Pirelli World Challenge GTS, KTM XBow GT4 #8, #80, #88

St. Petersburg Florida, March 21 2017

The 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship kicked off March 10-12 in the streets of St. Petersburg Florida. It was exciting to see the new hardware in the class now made up of the KTM XBow GT4, Mclaren 570 GT4, Camaro GT4, SIN R1 GT4, Mustang GT4, Cayman Clubsport MR GT4 and the Panoz Avezzano currently awaiting it’s GT4 Homologation. The GT4 category is really looking like the place to be for great competition without the costs of GT3 category racing.

Constant action in turn 1

Constant action in turn 1 as Martin Barkey gets the inside line.

Anthony Mantella holds off the Camaro GT4 in turn 1

Anthony Mantella holds off the Camaro GT4 in turn 1

PWC maintained the double header sprint race format for 2017 and once again it didn’t disappoint with two action packed 50 minute races. Martin Barkey ran a clean race #1 earning P5 and won the first ever GTS-A race while Anthony Mantella finished P10.

Winner of the first ever GTS-A race, we'll take it but we're here for overall wins.

Winner of the first ever GTS-A race, we’ll take it but we’re here for overall wins.

Day 2 saw Martin Barkey challenging the lead pack, holding P4 while Anthony Mantella was looking for opportunities to get by the Camaro of Tony Gaples while defending the Panoz of Ian James. It all went wrong on the restart when Martin Barkey made contact with Lawson Aschenbach going for the inside pass, and Anthony mantella made contact with Ian James, defending on the inside. Martin was able to continue, serve a drive through penalty and work his way back to P11.

 

Not the day Anthony Mantella had hoped for, focused forward now to VIR

Not the day Anthony Mantella had hoped for, focused forward now to VIR

The streets of St.Pete are a beautiful place to race.

The streets of St.Pete are a beautiful place to race.

While St.Pete didn’t bring the results we’d hoped for, the cars ran flawlessly and there is much to build on going to the second round of the season at VIR. Following the race the team went straight to VIR for 2 days of official testing with Pirelli World Challenge. It was great seeing both Anthony and Martin challenge each other to improve and learn from each others strengths on track. Bring on the second round of the championship!

You can't beat the experience racing like this brings. Want to find out for yourself? Email andrew@mantellaautosport.com to find out more.

You can’t beat the experience racing like this brings. Want to find out for yourself? Email andrew@mantellaautosport.com to find out more.

Follow us on Facebook (Mantella Autosport) and Instagram (Mantella_Autosport), and check out our awesome event videos on Youtube or on the Mantellaautosport.com website. Photos by:Jay Bonvouloir

Dubai (January 14 2017)

Reiter Engineering campaigned two cars, a GT4 spec with an all female driver lineup, and the #247 SP2 class car featuring Anthony Mantella

Reiter Engineering campaigned two cars, a GT4 spec with an all female driver lineup, and the #247 SP2 class car featuring Anthony Mantella

The race started at 2:00PM and I was slated to jump in the car 4th. This meant my first stint would be in the dark, with 100 other cars on track, some faster and some slower as there are multiple classes competing. I’d taken part in the night practice the evening prior so had an idea what to expect, but racing in the dark brings a much greater risk of contact. Fortunately I kept it clean, and maintained the lead we’d established in the SP2 class. At the 2 hour maximum drive time I pitted for the driver change and started preparing for my next time in.

After many laps in the simulator, it was great to get a track walk in to understand the track first hand.

After many laps in the simulator, it was great to get a track walk in to understand the track first hand.

With the starting driver back in, it wasn’t long before our first real obstacle presented. A failed drive shaft required a pit stop for replacement while leading at the 6 hour mark. The crew really hustled and had it done and back on track in 22 minutes. We now had work to do but the deficit wasn’t insurmountable. The trouble was, just 2 hours later we experienced a second drive shaft failure. Back in the pits the crew replaced it and made some other changes to help it last. I could see the disappointment in the faces of the crew, but the thing is with 24 hour races is anything can happen and you can’t give up.

in the pit for a new axle

in the pit for a new axle

Back in the car for my second stint, I was hoping for the light of day, but at 2:00AM the only light to be found was the swarming headlights of the surrounding cars. I felt good though, my strength training was really paying off and I put down another solid 2 hour drive without issue. Though still laps down on the leader, we were gaining ground slowly but surely.

