Malthe Jakobsen to rejoin the team for the IMSA Fastlane SportsCar Weekend alongside past Road America winner João Barbosa
JUPITER, Fla. (1 August 2022) – With a solid test adding to the team’s knowledge database two weeks ago, Sean Creech Motorsport (SCM) enters the IMSA Fastlane SportsCar Weekend (Sunday at 11:40 a.m. Eastern, PeacockTV and USA Network) with hopes of scoring their second IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory this season.
Full-season driver Lance Willsey will be unable to contest the weekend due to a prior commitment. João Barbosa will be joined behind the wheel of the No. 33 SCM Exelixis/Focal One/Alta Equipment Ligier JS P320 by 18-year-old Danish phenom Malthe Jakobsen, who played a significant role in the team’s victory at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring back in March. Jakobsen has been competing in the European Le Mans Series and the Michelin Le Mans Cup, both in the LMP3 class, and has scored victories at Paul Ricard and Imola.
“We’re happy that Malthe could join us this weekend,” said team principal Sean Creech. “He has such an innate sense of how to drive a race car and his ability to drive a car in traffic is way beyond his years – and that will come in very handy this weekend.”
Jakobsen joined Barbosa and the Road America test two weeks ago, once again learning a new racetrack and getting up to speed quickly. The iconic, 4.048-mile circuit in the scenic Kettle Moraine region of Wisconsin immediately shot toward the top of the list of his favorite tracks.
“I really liked Road America, it’s already become one of my favorite circuits,” said Jakobsen. “As odd a comparison as it is, it’s similar to Sebring in that it’s very consequential. If you make a mistake, you go off, and you might find a concrete wall. You have to be smart about the risks you take – I found that out quickly at the test. I passed a GT car in the Kink, got into the marbles and put two wheels into the grass. The Carousel is also tricky – I don’t think I’ve encountered a similar corner anywhere in the world. It’s so fast and so long, but it’s more than 180 degrees and finding the balance between oversteer and understeer. But with all the long straights, top speed is super important. I felt the track fit my driving style really well. It’s also a very beautiful area – it reminds me of where I live in Denmark!”
There are few better drivers to partner a young driver than Barbosa, who has scored four IMSA podiums including a victory at Road America. After “two long, very busy days” at the test, Barbosa felt the team has a car that he and Jakobsen will be comfortable pushing hard in the two-hour and 40-minute race.
“The whole point of a test is to figure out what does and doesn’t work away from the race weekend,” said Barbosa. “Road America is very tricky – long, fast corners but also long straights, so it’s a very delicate balance between aero load and top speed. That was our biggest challenge at the test, finding the right amount of downforce to have the speed on the straights but also in the corners. But it’s a great racetrack, very old school and very unforgiving: a mistake in the wrong place can be very costly. It’s also very narrow in spots so the racing is a challenge, with all five classes on track.
“Malthe brings a lot to the table,” Barbosa continued. “He’s been racing these cars in Europe for several years, with a great deal of testing, so he has a lot of laps and a lot of experience. That’s good for the whole team, to help us learn as well. He’s also lightning fast – that’s a great combination!”
In his 30-year sports car racing career, Creech has run at Road America numerous times: in the classic IMSA GTP series, in vintage events with the Benetton Formula One car, WSC cars, and Porsche 962s. The team knows the track, just not this car – this weekend will be the first time they will run the LMP3 car on the iconic circuit. But given the knowledge gained in the recent test, Creech knows the team will enter the race weekend on solid footing.
“We know the track, so it was just a matter of finding what the LMP3 car wanted,” said Creech. “It was a good test, so we know we have a good setup to start with. You need the top speed, that’s first and foremost, but you also have to balance that with speed through the Carousel and the Kink.”
SCM thanks partners Alta Equipment Company and Focal One for their continued support.
The IMSA Fastlane SportsCar race takes the green flag Sunday at 11:40 a.m. Eastern. The race will be broadcast in its entirety on Peacock TV in the U.S., with USA Network joining the broadcast at Noon Eastern. International viewers can watch via IMSA.tv, with IMSA Radio also available at IMSA.com.
Team leader Sean Creech has competed in a multitude of sports car series from 1990 until the present day, including Group C, IMSA GTP, WSC, Grand-Am, SRO World Challenge, and IMSA. SCM will contest the full WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2022 with João Barbosa and Lance Willsey.
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