Cameron Cassels and Performance Tech return to a vastly different LMP2 landscape from last year. The team were one of only two full season entries in 2019, with tweaks to the class bringing the entries up to five this season. Performance Tech were mainstays of the previous LMPC class, before switching to LMP2 with their Oreca 07.
Cassels returned to motorsport in 2015 after a long break to start a family, progressing in sportscars. He has raced primarily in the IMSA Sports Car Challenge, Lamborghini Super Trofeo USA and IMSA Prototype Challenge classes before stepping up to IMSA with Performance Tech last year.
As he begins the build up to his second Rolex 24 I asked Cassels about how his preparations are going.
Describe your off-season and does it feel good to get the season started?
Was there an offseason? Joking of course! This year I actually had a bit more of an offseason than usual and was able to spend some time with my family during the holiday break.
However, I was still able to keep the rust off by running the IMSA Encore event at Sebring in the LMP3 car just before the Christmas break and the first IMSA race of the season two weeks ago in the IMSA Prototype Challenge event at Daytona in an LMP3 car.
Cassels has been a part of Performance Tech for three years now, including the teams LMP3 entry in IMSA Prototype Challenge. Photo: IMSA.com
Are you excited to be back with Performance Tech this year, and do you have a good working relationship with the team?
It is always a pleasure working with a group of individuals that are as motivated to succeed as the Performance Tech Motorsports team. Brent and Gwenn have built a team that competes at a world class level. I am fortunate to be able to call the owners crew friends throughout my 3 years with the team.
What are your thoughts on the Daytona circuit, are you a fan of it?
Daytona is definitely a special track on our schedule. It poses challenges in setup and driving styles that are unique to this track with the two horseshoes, bus-stop and NASCAR banking. The great thing is that it offers ample opportunity for exciting passes.
In 2019 we fought for nearly 24 hours finishing a respectable P2 in the Centinel Spine #38. Unfortunately the race ended prematurely due to a deluge of rain throughout the morning, otherwise I honestly believe the win was within our grasp.
How was the Roar test for the #38 team?
The Roar is always a great opportunity to throw some setups at the car and give new driver lineups an opportunity to gel before the 24. We made some great progress on the balance of the Centinel Spine #38 car as well as each driver getting a feel for each other before we get together again next week. It will be a bit of a reunion as Kyle Masson, Robert Masson and I team up again with, a new to Performance Tech driver, Don Yount.
This is Cassels second year in the teams LMP2 Oreca, looking to improve upon their class podium last year. Photo: IMSA.com
Who do you think are your biggest rivals in the LMP2 class?
Honestly I think it is anybody’s race to lose. Each of the LMP2 cars have great driver lineups in them again this year. Even though the race is a 24 hour long endurance race; the engineering, design and technology in these modern LMP2 cars make this race a 24 hour sprint race. The key, as always, will to be grind it out on track with zero mistakes.
What are yours and the teams expectations for the year?
2019 was a strong development year for us, as was evident when we look at the performance throughout the year as the team brought home the 2019 Michelin Endurance Cup. We are approaching this year with a focus on not only the Michelin Endurance Cup again, but also the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
I am excited to get the season underway in the Centinel Spine #38 LMP2 car. With increased LMP2 car counts it should be great to watch. As an added bonus, we won an entry into the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France for 2020. Make sure you tune in this season for some exciting racing!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cameron for answering my questions, along with wishing him and the team the best of luck this weekend! Find me on Twitter @JWjournalism if you enjoyed this article!