Austin, TX – (Monday, May 22, 2023) – SKI Autosports left Circuit of the Americas after a bittersweet weekend which included the highest of highs – setting the pole and crossing the line first; to the lowest of lows – being spun off the circuit in race one and losing the win to a penalty in race two.

Johnny O’Connell set the pole on a drying track on Saturday morning, but his race assault came undone when he was hit by another competitor and spun off track early in the race. He recovered to eventually cross the line in sixth place.

In Sunday’s action-packed race, O’Connell started sixth in SKI Autosports’ Ferrari and gradually moved through the pack – keeping his head while others around were losing theirs. Spins, crashes, and contacts – the talented veteran again took advantage of slippery conditions to close on the leaders and eventually move through into the lead.

O’Connell crossed the line in first place but faced a 10-second post-race penalty after officials assessed that the team had completed their last-minute pre-race tire change outside of the required time – they finished fitting slick tires on the car and just passing the five-minute, pre-race limit.

“Having won many times at the 24 Hour of Le Mans and Rolex Daytona 24, Johnny has driven in every condition, and his experience paid off in qualifying and Sunday’s race.  This is our first pole in SRO GT America.

“We never could have imagined the qualifying success would ultimately result in such a frustrating weekend.

“Our emotions have run the gamut over the past 48 hours. Although we started on pole, Johnny was hit by another competitor in race one, moving us way down the field. Johnny ran a good race, but in these sprint races, it’s difficult to make up for that lost time.

“We waited out the rain on Sunday and could see the track rapidly drying before the start of yesterday’s race.  We decided to change from rain tires to slicks at the last minute as did most of the field. Due to last minute weather-related procedural changes and congestion on pit lane, it proved difficult to complete the tire change within the mandated time resulting in a 10 second post race penalty. If not for that penalty a four-time series champion would have had the overall win.

“Regardless we proved ourselves on track and look forward to the balance of the season. Despite the weekend’s difficulties, and missing the first two races of the season, Johnny is top 10 in overall driver points. Our goal is to be on the podium and compete for wins every weekend.”

Next up for the team is VIRginia International Raceway, June 16-18, 2023

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“The team gave me a great car all weekend and we obviously had a car to win. Even though we lost our overall win post race I always say “stay hungry” and we are hungrier than ever!  I’m super proud of the SKI Autosports crew. They did a fabulous job today; we are legit and here to win!”