive” Continued Moran.
The TCR field is growing to accommodate several new cars, including Alfa Romeo Guilietta’s and Honda Civic TypeR’s. Joining the Audis and VWs, the team is looking forward to a strong year in 2019 with stiff competition. For a complete view of the time sheets, you can view them here: [Overall Results]
There are a few weeks until the full race happens, until then check out our photo gallery for the Roar and stay tuned for the big one on the weekend of the 25th!