Benjamin out, Anthony in, ready for another night stint

Benjamin out, Anthony in, ready for another night stint

Back in the car for my final stint at 10:00AM, the sun had finally crested the horizon. Despite only an hour of sleep, I was amazed at how I was able to maintain focus. Feeling strong I continued through my stint, lap by lap, one step at a time. I was continuing to real in the leader and we were moving up the score board. I pitted at the 2 hour mark for the final driver change and handed the car off to my co-driver to bring it home. Despite the mid race setbacks we clawed our way back to second place, a truly remarkable finish.

The night time, is the right time.

The night time, is the right time.

Reflecting on the event, it truly was an experience I’ll remember dearly. Not just the racing itself, but the relationships formed that I know will last a life time and overcoming any self-doubt. Also validating my dedication to my fitness and training has really payed off. It felt great to be a part of it and I’m already thinking about having another go next year.

The sun comes up after a long night racing in the dark.

The sun comes up after a long night racing in the dark.

P2 after 24 intense hours of racing.

P2 after 24 intense hours of racing.

You can also follow us on Facebook (Mantella Autosport) and Instagram (Mantella_Autosport), and check out our awesome event videos on Youtube or on the Mantellaautosport.com website. Photos by: Joel Kernasenko and Boost Images

 

Mantella Autosport is thrilled to announce racing driver Anthony Mantella will be competing in a Reiter Engineering KTM XBow SP2 (unlimited version) race car in the 24H Dubai race January 12-14th.

Perhaps the most exciting news centers around the driver lineup. Anthony Mantella will join forces with 2016 Pirelli World Challenge KTM XBow competitors Brett Sandberg (2016 PWC GTS champion) and Dore Chaponick Jr., vying for success as teammates at the 24H Dubai. The three drivers had a season full of close battles with each other, sometimes too close ultimately resulting in contact and damage. But that’s in the past now and all three will have to work together to achieve success in Dubai.  A 4th driver remains to be announced and interested parties should contact Mantella Autosport for more information.

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Anthony Mantella leads Brett Sandberg on route to victory at Utah Motorsport Campus in 2016. The former competitors will race together vying for success at the Dubai 24H

About the Series: The 24H SERIES powered by Hankook is an FIA-approved international series of 12- and 24-hour endurance race events at fascinating circuits all over the world, aimed at amateurs and gentlemen drivers, semi-professionals and professional drivers. A wide variety of ‘tin top’ touring cars, GTs and 24H-Specials (e.g. silhouette cars) are eligible to race, from ‘hot hatchbacks’ up to proper GT3 machinery and purpose-built race cars. An established structure of classes and liberal technical regulations allow teams to compete without having to change their cars for the 24H SERIES, thus helping them to save costs.

The Dubai 24 Hour circuit

The 5.39KM 16 turn Dubai 24 Hour circuit

About the track: The 5.39km track at the Dubai Autodrome is one of the most modern in the world; it is also one of the most challenging, as it has a combination of high-speedstraights and technical corners. The venue is part of the Union Properties Motorcity development in the greater Dubailand area. The circuit, which contains six different configurations, is designed to allow three circuits to operate simultaneously, safely and independently from each other. The result presents circuit users with unparalleled options.

You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and check out our awesome event videos on Youtube or on the Mantellaautosport.com website.

24h-dubai-2017-general-information

 

 

Mantella Autosport is pleased to offer the opportunity to race a KTM XBow GT4 in the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship.

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Why #racewithmantella?

There are many reasons:
1. Proven race winners in the PWC. Both Anthony Mantella and Martin Barkey claimed wins and multiple podium finishes in the 2016 championship driving the KTM XBow GT4 with Mantella Autosport

Martin has had the opportunity to dial in his champagne game this season, with three podiums, finding the top step at the final event of the season

Martin has had the opportunity to dial in his champagne game this season, with three podiums, finding the top step at the final event of the season

  1. Professional preparation. By rigorously following the maintenance schedules put forward by Reiter Engineering, Mantella Autosport’s licensed technicians operate reliable vehicles, necessary to pursue a championship.
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.

