IMSA: Former PC champ Guasch returning to full-time competition in 2015


The last time Michael Guasch competed in a full season, he became the last Prototype Challenge driver’s champion in the American Le Mans Series.

Guasch will certainly be hoping for another title in his return to full-time action this season, which was announced today by the team he won the 2013 ALMS PC crown with, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports.

He will co-drive the team’s No. 52 ORECA FLM09 through the entire 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship alongside newcomer Andrew Novich, who finished second in last year’s Prototype Lites standings.

Guasch is looking forward to working with Novich and knocking any rust off that he may have.

“All of the recent changes to the PC class should make for close competition and the schedule is better than ever,” he said in a team release. “It’ll be great to drive with Andrew all year as well. Both of us are [Northern California] guys and I’m hoping we can spend a lot of time training together and even hitting up the kart track at Sonoma throughout the year.

“We had a great test earlier this year [at Buttonwillow Raceway Park], my fitness is at an all time high, and PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports always engineers one of the fastest cars in the class.  We are looking to have everything we’ll need to repeat and expand upon our 2013 successes.”

Novich comes off an interesting 2014 season that saw him excel despite having to transition to higher-downforce machines with the Lites cars.

He believes that it’s given him a solid baseline for 2015 and working with the ORECA in the TUDOR Championship.

“My first year in Lites was eye opening, just getting used to the horsepower ratio and high downforce levels,” Novich recalled. “They were a blast to drive, making my transition to the PC car much easier. In all honesty, the PC car is a dream to drive, but it definitely keeps you on the edge during the high speed corners.”

The PC category is also undergoing a series of technical changes ahead of the new year as well, adding to the challenge. Nonetheless, team owner Bobby Oergel expects the Guasch-Novich combo to be contenders.

“The technical package includes changes to the ride height, pulling out the air restrictor, revised engine camshafts, and increases to the downforce package at certain tracks,” Oergel explained in his own thoughts. “It’ll be key to get a handle on these changes as soon as possible and the find those precious tenths needed to run up front in this highly competitive spec category.

“One thing that hasn’t changed is the team’s commitment and dedication to win, so I know we’ll once again be challenging for wins and championships.”