Strong showing upended by late tire puncture at Daytona

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The roar of engines filled the air at Daytona International Speedway this past weekend as Hattori Motorsports took on the grueling four-hour battle in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Series’ BMW M Endurance Challenge season opener. With seasoned pro Jack Hawksworth and rising star Tyler Maxson piloting the No. 50 Ibaraki Toyopet Toyota GR Supra GT4, the team tackled the iconic 3.56-mile road course to kick off the 2024 season.

In the week leading up to the race, the No. 50 Ibaraki Toyopet Toyota GR Supra GT4 showed incredible pace, setting times consistently in the top 10 for most sessions. The pace of the No. 50 carried over into the qualifying session on Thursday afternoon. Veteran Jack Hawksworth got behind the wheel and set a blistering time of 1:53.71; one of the fastest times of any session for the No. 50 car. This would set up the Hattori Motorsports team with the third overall starting position for the BMW M Endurance Challenge at Daytona.

The race would start off with a bang as Hawksworth would waste no time getting to the lead. The No.50 car lead for the first 30 minutes of the race setting a great pace. A full course caution would come out with around three hours and twenty minutes remaining. This saw Hawksworth jump out of the car and Maxon get in for his stint of the four hour event. Differing strategies would see the No. 50 car restart the race in the 15th position. After a few more full course cautions, Maxon would work his way back up into the top 10 with two and a half hours remaining in the event. Another pit stop would see him hold his position right around the top 10 for most of his stint.

Maxson would hand over the reigns once again to Hawksworth to finish out the BMW M Endurance Challenge at Daytona. The team pitted the car right on the fuel window in a strategy call. Hawksworth was making up positions quickly, however a tire puncture with 50 minutes remaining would bring the No. 50 car back down pit road for fuel and tires. When the checkered flag flew, Hawksworth would cross the line 17th in class. 

Jack Hawksworth Quote:

“I feel like overall the car was very strong between the Roar and the race week. This car has incredible pace and we just had stroke of bad luck with the puncture late in the race. The team did an amazing job getting me comfortable in the car and it really showed in the practice sessions. I can’t thank Ibaraki Toyopet, the team, and Shigeaki Hattori enough for this opportunity. “

Tyler Maxon Quote:

“This was a great experience to start the season. Working with a veteran like Jack has been crucial in getting up to speed so quick in this car. This was my first race in the GS class and just getting used to the cars was a big learning curve to start the weekend. Overall, I think we had good speed, just didn’t pan out for us in the end. I was so honored to drive the No. 50 Ibaraki Toyopet Toyota Supra GT4 EVO for Hattori Motorsports this weekend and look forward to what comes next!”

Hattori Motorsports PR

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