VICI Racing endured a disappointing end to what had been a promising run at the Petit Le Mans after a tyre failure led to Marc Basseng crashing out as the race entered the ninth hour.
The first half of the race had gone according to plan for the team, and the #18 car was positioned comfortably in the GT2 class top-ten as the shadows lengthened over the Road Atlanta course.
Basseng and the Pastorelli brothers, Nicky and Francesco - who hadn't seen the track prior to Thursday morning - all lapped quickly and consistently to keep the car in with a shout of a respectable result.
The final hours of the race were interrupted however by an unexpected rush of tyre failures that were outside the team's control, and resulted in each driver, at this point running double stints, having to make unscheduled pit visits to change tyres.
However on lap 291 just as the clock ticked past eight hours, and with Basseng behind the wheel, a tyre failure at turn twelve pitched the experienced German into the barriers and put the car out of the race.
“I'm very disappointed with what occurred this evening,” technical director Roland Wall said. “The team had worked very hard all week to put us in the best possible position for the race, and we were showing an excellent pace. All the drivers performed very well, lapping consistently, with quick times and the RSR was nice on the track too.
“The crew were superb, very efficiently getting the engine and other parts changed last night and all the pitstops today were fast and without problem. The chance of a decent finish was lost by four tire failures which was an unacceptable event to occur. We now have to go away and a lot of hard questions have to be asked.”