Daytona Beach, FL – 2022 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona winners Pfaff Motorsports returned to Daytona International Speedway for the ROAR preseason test and Daytona qualifying, officially launching the team’s new partnership with McLaren Customer Racing and the driveway.com-sponsored McLaren 720S GT3 EVO.
The Canadian squad has an all-new, star-studded driver lineup including 2016 Indy 500 champion and Rookie of the Year Alexander Rossi (USA), former IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe (CAN), 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and 2022 IMSA DPi champion Oliver Jarvis (UK), and McLaren factory driver Marvin Kirchhöfer (DE) – with the latter two taking on full-season responsibilities with Pfaff in the GTD Pro category.
This season marks the team’s sixth appearance at the famed event, in an all-new livery that combines traditional McLaren papaya and blue – a nod to the McLaren factory racing programs worldwide, including Formula 1 and IndyCar – with the team’s well-loved plaid pattern, ghosted onto grey-black surfaces of the car.
Following a successful test that saw the team progress well throughout the weekend, Jarvis qualified the driveway.com 720S GT3 Evo sixth in class to put the team in a strong position to fight for a repeat of its 2022 GTD Pro title.
“For us this weekend, it was as much a full rollout as it was a test, and we’ve been progressing every lap,” said driver Oliver Jarvis. “We’re gathering a lot of data and learning so much, so it’s been a really good ROAR. I wish we had a bit more track time if I’m being honest, but it’s good to finally get behind the wheel of the 720S and put in some solid laps.
“Obviously I’d like to be a bit further up [after qualifying], but the way the qualifying worked with our shortened session, I really only had one lap to do the time,” continued Jarvis. “So ahead of the 24 Hours, it’s not a bad starting place at all. We have a good car and we’re learning every session, including myself. Every session we’ve been making positive steps, so we’re pointed in the right direction ahead of next weekend.”
“Showing up to this weekend with a brand-new car, we couldn’t really get much prep in, so on that front this weekend has already been a success,” said driver Marvin Kirchhöfer. “Through all the sessions we improved, and the 720S is getting better and better. The team has done a great job, and Ollie had a great run in qualifying. There’s still a few things we need to work out, but it’s all going in the positive direction, so I look forward to next week.”
“Getting behind the wheel of the GT3 car has been a lot to learn, but it’s all going pretty smoothly so far,” said driver Alexander Rossi. “For the team, it’s obviously an all-new car, but we feel good about what we’re at and it should be a good weekend. Every lap gets easier, and it’s certainly new, but we’ll have plenty of time next weekend and in the race to sort everything out.”
“It’s been a huge challenge for the team to get the car ready and I can’t give them enough credit,” said driver James Hinchcliffe. “A brand-new race car showed up mid-December and hit the track for the first time on Friday. I’ve been around this business a long time, as have my fellow co-drivers, and we were all expecting far more issues than we’ve had. That’s credit to the team at Pfaff for preparing this car so well, including the help we’ve had from McLaren in the UK. So for us, I think we’ve all been pleasantly surprised given that we didn’t get to do the December test. There’s still a lot of work to do, but now we’ve had some time on track to smooth out the kinks. Ollie did a great job in qualifying and we’ve got a few days to take a breath and really assess what we need to work on for next week and take a proper stab at it.”
“Overall it was a positive weekend for the team,” said general manager Steve Bortlotti. “It’s hard to see what everyone else is doing on pace, but it looks like we’ve got a good package. It’s still early days working with McLaren, but we just have to keep focus on ourselves and our program to continue working through this as smoothly as possible. All in all, it’s a very exciting start to our relationship, but we still have some work cut out for us to be where we want to be.”
The 62nd running of the 24 Hours at Daytona weekend will feature a packed entry list of 59 cars, including 36 GT competitors. The action kicks off with practice 1 on Thursday, January 25 at 10:05 a.m. ET, with the main event going green on Saturday, January 27 at 1:40 p.m. ET. Viewers can catch the action live on NBC and Peacock in the USA, and on REV TV in Canada. For further broadcast details, including international coverage, please contact your local cable or streaming provider.
- By Pfaff Motorsports