FOAMETIX®/Burtin Racing with Goldcrest Motorsports Strong Early in 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 Before Late Race Issues and Setbacks
The No. 17 FOAMETIX®/Burtin Racing with Goldcrest Motorsports Porsche GT3 had some early success in this weekend’s 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona but ultimately ended up 33rd in the GT division after a string of bad luck and typical endurance-race issues.
Throughout Saturday’s opening hours of the race, Martin Ragginger, team owner/driver Claudio Burtin, Rolex 24 veteran Jack Baldwin, first-year team driver Bryan Sellers and debuting Daytona driver Sebastian Asch all piloted the No. 17 Porsche. Ragginger was first to drive for the FOAMETIX Porsche team and quickly moved from his ninth-place starting position to fourth in class just over 30 minutes into the race. It would ultimately be the top showing of the No. 17 FOAMETIX Porsche in the race, however, as a mix of issues emerged early Saturday evening despite top-notch preparation from Burtin Racing and Goldcrest Motorsports.
“We brought a Porsche with all new parts, good quality, solid preparation and good drivers and it didn’t go our way,” Baldwin said. “I’m really perplexed about the whole thing. I’m a little disappointed, but at the same time I’m very happy that I was able to be part of this effort at the 50th Anniversary Rolex 24 At Daytona. I think everyone is disappointed, but I think everyone is proud of the job they did and they should be. The results don’t show it, but in the end, it is what it is, so we’ll go on to the next race.”
Sellers was at the wheel after Ragginger’s solid opening run on Saturday when the first issue emerged.
“We were making up ground and everything was going well,” Sellers said. “About five laps from our driver change, I thought I had a rear tire going down, but when we came in they realized it wasn’t actually a tire going down, it was water getting on the rear tire. We had a hole in the radiator. Something had gone through the screens and punctured the radiator. I’m super disappointed. I feel like we were pretty good, all in all. To have this happen four hours into the race is just gut-wrenching. All this time, money and effort put into everything for this to happen. It kind of blindsides you.”
After the early race radiator change, the No. 17 experience a myriad of endurance racing problems in the remainder of the race, including an off-track incident and a faulty transmission during the race’s final minutes.
“Everything went smooth when I was in the car,” Ragginger said. “I just had small problems on my last stint because the front bumper was broken and I had a lot of vibrations. Then at the end the sixth gear blew up in the car. I’m a little bit disappointed for everything because the team effort was amazing this year.”