MOMO NGT Motorsport comments on Daytona 24H qualifying

The MOMO NGT Porsche 911 GT3 qualified third, but failed tech inspection and will start last in class.

The No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport race team came to Daytona ready for the Rolex 24 at Daytona race, January 24-27, 2013. From the first session forward, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car was on pace and high on the charts.

#30 MOMO/NGT Motorsport Porsche GT3: Jakub Giermaziak, Henrique Cisneros, Sean Edwards, Patrick Pilet
#30 MOMO/NGT Motorsport Porsche GT3: Jakub Giermaziak, Henrique Cisneros, Sean Edwards, Patrick Pilet

Photo by: Jackie Buys

Brit Sean Edwards qualified the popular red-yellow-and-black liveried Porsche third on the grid for Saturday’s twice around the clock historic race. Unfortunately, a post- qualifying technical inspection revealed a wing infraction, which bumped the car to the last starting spot. Not to be deterred from the negative news, the team forged forward with a positive spirit for their second effort in the Rolex 24.

Ramez Wahab, NGT Motorsports Owner/No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport Team Manager: “Obviously we are very excited because we proved that we have a fast car for the race. Most important to us is not only having a fast car for the race but mainly it is to have a fast car which is easily driven for 24 hours. You don’t want the driver to get too tired so you want it to be comfortable. It also has to be a car which will stand a 24- hour race because a lot of stuff can happen. A lot of luck and preparation is also part of it.

“Unfortunately we got disqualified after qualifying. We qualified third out of 35 cars, which is pretty good. The disqualification infraction was because the rear wing was sticking, according to Grand-Am, one millimeter off the rear bumper, which is against the rules. Everybody who knows a little bit about racing knows that one millimeter will do nothing but again, a rule is a rule. Off course, it’s sad but at the end, who cares? It’s a 24-hour race and it doesn’t matter where you start. It’s only bragging right actually.

“It’s funny what I noticed in the lounge during the driver’s briefing. I think we had eight people and there were seven different nationalities. I hope everyone is following what we are saying in English. They are all good guys. We’ve worked with Kuba before and he did a very good job helping us win Petit Le Mans last year. Henrique is a top-notch gentleman driver, as high of a level of amateur as they come. He’s not cocky; he understands his job and doesn’t do anything stupid. Even if necessary, he will get out of the car and let the pro driver in. He’s very understandable. Sean is very fast. Internationally, he won, you name it! Patrick Pilet is another top notch driver, very experienced. We were fortunate enough to get him through Porsche Motorsport, which is a big honor to a small team like us. Patrick has won not just Porsche Super Cup races but major races like the 24 Hours of Dubai and stuff like that. I’m very excited for the race.”

Henrique Cisneros, No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport owner/driver: “Since last year was our first year at the Daytona 24, the team has been putting in a lot of effort and a lot of practice into endurance racing in general. I think from last year to this year we’ve definitely shown a big improvement in what the team can do and what our drivers can do. We ended up qualifying a very strong P3 before disqualification. Last year we qualified 13th so that’s a big jump for us. We’re improving every year. We were obviously going for pole and we thought we had it at one moment. That’s racing though. In a 24 hour race it doesn’t matter at all in the end. What’s important is we have the speed in the car to be up front for the entire race, which is what we need – a safe, fast car.

“As far as the racing strategy, it’s always a variable, a moving target. We had three full pros and me. As far as strategy, it’s always going to be to stay on the lead lap. I think every team has the same strategy which is make it to the 22nd hour and from then on is where the real racing starts. My strategy for me is to keep the tires on the road, keep it clean and give the pros a fast car in the end that they can take home for the win.”

Sean Edwards, No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport driver: “It was a tough qualifying session. It was very hard to get a clear lap. I managed to get good tows but then the other cars were too slow in the infield for me to keep my time up. In the end it was a little bit unlucky because I’m sure we could have gone faster but it’s good to be P3 compared to where we were last year (P13). I’m happy and the car feels really good. The most important thing is we have a good car for the race. We definitely have a car to win so long as everything holds up and we stay in one piece to the end, then we should have a good chance.”

Kuba Giermaziak, No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport driver and Daytona rookie: The car feels really, really stable. We did more than a double stint on the tires Thursday and the car was still drivable, still competitive. It’s a good sign for the race. Unfortunately, our qualifying time was disallowed. It’s a 24-hour race so we need to make sure we will be okay in the race. We should be fine. We have a strong set of drivers. Everybody knows what to do. I think we should feel quite confident. At the end of the day, it is all about making it to the last hour or two on the lead lap, then push at the end and bring the car back safe. It’s a 24-hour race so many things can happen.”

Patrick Pilet, No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport driver: “I am excited for the race because we have a very good car during all the sessions. So now I’m confident and the top speed of the car is very good so that’s one of the keys to be quick and fast in Daytona. It also helps to overtake because we have some guys to overtake also.

“I’m really confident. Everything is working well. We found a small problem with the car but we find it before the race so that’s great. Now I would just like the start of the race today because it is still too long before the start of the race on Saturday.

“It’s always special in the U.S. It is really friendly and especially good when you come from Europe. It’s a completely different mentality. It’s really fun. You can be so close to the people, the fans, here. That’s why I love the American races. I started in 2008 with Porsche in the U.S. It’s always a pleasure to be back in the U.S., especially at Daytona because it’s a great track and great atmosphere also.”

MOMO was well represented in Friday’s Ferrari Challenge race when Carlos Kauffmann won the 458TP class in his Reds brand liveried No. 24 Ferrari. Reds is a division of the MOMO Italy brand and the beautiful Prancing Horse proudly displayed the impressive trophy on its rooftop post-race.

Carlos Kauffman, Driver of the No. 24 Ferrari Challenge 458TP: “The race was good. We started third and won. I had to make some difficult passes so it was also challenging. My teammate won his class as well, so it was exciting. I am very happy to win the first race of the season. That’s a perfect way to start the year.”

MOMO NGT Motorsport

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Teams NGT Motorsport
Article type Qualifying report
Tags cisneros, edwards, giermaziak, grandam, momo, ngt, porsche, rolex, wahab