He may not have a full-time ride yet for either the Verizon IndyCar Series or TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, but Conor Daly delivered a weekend worthy of one at this week’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
Sharing the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports Oreca FLM09 in the Prototype Challenge class with Jerome Mee and James French, Daly drove some six hours and 27 minutes in the 12-hour race, his first PC appearance since a one-off with RSR Racing at the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Daly qualified the car fourth and set the second fastest race lap in class, only 0.013 of a second off Bruno Junqueira’s pace in the race during a standout drive.
He helped bring the team a podium finish behind the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports and CORE autosport entries, in what was the longest drive of his career. The open-wheel veteran has primarily run sprint races in various open-wheel development series.
“Ah man, I just was trying to go fast!” Daly told MotorSportsTalk at the end of the race. “We had a good car. We had a great car. It was just difficult to come from behind. That’s part of the game.
“I’m just thankful for this Performance Tech team that I had this opportunity. It was crazy, man. We had one big spin on the last stint, trying to get around one of the Ferraris. It only set us back a few seconds. Otherwise it was a mistake-free day.”
Daly noted the car ran much of the race without all the rear bodywork.
He also won the Eye Respect Spirit of the Race award from IMSA Radio for his efforts.
The next race for the PC class in the TUDOR Championship is at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 3.