Elkhart Lake, WI – (Sunday, August 20, 2023) – After a strong finish and Master’s class victory on Saturday for SKI Autosports, Johnny O’Connell’s hopes of collecting more trophies were dashed by a mechanical issue today.

After qualifying eighth, O’Connell moved forward in Saturday’s race to move through to fifth place at the checkered flag and score another Master’s class win at Road America in the latest weekend for the GT America championship.

The start of Sunday’s race was equally impressive, with O’Connell starting fifth and moving up a spot before an issue with the left front of SKI Autosports’ Audi R8 LMS sent the multiple-24 Hours of Le Mans winning veteran to pit lane and subsequently to the paddock for a race retirement.

“Most importantly, Johnny gained another first in the Masters Class on Saturday, solidifying our position in the category with two races to go.” said team owner Kent Hussey.

“We were looking for a great race Sunday, and Johnny had a fantastic start when just moments into the race, we had a mechanical issue on the front left, which ended the race for the team.

“We were hoping to add to our Masters Class points. However, it was not in the cards today. We have two races to go, and both Sebring and Indianapolis are tracks that are better suited to our car.”

Next for SKI Autosports will be Florida’s famous Sebring International Raceway on September 22-24. The venue is a ‘happy hunting ground’ for O’Connell, who holds the record for the most class wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring (seven) as well as an overall race victory from nearly 30 years ago in 1994.

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“It was a pretty good day for us yesterday at SKI Autosport.  We took an eighth-place car and finished fifth, so that was good. Today we started fifth, but sadly on lap three, we had a ball joint failure.  

“I had moved up to fourth and think I could have held onto that position and even closed in a bit on the top three.  This Audi just doesn’t have the downforce of all the newer cars.  

“If you look at the finish, it’s Mercedes, Mercedes, Mercedes…  We have our work cut out for us.  Up next is Sebring, and I can’t wait. I don’t know why, but I’ve always had great luck at that place, and hopefully, we can put in a great effort and be back up on the podium.  We will be working hard to make it happen”