AWA Clinch Second Place Finish at Petit Le Mans in Final Round of the Season

AWA concluded the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season with a second place finish

AWA concluded the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season with a second place finish at the 26th Annual Motul Petit Le Mans this past Saturday. The 10-hour race was one of the most eventful editions, and Orey Fidani, Matt Bell, and Lars Kern powered their way to a podium result in the final race featuring the LMP3 class. With their third podium of the year under their belts, the #13 Orlando Corporation crew was promoted to third place in the championship standings. 

Fidani took the green flag from fourth place following a tricky Qualifying session in mixed conditions. A light mist settled over the track as the race began, with chaos ensuing shortly thereafter in the opening laps. Nevertheless, Fidani drove a great stint, keeping the car in a competitive position before Matt Bell took over for the next portion. 

Matt Bell and Lars Kern continued to exchange stints back and forth, with both drivers putting in brilliant performances lap after lap. Bell went on to perform the final stint and was sitting in third before a collision between the frontrunners further promoted him to second place. The race ultimately ended under yellows, concluding the final event of the season in 2nd place. The team also earned the Michelin All Hands for the Win Award for fastest executed pit stops. 

The #17 Agritainer Tech car was off to a promising start as Anthony Mantella took the green flag from fifth place and clocked in a highly competitive stint, moving up the field and settling into the lead of the race before passing over the reins to Wayne Boyd. However, with just under 7 hours to go the team had an electrical issue that brought the car back into the garage for repairs. Although the car returned to the track for a few brief laps, it was eventually retired from the race. Anthony Mantella and Wayne Boyd finished fourth in the championship standings, and the #17 claimed the VP Fuel Challenge Front Runner Award. 

#13 Orlando Corporation Duqueine D08 

Orey Fidani, driver of the #13 Orlando Corporation Duqueine D08: “This was a great way to wrap up our season. Thrilled to have been able to stand on the podium with Matt and Lars once again, and I’m proud of all the hard work that everyone on this team has put in over the course of this season. I felt really good in the car during my stint, and I’m glad that we were able to finish strong.” 

Matt Bell, driver of the #13 Orlando Corporation Duqueine D08: “I’m really happy to finish the year on a high with a podium with AWA. It’s been a hard effort and I just want to thank everyone at AWA for all their work over the course of the season. It was an awesome race, and I think we extracted as much performance out of our #13 Duqueine as we could here. Orey and Lars did a fantastic job to be able to put me in a position where I could try to challenge for the win at the end. I love this team, thank you for everything!” 

Lars Kern, driver of the #13 Orlando Corporation Duqueine D08: “I’m very happy to be back on the podium with Orey, Matt, and AWA. Everyone has worked so hard all season long, and Petit Le Mans is an incredibly challenging race that I’m very pleased we were able to walk away from with a great result.” 

#17 Agritainer Duqueine D08 

Anthony Mantella, driver of the #17 Duqueine D08: “The car was unbelievably fast and I was truly pleased with how great my opening stint in the car felt. It’s a shame that our race came to an end the way it did, but we were very quick out there and it’s nice to know how competitive we were.” 

Wayne Boyd, driver of the #17 Duqueine D08: “It’s obviously a bitterly disappointing day for us. Anthony started with two mega stints, which set us up really well for the rest of the race. The car felt superb once I got in and we were ready to fight for the win. Unfortunately, we had an electrical failure that ultimately forced us to retire. However, overall it was a  fantastic year with four podiums, including two wins. I’d like to say a huge thanks to AWA and Anthony for having me as part of the team, I enjoyed every second of it.”

Nico Varrone, driver of the #17 Duqueine D08: “It’s unfortunate that we were not able to complete the full race due to an electrical failure that put us out of contention. We had a really fast car and it’s a shame we couldn’t close the year as we deserved. Thank you to Anthony and Wayne for an incredible season, and thank you to AWA for all their hard work this year!”