On January 29th, I was fortunate enough to witness a small private team of grassroots racers take on the corporations and large budgets of professional racing in the 4hr long 2021 BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona International Speedway as part of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge racing series.
This team, made up of only 7 people (compared to 20+ of a normal racing team), put together a racecar in less than a month with dreams to prove you don’t need a massive budget to be competitive in endurance racing. During qualifying the day before, the team suffered transponder issues causing them to not record a lap time placing them in 40th position, dead last, for the start of the 4hr race. This wasn’t sending the best message for their mission. They didn’t let it drag them down though, and were confident they had put together a fast and reliable weapon to take on the track, the clock, and their competitors.
At dawn on race day, the team, starting dead last, prepped themselves for the challenge ahead. One team member would have to be at the top of the grandstands as a spotter for the driver, leaving only six team members to run the race, perform pit stops (change tires, fuel, etc), and oh yeah… three of them must also drive! Endurance racing requires more than a single driver and in this case, the series requires three drivers to drive in the race. The start of the race began without a hitch and within twenty laps, it was clear the car had plenty of pace and they began moving up the order. Naturally there were crashes, safety cars, and plenty of cautions, but they managed to stay out of the drama and focused on the car ahead each and every lap. At the end of the race, the bootstrapped team of grassroots racers ended up placing 7th in class after starting in 41st place.
Placing higher than 15 other teams with better equipment, bigger budgets, and more experience proves their point that it doesn’t take massive budgets and big teams to deliver a solid performance and experience to the fans. No other team made more passes and performed better than the small group of seven experts.
That’s who Asponte is. Like the #85 AOA Racing team, #TeamAsponte doesn’t need huge budgets to deliver world class performance and experiences. We are experts and are extraordinary at what we do. We can take on, and almost always, outperform large firms in delivering quality products and services to our customers and partners.