Canadian Outfit Finished Fifth at the Prestigious Rolex 24 At Daytona
Daytona Beach (FL), February 1st, 2021 – Toronto-based sports car team, AWA, participated for the first time in the famed Rolex 24 At Daytona this past weekend. After a near-perfect race, Canadian drivers Orey Fidani and Kuno Wittmer, paired with German native Lars Kern and British prototype guru Matthew Bell, claimed a well-earned top-five finish.
Recovering from minor issues early in the race, the four drivers – along with AWA’s trusted crew – regained the laps that were lost. Then, the outfit worked for a podium finish until a driveshaft malfunction occurred in the closing stage of the race. After a quick repair in the garages, the Duqueine D08 LMP3 was back on track to take the checkered flag at Daytona International Speedway.
Orey Fidani: “The Roar and the Rolex 24 were a testament to the strong team bond that we have. The crew did an outstanding job working around the clock on the pit lane. When we had our misfortune at the end of the race, they worked quickly and efficiently, despite being up for more than 24 hours, and allowed Matt Bell to return to the track and take the checkered flag; it was impressive to witness. As for the drivers, the four of us work tremendously well together. We understand each and everyone’s strength, which is a key asset in an endurance race such as the Rolex 24. It was my first participation in this event, and I am eager for more. I can’t wait to see what Sebring has in store for us.”
Kuno Wittmer: “I am super excited to have finished this race with AWA. They are an exceptional team in my books. They are strong, ambitious, and very intelligent. For our first attempt at a 24-Hour race, we managed to finish P5, which was not an easy feat. We had some obstacles along the way. With about two hours to go, we blew the car’s driveshaft, which put us out of contention for the podium. But we had enough laps ahead of the sixth-place car, so we fell back and finished fifth. I think it’s something everybody should be proud of and take home and work from there. I’m over the top with this team; they are the best.”
Matt Bell: “It is a pretty big accomplishment for AWA to finish their first attempt at the Rolex 24. We almost had a problem-free race until one of the axel shafts had a failure with about an hour to go. But the guys did a great job fixing the problem in under 20 minutes and put us back out to see the checkered, which is always a big deal for those races. We didn’t quite have the pace to challenge for a win this time, but I think the team learned an awful lot and will come back stronger for the rest of the season.”
Lars Kern: “It was a pretty unfortunate end for us. Finishing P5 is an accomplishment, as it’s my best Daytona finish ever. I’m really proud of the achievement of the team. They did a brilliant job coming into this race without testing or considerable preparation. I think this is good, and we have to take it as it is, and we have to learn from this and come back here stronger next. We learned our lesson this weekend, and it’s time for redemption for the 12 Hours of Sebring.”
Photo credit body: Sam Cobb
Photo credit lead photo, Jordan Lenssen
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