DAYTONA BEACH, FL (24 January 2020) – Forty7 Motorsports kicked off the 2020 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge (MPC) season with a promising ninth-place finish in the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway on Friday. Ben Waddell and AJ Muss shared the Stoner Car Care-Sponsored No. 74 Forty7 Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N TCR, fighting back from electrical issues and a lengthy penalty for an improper wave-by to come home with a top-ten finish.
The race was just the second-ever IMPC start for Waddell and marked his TCR class debut, while the race was the first-ever IMSA event for Muss.
“Overall, we thought we had a good setup after throwing a big change at the car before the race,” said Waddell. “I had my hopes up that we could move through the field with how well AJ was running. Having a radio issue put us on our back foot, causing hurdle after hurdle. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. I am grateful to have this opportunity with Forty7 Motorsports and am proud to represent Stoner Car Care, hopefully we can build on this weekend the next time out.”
Making his career-first pit stop, Muss entered the pits fourth in the order as the Olympic snowboarder checked off a number of firsts on the day.
“My Forty7 Motorsports Hyundai Veloster car was absolutely phenomenal,” Muss said. “I felt like I was driving it great. Unfortunately, we had an electrical issue right after my first pit stop. When I dropped the tires, my dash was going haywire and it kept flipping the screens. It didn’t show gear position, so I was counting gears in my head. I cycled the power, and the radio went dead. So I had no radio for the rest of my stint.”
Not having radio contact led to the team’s issue on the next round of pit stops, which came under caution near the midway point.
“This was my first race, so I didn’t know some of the rules like second nature,” Muss said. “With no radio, I just kind of guessed, and I came in to the pits one lap too early. When I saw the GS cars pitting, I forgot I had to wait to pit with the TCR cars.”
Adding to the challenge was a four-minute stop and hold for a procedural penalty under caution which forced Waddell to open his stint three laps down.
The final two hours proved to be a learning experience for the Denver, Colorado driver.
“There is a special driving style to the car that I will need to learn in order to be competitive,” Waddell said. “I was happy with my pace, so with some setup work and changing the way I drive – we should be running up front in no time.”
The next race for the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge will be a two-hour event at Sebring International Raceway on Thursday, March 19.
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