Caledon ON. June 8th 2014
The Mantella Autosport team rolled into Kansas for the 5th stop on the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge calendar with high expectations. “We knew our Gulf/Powered by Spyder Aston Martin Vantage GT4 was well suited to the big speedway track here in Kansas” said team owner and driver Anthony Mantella.
“Both Mark Wilkins and Anthony Mantella did a great job getting up to speed quickly with limited practice time on a circuit new to both drivers.” Said Andrew Wojteczko
Qualifying and the race were held late in the evening, under the lights, another team first for Mantella. Anthony showed great speed in his qualifying session and put the car on the sixth row, P13, for the start of the Saturday race. Reviewing the sector times revealed Anthony had more pace than his P13 qualifying indicated, he would be moving up quickly come race day.
Race morning, we woke up to rain and tornado warnings, seemed appropriate for Kansas. But the weather did not dampen the optimism in the Mantella paddock. As the weather cleared, the team and drivers were relaxed and ready to hit the track. By the time the lights came on it was clear and dry for the green flag.
Anthony had a great start and drove the early race very well in traffic. A yellow at the 15 min mark gave Wojteczko the opportunity to call Anthony in for a splash of fuel. Anthony’s lap times and extra fuel kept him in the car to the 1:18 mark, his longest stint to date. When Wojteczko called him in for the drivers change, full fuel and 4 tires, Mantella had worked the car up to P2 and the team was feeling very optimistic.
The Mantella pit crew had one of their best pit stops of the season and Mark Wilkins was now at the wheel with enough fuel to go to the end. Two laps into his session Mark radioed to the team that the car had suffered a mechanical and there was no drive. A broken prop shaft put an early end to the day.
“Kansas continued to show allot of promise for the team and Anthony drove the car up to as high as second place before a mechanical failure ended our day early. Said driver Mark Wilkins.
“It has certainly been a challenging season to date but we feel strongly that we are making great strides with the car and our pace is good. The Mantella Autosport guys will get the car more than ready for Watkins Glen and we look forward to a strong run there”.
Mantella Autosport is an 8 man, all Canadian, race team based out of Caledon Ontario. For 2014 they are campaigning an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 factory race car in the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge. The televised 12 race schedule will see the team travel to premier race tracks in North America on their mission to win the 2014 Championship. For more information on the team and drivers check out MantellaAutosport.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Anthony Mantella – Team owner and driver. 2014 marks his inaugural season in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. In 2013 Anthony finished 3rd overall in the Masters Class in the Porsche GT3 Cup Canada Platinum. In 2012 Anthony finished 6th overall in the same class.
Mark Wilkins – Driver. 2014 Rolex 24 Hrs of Daytona Champion PC class, 3rd – 2013 Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship, 3rd – 2013 GT Rolex 24, 1st -2012 Petit Le Mans in the PC class. 1st – 2010 Sebring 12 hour Winner PC class, 1st -2010 Laguna 6 hour PC class. Mark’s skill behind the wheel coupled with his car set up and driver coaching abilities makes him an incredible asset to the Mantella Autosport Team.
For more information on Sponsorship Opportunities and Track Experiences contact Lance Webb at LWebb@Spyder.com