  1. Positive team environment. Mantella Autosport is a place of respect, a place of friendship, where encouragement and support can be found within all aspects of team life.
It's a team effort, from driving to wrenching, engineering to spotting, respect and comradery, these are all elements that make success possible

It’s a team effort, from driving to wrenching, engineering to spotting, respect and comradery, these are all elements that make success possible

  1. In depth engineering and coaching. Team lead Andrew Wojteczko provides in depth data analysis, race winning setups, and driver coaching to help get the most from each session on track.
Debriefing with Martin Barkey before hitting the data room

Debriefing with Martin Barkey before hitting the data room

Finding speed through data analysis and driver coaching

Finding speed through data analysis and driver coaching

  1. Professional presentation. Mantella Autosport prepares a premium paddock experience, with hospitality area and pristinely detailed equipment on show at all times.
Under the tent with Mantella Autosport at Lime Rock Park

Under the tent with Mantella Autosport at Lime Rock Park

  1. Fun. Last but not certainly least. Mantella Autosport takes racing very seriously while maintaining an upbeat environment.
Keeping the fun in racing

Keeping the fun in racing

Interested parties should contact andrew@mantellaautosport.com for details on operating budget and vehicle rental or ownership opportunities. You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and check out our awesome event videos on Youtube or on the Mantellaautosport.com website. Please be advised deadline to register with Mantella Autosport for the 2017 PWC season is January 2nd, 2017. Don’t miss out!

Monterey, California. (October 21, 2016) – The season finale of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge championship took place at the famed Laguna Seca circuit, world-renowned for the “Corkscrew” corner and stunning views surrounding the track. The weather was perfect for a motor race, clear and sunny averaging 25 degrees C. Unfortunately these same conditions have left much of the surrounding area in a state of drought, making farming difficult and increasing risk of fire. It is a constant reminder that we need to be conscious of our consumption and the state of our environment, and take measures within motorsport to reduce our environmental impact.

Working together in the early going of Race 1, P2 and P3 chasing down the leader

Working together in the early going of Race 1, P2 and P3 chasing down the leader

Two test day sessions kicked off the event, and it was clear we were off pace. We have found a setup window that has worked well at the recent events, however this was not going to work at Laguna Seca. The team worked efficiently to run through an array of setup changes put together by team engineer Andrew Wojteczko. It was clear the setup work paid off when Martin Barkey claimed his first Pirelli World Challenge win in race #1 with Anthony close behind in P4.

Action packed racing as always in the GTS category. Some of the best racing around, period.

Action packed racing as always in the GTS category. Some of the best racing around, period.

Unfortunately Sunday’s race did not go to plan with the #8 car serving a drive through penalty for avoidable contact early in the race and ultimately both the #8 and #80 cars retiring with gearbox issues. The team will identify and address the failures making sure the issue does not recur going forward.

Martin has had the opportunity to dial in his champagne game this season, with three podiums, finding the top step at the final event of the season

Martin has had the opportunity to dial in his champagne game this season, with three podiums, finding the top step at the final event of the season

Reflecting back, the 2016 race season saw the Mantella Autosport team overcome adversity in the early going, develop an intimate understanding of the Xbow from a driver, engineering and mechanical perspective ultimately leading to great results. The close knit nature of the team is undeniably a large factor in the success, generating a great deal of excitement from all involved to carry the momentum forward into the 2017 season.

Celebrating the win at the wall, congratulations Martin Barkey!

Celebrating the win at the wall, congratulations Martin Barkey! (From left to right, Andrew Wojteczko, Brandon Yapp, Kevin Stittle, Kyle McDougall)

Mantella Autosport is currently accepting resumes from funded drivers interested in joining the program to compete alongside Anthony Mantella and Martin Barkey as a 3 car effort in the proven winning KTM XBow GT4 for the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GTS Championship.

It's a team effort, from driving to wrenching, engineering to spotting, respect and comradery, these are all elements that make success possible

It’s a team effort, from driving to wrenching, engineering to spotting, tires to film and media, these are all elements that make success possible (from left to right: Eric Urness, Andrew Wojteczko, Joe Ferguson, Kevin Stittle, Jacob Barkey, Martin Barkey, Anthony Mantella, Kyle McDougall, Andrew Stittle, Corson Panneton, Trevor McClure, Brandon Yapp, Carl Cason)

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

That's a wrap on 2016. There is no question that auto racing builds friendships like nothing else.

That’s a wrap on 2016. There is no question that auto racing builds friendships like nothing else.

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.

Salt Lake City, Utah. (August 23, 2016) – Surrounded by stunning mountains and breathtaking sunsets, Picturesque Utah Motorsport Campus hosted the 8th event of the Pirelli World Challenge GTS season.

