Jules Gounon described: “I got rear-ended by the Pfaff Porsche. Unfortunately, our race was ruined.
“It was a crazy attempt with no room to make the pass.
“The WeatherTech Mercedes-AMG GT3 was good today.
“I thought we at least had a podium. Let’s go onto Indy in three weeks.”
The last win for the #79 crew was at Laguna Seca, then previously at the 24 Hours of Daytona in January.
His teammate, Daniel Juncadella, qualified the Mercedes-AMG – which was rebuilt after a fire engulfed it during FP1 – on the front row with a 1:44.876, under one-hundredth of a second behind Jack Hawksworth’s Lexus RC F GT3.
At the start of the race, the Spaniard struggled to match the Lexus who began establishing a gap, and the #3 Corvette Racing of Antonio Garcia behind soon made the most of the paceless Mercedes-AMG.
GTD leader Madison Snow in the #1 Paul Miller Racing BMW M4 GT3, was challenging Juncadella and eventually overtook him.
Running in third place in GTD Pro still, the #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche in fourth caught up later on amidst the final cycle of GTD Pro pit stops.
After making contact, the #79 was forced to pit albeit not with the scheduled splash-and-dash stop they were expecting.
The team, who are run by Proton Competition personnel, had to remove and repair the bodywork.
After four-and-a-half minutes of repairs, the #79 had lost two laps to the leader. With no more caution periods during the race, they stayed and therefore finished in last position.
“Come race day everyone seems to find more pace,” Juncadella added.
“Straight away the Corvette went by then I got passed by a GTD BMW on speed.
“Then Jules got hit by the Porsche and we lost two laps.
“I think we were racing for a P3 today. Let’s see if our luck can improve at Indy next month.”
A poor result from the GT Challenge at Virginia International Raceway hampered their GTD Pro standings position, consequently losing third place to the #9 Pfaff Motorsports Porsche, who themselves scored a P3 finish in GTD Pro.
Their next opportunity for redemption will be at the Battle of the Bricks, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (Road Course).