NTE/SSR Suffers Heartbreak at Rolex 24 At Daytona

DAYTONA, Fla., (February 1, 2022) — Returning for their second year in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, NTE Sport and Star Spangled Racing kicked off the season again with another challenging effort in the 60th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The No. 42 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, driven by Don Yount, Benjamin Hites, Jaden Conwright, and Markus Palttala, showed strong pace all week, but in the end, retired from the 24-hour endurance race early, suffering from a mechanical issue

After a week of practicing in the rain and undesirable conditions, Yount started the race on Saturday afternoon from 18th in class in much-desired sunshine and dry conditions. Cognizant to keep the car clear of traffic and any on-track incidents, the team focused the first stint on consistent lap times, setting the car up to be best over the long haul. For the next eight hours, Hites, Yount, Conwright, and Palttala chipped through the GTD class in an effort to break into the top five in class. Approaching the halfway point, Conwright battled against Milroy in the No. 70 McClaren with the two drivers exchanging positions throughout the course of their stints.

Shortly after 2:00 am, Hites increased pressure after having difficulty trying to pass Lacorte in the No. 47 Ferrari for several laps, resulting in contact with the Ferrari. Hites served a drive-through penalty and continued the chase to break into the top five in class. As the night waned, the drivers were unable to stay within the top five and moved up and down in standing, still remaining in the top ten.

forty-five minutes after sunrise, Hites reported into the pit box that there was an ABS sensor warning. As he braked for turn one the car locked up and the front left tire blew out, causing damage to the car. He limped the Lamborghini to the box and the team determined it required a trip back to the garage. After what the team hoped was a suitable repair to allow them to finish the race, they made a driver change, but Conwright soon received another ABS sensor light. NTE Sport owner Paul Mata was forced to make the difficult decision to retire from the race.

The Dallas, TX-based team returns to Florida March 16-19 as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship heads to Sebring International Raceway for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. For event information, visit imsa.com.

Michelin Pilot Challenge
In Michelin Pilot Challenge, the entry of the partnership of NTE Sport and mc2 autosport had a tough start to the race week, with an incident early into the weekend. The team quickly repaired the car and rebounded, making the No. 12 Aston Martin Vantage ready for drivers Manny Franco, Josh Hurley, and Thomas Merrill. Manny Franco piloted the No. 12 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in qualifying to an 18th in class starting position for Friday’s Michelin Pilot Challenge race. Lap after lap, the team charged through the field until a cooling issue retired the car early. The team hopes to contest in the full Michelin Pilot Challenge season, with further announcements being made at a later date.

About NTE Sport
NTE Sport is based in Dallas, Texas, and first raced in 2020. Owner Paul Mata has been in the industry for over 20 years before starting his own team and has always focused on bringing together a diverse group of individuals to provide new opportunities and bring new people into the sport. Past female drivers include Sheena Monk and Ashley Freiberg, and drivers from diverse racial backgrounds include Ryan Nash, Jaden Conwright, and Kerong Li. Dedicated to bringing highly skilled individuals from various backgrounds, NTE Sport aims to continue to make North American sports car racing a fun, welcoming, supportive environment while participating in the most competitive series in North America.

About Star Spangled Racing
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Star Spangled Racing is a newer sports car racing team, established in 2020 by first-generation immigrant Tiger Tari from Turkey. Tari is an accomplished businessman, race car driver, and philanthropist with big motorsport ambitions. Star Spangled Racing provides driving opportunities in the USA and Europe. Follow on Instagram here.

About mc² autosport
The founding principle of mc² autosport is that the simplest solution is most often the correct one. Our highly-professional staff are carefully selected for each of our drivers, and they are proven leaders in their class of vehicle. Our primary objective is to eliminate as many race day variables as possible, control what we can control, and mitigate any concerns that could impact the outcome of the race. We take the most direct approach to success by focusing on what’s important now. We do it right and we do it once.

About Southwest Funding
Southwest Funding began operations in 1993 under the name Dallas Residential Mortgage. We enjoyed great success early on and before long we were serving the entire state of Texas. This growth caused us to change our name to Texas Residential Mortgage.

As we continued to grow and thrive in the industry, Texas Residential Mortgage was changed to Southwest Funding to better accommodate our growing business in other states.

Today we’re still thriving, thanks in part to happy customers who have spread the word about what our company is doing to help borrowers get a home loan that fits their situation in an enjoyable and timely way. www.southwestfunding.com

About Gas Monkey Garage
Richard Rawlings, owner and founder of Gas Monkey Garage, is the star of the international hit series “Fast N’ Loud” & “Garage Rehab”. Since the inception of Gas Monkey Garage in 2004, Richard Rawlings continues to be anything except ordinary. Having built two commissioned custom cars for Hot Wheels, setting numerous world records, and cementing Gas Monkey Garage as a household name, Richard does anything but blend in!

Aside from his garage and television shows, Rawlings is a savvy businessman, turning Gas Monkey Garage into a full-fledged brand, owning multiple restaurants/venues, selling merchandise worldwide, and becoming a social media maverick boasting 20+ million followers. Learn more about Richard Rawlings and Gas Monkey at GasMonkeyGarage.com.

Lamborghini Dallas
Lamborghini Dallas has earned the Highest Rated Lamborghini Dealer in the United States award by DealerRater 10 years in a row. With a state-of-the-art showroom, factory-certified service facility, parts depot, and a team of master technicians, Lamborghini Dallas is dedicated to the legacy of the famed raging bull. As a member of Boardwalk Auto Group, we cultivate a focus on top-flight performance. It’s the driving force behind every nameplate we represent, every car we maintain, and every customer we have the privilege to serve. Performance. It’s what we do.

About the DropUp Agency
The Dropup Agency is a consulting firm that provides innovative technology and marketing solutions. Companies of all sizes trust us to provide modernized results with a scalable infrastructure, helping them to transform digitally. Through innovation, creative design, and passion-driven marketing, Dropup helps brands more uniquely connect with customers.
www.thedropupagency.com

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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