High Altitude at Utah Motorsport Campus

High Altitude at Utah Motorsport Campus

 

Why is this event different from the rest? Well it is the teams first professional win since it’s inaugural season in IMSA GS in 2014. Read on to find out more.

The elusive top stop, congratulations Anthony Mantella on your first pro win! Here's to many more!

The elusive top stop, congratulations Anthony Mantella on your first pro win! Here’s to many more!

The win at Utah marks the 3rd podium this season for the team in PWC GTS racing, and the first win. What’s more, Anthony Mantella drove a perfectly executed race to achieve this result, racing hard and smart. This was certainly not a one off, lucky victory, rather the start of a new chapter for Anthony Mantella, knowing he has the capability to run at the front. As often seen in many disciplines, the first win leads to many more to follow. Everyone at Mantella Autosport is thrilled to help continue this journey.

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Race 2 saw Anthony Mantella start P1, and Martin Barkey P3, when the lights went out on the standing start, both KTM XBow’s were still standing. The high grip surface found in Utah coupled with the hot rear tires hooked harder than expected resulting in both cars stalled on grid. Once re-started, it was only a short period before the boys were back in the hunt, and experiencing some fantastic door to door racing, ultimately resulting in Martin Barkey P6 and Anthony Mantella P8.

Race 2, Team Effort moving through the pack

Race 2, Team Effort moving through the pack

The team now heads to Sonoma for pre event testing before the 9th and penultimate round of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship September 14-18th.

#teammates

#teammates

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

Columbus, OH. (July 30, 2016)

Rolling speed through the rolling hills of Mid-Ohio

Rolling speed through the rolling hills of Mid-Ohio

Mid Ohio brought stormy skies for Race 1, ultimately leading to a postponed race due to severe weather. With the makeup race scheduled for the final round at Laguna Seca, it was on to race 2 of the event with clear skies and perfect conditions.

Martin Barkey's KTM XBow GT4 leads the Ginetta

Martin Barkey’s KTM XBow GT4 leads the Ginetta

A stalled car and contact near the front ultimately resulted in Martin Barkey advancing to P2, and Anthony Mantella forced to come to a near complete stop to avoid the wreckage, now at the back of the pack.

A pushup competition was held, Martin Barkey beat all the lads to take the win

A pushup competition was held, Martin Barkey beat all the lads to take the win. Brandon Yapp shown here gave it his all for a close 2nd place finish.

Mid Ohio is a unique surface, one that takes more time than most for tires to come up to temperature. With back to back full-yellow course scenarios, coupled with the low mass of the KTM, we struggled early in the race to find pace. This resulted in Martin falling back until he was able to get the tires to come in. At that point, Anthony and Martin were the second and third fastest cars on track, but the lost track position was too much to regain, ultimately finishing in P9 and P10.

Keeping it light after the cancellation of Race #1

Keeping it light after the cancellation of Race #1. Trevor McClure, Joe Ferguson, Andrew Wojteczko

The team now prepares for a quick turn around before the truck heads west to Utah Motorsport Campus for a race in the mountains.

Anthony Mantella finished just ahead of Martin Barkey in race 2, setting the 2nd fastest lap of the race on route.

Anthony Mantella finished just ahead of Martin Barkey in race 2, setting the 2nd fastest lap of the race on route.

Be sure to follow along at Mantellaautosport.com, on Facebook @mantellaautosport, on Instagram @mantellaautosport. Photos by Sawmill Creative.

Road America, Back to Back podium events!

Elkhart Lake, WI. (July 20, 2016)

The Mantella Autosport team once again found success in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship hunt. The racing at Road America did not disappoint, with frequent position changes and close racing battles throughout the field in both of the 50 minute feature races.

race start

Racing hard to turn 1

Martin Barkey, driver of the #80 MBRP KTM XBow GT4 commented “I came ready to compete, having found the podium at Lime Rock I was looking to carry this momentum into Road America. The Mantella Autosport team prepared a great car and once again I was able to find the 3rd step for race one. Race two consisted of some unfortunate car to car contact forcing a pit stop for repairs, culminating in a P13 finish.”

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KTM XBow vs Lotus Evora, battle of the GT4’s

Martin went on to say “This weekend was also an opportunity to find some personal bests. My best qualifying position to date for race one (P3) and also running second fastest lap in race one to net a P2 starting position for race two.

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P3 in Race 1, Martin Barkey is becoming a regular on the PWC Podium.

