Sonoma, California. (September 21, 2016) – The penultimate round of the Pirelli World Challenge Championships brought the team to beautiful sunny California. Formerly known as Sears Point, Infineon, and now Sonoma Raceway, whatever you call it, this is one beautiful race circuit. Surrounded by rolling hills the track mirrors the landscape with blind crests and high speed curves, coupled with some heavy break zones and tight hairpins that invite some risky passes.

Anthony Mantella, Racing hard to turn 2, avoiding the spinning Maserati

Anthony Mantella, Racing hard to turn 2, avoiding the spinning Maserati

Both Anthony Mantella in the #8 Gulf liveried KTM Xbow GT4 and Martin Barkey in the #80 MBRP Exhaust KTM XBow GT4 have yet to compete at Sonoma raceway, so testing was key to success. Three days of testing prior to the event yielded the necessary time to familiarize with the challenging circuit and hone the setup.

Joe Ferguson always makes sure the XBow he oversees is prepared to perfection.

Joe Ferguson always makes sure the XBow he oversees is prepared to perfection.

Come race day, all of the testing and preparation clearly paid dividends with Martin Barkey setting fastest race lap, and Anthony Mantella hot on his heels, both battling for P2 for the majority of the run. Unfortunately Anthony Mantella made contact that forced a pit stop for repair, ultimately taking him out of the competition. Then the same fate for Martin Barkey, contact with the same car that ended the run for the #8, caused damage to the #80 and a drive thru penalty. A decision to complete the race and appeal the drive thru held on to P4 at the line, but was unsuccessful resulting in loss of points for Race 1 and starting from the back for Race 2.

Martin Barkey moving to the front, leads the Maserati of Jeff Courtney

Martin Barkey moving to the front, leads the Maserati of Jeff Courtney

Race 2, and the standing start that saw both cars stall on grid at Utah, was not a problem here. A great launch saw Anthony Mantella battling for the lead and Martin Barkey making his charge to the front. Once again Martin set fastest race lap, working his way up to P7 and a clean car at the chequer. Anthony earned the move of the race, with an impressive outside pass around a very wide mustang in the bus stop, claiming his second straight podium and P2.

Anthony Mantella finds the podium for the second straight event.

Anthony Mantella finds the podium for the second straight event.

The team now prepares for the season Finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Don’t miss it, October 7-9th, where KTM looks to secure the manufacturers championship.

Exiting the tight turn 7 hairpin.

Exiting the tight turn 7 hairpin.

Be sure to follow the Mantella Autosport website (www.mantellaautosport.com) facebook and Instagram accounts for all the latest details. Media by Sawmill Creative

It was a hard fought race with the Camaro Z28.R of Lawson Aschenbach, multiple passes back and forth made for some great action for the fans.

It was a hard fought race with the Camaro Z28.R of Lawson Aschenbach, multiple passes back and forth made for some great action for the fans.