AFS/PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports announced today that it will field its #52 Ligier JSP 217 in the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, with full time drivers Sebastian Saavedra and Gustavo Yacaman behind the wheel.
This new entry is a result of a merger between single-seater IndyCar and Indy Lights team AFS Racing and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports, and will see Gary Peterson and Bobby Oergel sharing duties as team principals.
Petersen is delighted to be part of Oeregel’s programme and said he’s hoping to learn as much as possible in the upcoming season.
“As a former owner & driver in open wheel racing I’m excited to be joining a great team by partnering with owner Bobby Oergel’s PR1 team.
“Along with Bobby, I hope to continue on building the team along with Onroak for technical support. With both our involvement we have been able to put a very good selection of drivers to run the races starting within weeks. I look forward to learning as much as possible this coming season and helping everywhere I can. Everything came together so quickly with the efforts of all parties working towards the goal of building a great team.”
Sebastian Saavedra will make his full time debut in sportscars after a successful open-wheel career which saw him compete with some of the biggest IndyCar teams including Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Bryan Herta Autosport and KV Racing. The young driver became the first of his generation to carry the Colombian flag in IndyCar after Juan Pablo Montoya and Roberto Guerrero.
“I’m very excited with this new chapter in my career, and very honored and humbled to be a part of building this new organization together with Gary Peterson and Bobby Oergel,” said Saavedra. “It’s something that has been in the works for two years now and making it a reality is definitely one of the highlights of my career. I’m looking forward on the whole concept of Team Colombia and building a very strong alliance and performance team in what will be a very competitive season in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.”
Gustavo Yacaman returns to full time IMSA competition after competing in the FIA World Endurance Championsip, and most recently the European Le Mans Series where he won the last two races of the 2017 season. In 2012, he finished third at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and in 2014 he scored one win, one pole, and five podiums in his last full season in IMSA.
“I am delighted to be a part of this new adventure, and even better to have Sebastian as my teammate,” added Yacaman. “It’s the first time two Colombian drivers work together for one common goal, we will be an example for many generations to come. Seb comes from Indycar where you need to drive at the very limit and push very hard every lap so I am looking forward to learning something from him on that side. On the same token, I have a lot of experience in endurance racing and really understand it well, I know when to push and when to take a step back so I hope I can pass along what I have learned in the past five years to him.
“For me it’s also very special to be back in a Ligier and working with Onroak Automotive as I have had a lot of success in the past with this manufacturer. I really look forward to build upon where we left off two years ago after a great couple of season in IMSA and WEC.”
Also joining the team as commercial and sporting director will be Toni Calderon, who’s previous experience includes building and leading RGR Sport in the FIA World Endurance Championship achieving two wins and second place in the LMP2 world Championship in 2016.