Sean Dylan Kelly 18th and Rory Skinner 19th in #AmericasGP
It was a difficult start to Sean’s home race weekend as the American took an early tumble at the end of Practice One before the weather conditions took a turn for the remaining practice session, bringing out multiple yellow flags and hampering his progress. Sean made full use of the improved sunny conditions in Qualifying but an issue with his airbag firing on a hot lap prevented him from advancing into Q2 by 0.8s – placing him in 22nd on the grid.
As the lights went off for Sunday’s race, SDK quickly made up four places before getting stuck into battle with Ai Ogura and Zonta van der Goorbergh as he set his sights on the points finishing positions. Sean made his way up into 17th place by the final lap but was caught by Zonta in the last moments, crossing the line in 18th position.
Rory’s first official weekend at COTA got off to a solid start despite the rain but the yellow flags during the final practice session prevented any further progress for our rookie and he ended practice in 25th. An early slow-speed crash at Turn 12 put a dent in Rory’s qualifying hopes but the Scot got back to it to line up 24th.
Making a promising start, Rory gained three places in the opening two laps. As they ticked down, he continued to make up places, getting past Borja Gomez to take 19th spot where he ended the race and claimed his first top 20 in his Grand Prix career so far.
Sean Dylan Kelly #4
It was a crazy weekend; it was a messy weekend. From day 1, it was a little bit all over the place but we managed to make a really good step in Qualifying though the position didn’t show it, got much closer to getting into Q2. I just felt so much more comfortable on the bike and that gave me a lot more confidence coming into the race.
Straight out of lap one, I had a pretty good start and found myself in a good position fighting with [Sam] Lowes and Ogura but unfortunately, that’s where problem one started for me, yesterday we found a little technical issue on the bike at the end of Qualifying which meant that we needed to change the engine for race day and, because of no warm-up, it meant that I went straight into the race with a fresh engine, I’d spent the entire weekend – no problems with false neutrals and, come race time, I had about six or seven false neutrals. That really hindered me and put me a few steps back which was really unfortunate because I felt good and competitive then I had a problem with my suit and my airbag as it went off on the sighting lap and I think it didn’t help the blood flow in my arm as I had arm pump after seven laps.
I think we could have been close to the points but it is what it is and I’ll remain positive, look forward to Jerez and we’re going to do everything to fix these problems
The fans were the best part of the weekend, the support was incredible – it was so much more than last year and last year was already amazing!
Rory Skinner #33
Austin has been a good weekend for me. The atmosphere at the team’s home race has been pretty amazing, meeting all the sponsors and just being amongst the American Grand Prix, which is a first for me is awesome, I really enjoyed it, it’s been a good experience and to come home with my first top 20 in Grand Prix, I’m really happy. I’m happy to be inside the top 20 but a P19 when I still think there was more to come, just a couple of little issues holding us back in the race but I’m sure for Jerez we’ll have it all sorted and we can continue building on what’s been a good first few rounds.