PT Autosport, MRS, and P1 Groupe Porsche GT3R retires with clutch issues
Opening the 2023 racing season in Dubai for the Creventic Dubai 24 Hours sounded idyllic, until clutch issues brought the race to a grinding halt.
After announcing their assault on the 2023 Dubai 24 Hours with Molitor Racing Systems and P1 Groupe, PT Autosport touched down in Dubai with high hopes. A beautiful country, exciting track, and challenging new car for driver Alex Sedgwick left plenty to look forward to.
However, come Wednesday morning, the day before official practice, the MRS / P1 Groupe garage sat empty, distinctly devoid of an OnlyFans liveried Porsche GT3R. Shipping delays had left the majority of the teams car and equipment-less, and race control was in a similar situation, the equipment needed to run the event yet to arrive.
As the clock ticked down, teams and organisers scrambled to prepare. When cars and equipment finally arrived late on thursday, the “24 hour race before the 24 hour race” was on. In less than 24 hours, the Molitor Racing Systems by P1 Groupe crew stripped their Porsche GT3 car to the frame, replaced the engine, rebuilt the gearbox, and rewrapped the car. Come Thursday morning, the Porsche 992 GT3R roared to life, resplendent in OnlyFans blue, and the #43 finally hit the track.
After mandatory day and night practice it was time for qualifying, completed over 4 sessions with all 4 drivers taking part. When averaged out, the #43 qualified P8 in class, and P19 overall. A tricky qualifying that left plenty of room to push forwards in the race.
As the sun rose over the desert on saturday morning, it was PT Autosport’s Alex Sedgwick who suited up and climbed into the #43 Porsche GT3R for the start of the race, and he immediately got to work. Rolling off P8, a strong first stint saw him work his way up to P5 before pitting under a code80 to hand off to Alex Vogel. A quiet stint saw Vogel find his rythm and make up for time lost during the slow stop, before handing the reins back to Sedgwick an hour later. As the stints progressed and the hours passed, the drivers noticed a little clutch slip, gradually worsening as the race went on. Powering through, and despite a code80 halting his progress, Alex rose back up to P6 before pitting for some well needed rest. Jukka Honkavuori took over the car in P7, chasing down the top 6 as he broke into hour number 7 of the race.
Unfortunately for Jukka, his charge was about to come to an end. With the clutch slipping more and more with every stint, it was just 7 hours and 30 minutes into the race when the #43 OnlyFans Porsche saw the majority of it’s on-screen time. Eyes turned to the screen inside the MRS / P1 Groupe garage as the #43 ground to a halt at the pitlane entry.
When the car was towed back to the garage, the MRS mechanics swarmed the car and remained buried in the drivetrain for the best part of an hour before a conclusion was finally reached. A sensor in the clutch was damaged, and no spares were available. With 15 Hours to go, the #43 Porsche 992 GT3R was offically retired, and our day was over.
Though the PT Autosport / Molitor Racing Systems / P1 Groupe team didn’t achieve the results they were aiming for, the race was a valuable learning experience, providing Alex Sedgwick with his first race in GT3 machinery, as well as the opportunity to benchmark himself against factory drivers in the pro class.
With lots learnt by both team and driver, they take this experience and momentum into their upcoming 2023 season, which will be their biggest challenge yet. Starting in March, the team takes on the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America.
Sebring, here we come!
About PT Autosport
PT Autosport is a newly formed racing team currently based at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ. The team is currently campaigning the rising star Alex Sedgwick (U.K.) in the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America for the 2023 season with JDX Racing. PT Autosport is working towards bringing diversity and opportunity to the motorsport industry, hosting their annual Aspiring Driver Shootout, in which aspiring drivers aged 18-22 can compete for a $100,000 racing partnership with the team. Visit www.DriverShootout.com or www.PTAutosport.com for more info and follow our Instagram @pt_autosport for updates.