Anthony Mantella, driver of the #8 Gulf KTM XBow GT4 didn’t have the qualifying performance he has shown earlier in the season, starting deep in the field he managed to stay out of trouble and place well for Race #2’s start. A hard fought race saw his XBow cross the line P5, a great run up the pack. “I love this car” said Anthony. “It does everything I ask of it, instills confidence, and allows me to race hard. The competition is extremely tight in the GTS class and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Sawmill Creative with the killler photos.

Sawmill Creative with the killler photos.

The team is currently preparing for the next round at Mid Ohio. A new circuit to both drivers, preliminary testing at the track has already paid dividends getting up to speed.

 

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Anthony Mantella leads Lawson Aschenbach in Race #2

Be sure to follow along at Mantellaautosport.com, on Facebook @mantellaautosport, on Instagram @mantellaautosport

What racing is all about

What racing is all about

Photo Credit: Sawmill Creative

Lakeville, CT. (June 4, 2016)

Martin Leads Hugh Plumb in an XBow vs XBow battle

Martin Leads Hugh Plumb in an XBow vs XBow battle

Lime Rock Park is a beautiful racing circuit with recent updates, nestled in the rolling hills and forests of Connecticut. Though the track does face some scheduling challenges due to local bylaws restricting on track activity on select weekdays and Sundays, it is always a pleasure to race at this historic circuit. The track features significant elevation changes, mostly right hand corners and a short overall length (1.5 miles) that breeds close racing and has earned the track the nickname “The Bull Ring”

Starting the event right with some tips from GT driving ace Kyle Marcelli. From left to right, Martin Barkey, Anthony Mantella, Kyle Marcelli, Andrew Wojteczko

Starting the event right with some tips from GT driving ace Kyle Marcelli. Serious business.
From left to right, Martin Barkey, Anthony Mantella, Kyle Marcelli, Andrew Wojteczko

The majority of the promoter test day was rained out, erasing the opportunity to complete valuable setup work. So, straight into race day with not enough time between sessions to make any significant changes. Fortunately we had good KTM XBow GT4’s off the trailer and were ready to challenge the competition.

That's one hard charging Anthony Mantella! Congratulations!!

That’s one hard charging Anthony Mantella! Congratulations!!

“I was excited to compete at Lime rock because I believe the KTM is perfectly suited to this track.” Said Anthony Mantella “Lime Rock is very small and very hard to pass on. The KTM does not have the top speed needed to pass on the straights but it’s very fast in the corners. I was honoured to be presented with the Hard Charger Award for passing six cars on the start of Race #1. I was having a great race until a significant blow by Harry Gottsacker in the #29 Ginetta at the half way mark damaged the car and ended my day.

Turning right

Turning right

With the car repaired and ready for Race #2’s standing start format, Anthony dropped the hammer when the lights went out but didn’t get the launch he was looking for. “Unfortunately with the poor start I lost one position but gained it back being aggressive in corner one. Once again I was racing with the #29 car, this time looking to over take, I had a run on the exit of corner three, I tried to stay on the throttle to pass him and we made contact, ending the race for both of us. Not the result Anthony was after but when his race was done, he came direct to the pit lane to cheer on teammate Martin Barkey.

Holding off a SIN R1 in the MBRP XBow GT4

Holding off a SIN R1 in the MBRP XBow GT4

“You just have to love the BullRing!” exclaimed Martin Barkey. “It’s tight and small with very limited passing so it always delivers good, close racing. Mantella Autosport had the MBRP KTM Xbow GT4 set up just right allowing me to grab a P10 in race one and my first PWC podium, P2 in race two. Racing door to door with these guys is a blast, watching what the competitor’s cars were able to do well while trying to capitalize on what the KTM does well made for some great racing. I look forward to taking this momentum to Road America in June.”

P2 at the chequer, Congratulations Martin Barkey on your first PWC podium!!

P2 at the chequer, Congratulations Martin Barkey on your first PWC podium!!

While it was thrilling to see Martin achieve his first PWC podium and finish the weekend with a great result, our thoughts and prayers are with the DeLaTorre and Palmer families, both drivers sustained critical injuries in the Saturday morning warmup for the Lime Rock Park PWC GT race. Wishing a speedy recovery from everyone at Mantella Autosport.

Be sure to follow along at Mantellaautosport.com, on Facebook @mantellaautosport, on Instagram @mantellaautosport

Photo Credit: Sawmill Creative