IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Z28.R #8 #80

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Alton, Virginia. (August 24, 2015) – Mantella Autosport’s Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey brought the No. 80 MBRP Inc. Camaro Z/28.R to a fifth-place finish overall August 24th Virginia International Raceway.

Working the uphill esses

Working the uphill esses

Two hours of track time was made available during the promoter test day Thursday afternoon and it was clear the #80 car rolled off the trailer with setup close to optimal and were able to focus on fine tuning for the race. Long run fuel tests as well as long run tire evaluations proved to be invaluable in both cases.

Fans are always welcome under the Mantella Autosport tent.

Fans are always welcome under the Mantella Autosport tent.

Team owner and driver of the #8 Z28R, Anthony Mantella elected to sit out this round as a result of IMSA’s decision to maintain the balance of performance, despite a clear display at Road America that the Camaro Z28R is unable to compete on pace in its currently mandated handicapped configuration. Despite the #8 car not competing, it was made available to fans and spectators alike to get up close with.

Staged at the front for Practice, ready to rock.

Staged at the front for Practice, ready to rock.

Martin Barkey qualified the #80 Mantella Autosport/MBRP Z28R on the outside of row 4 alongside the #6 Stevenson Z28R, doing a great job achieving his fastest lap time of the event when it counted, and doing it on lap 2. Regulations mandate starting the race on your qualification tires, so getting it done early and saving equipment for race day is important.

Weather conditions were hot and humid leading into the race. Martin Barkey took the green flag and had this to say about his stint: “Another great race weekend has come and gone. I really enjoy VIR, it’s a great track with lots of unique characteristics making it fun to race. The Mantella team prepared the #80 MBRP Chevy Z28R Camaro perfectly, we were strong right out of the box. I think we were better this weekend than the P5 result we received. That said we have two more races in 2016, we plan on making the very most of them.”

Live music and a huge audience made for a great fan walk.

Live music and a huge audience made for a great fan walk.

Martin Barkey ran a flawless stint, pitting under the first yellow for right side tires and a fuel splash, then pitting after meeting drive time for the remaining fuel and tires along with the driver change. Perfect execution by the team got Marcelli out and ready to push towards the front. A caution period with 1:12 minutes remaining bunched the field up and presented an opportunity to install 4 fresh tires and a full fuel load. One lap after the restart the #158 Multimatic Mustang opted to use Marcelli’s #80 MBRP Camaro as a braking berm and sent Marcelli into the grass. Over 10 seconds were needed to recover and saw the lead pack check out. At this point team strategist Andrew Wojteczko changed gears. “Once we lost the track position after contact, I knew if we could stretch to the end on fuel we’d have a chance. I had Kyle monitoring the Liter per lap page and trying to hit our target. It was going to be too tight, without a full yellow procedure we wouldn’t be able to make it to the end. We splashed fuel and left side tires and pushed hard to the end.” It was for the best as that yellow never came and ultimately resulted in both leaders of the race stalled on the track out of fuel.

Andrew Stittle hustling on the rear gun. Perfect execution all day by the crew.

Andrew Stittle hustling on the rear gun. Perfect execution all day by the crew.

“It was an interesting race to say the least. We were a strong car all weekend and felt very confident with our car for the race. We are happy to finish in the top five, but disappointed as we know that we had a podium taken away from us after being punted off track. Martin Barkey continues to improve each time in the car. His confidence and comfort is evident. Mantella Autosport did a superb job from car set up, to pit stops and strategy. I feel that we did the best we could for everything that was in our control. With two races remaining we are targeting a top five in the championship points.” Said Marcelli.

Sawmill Creative with the top notch media.

Sawmill Creative with the top notch media.

“I’m thrilled to see the team continue to perform at such a high level, while I definitely missed being in the seat, watching Kyle get knocked off track and no action being taken by IMSA was another reminder of why I made the decision I did. I will continue to wait and see if the series takes the necessary steps to correct on track behaviour and the imbalance present in vehicle parity.” Team owner, Anthony Mantella.

COTA is up next September 18th, be sure to follow the Mantella Autosport website (www.mantellaautosport.com) facebook and Instagram accounts for all the latest details.

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Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (August 10, 2015) – Mantella Autosport’s Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey wielded the No. 80 MBRP Inc. Camaro Z/28.R to a sixth-place finish overall August 10th at Road America.

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Kyle Marcelli was able to capitalize on the new Shelby’s braking difficulties at Road America and put Camaro ahead of Mustang.

A successful promoter test day allowed the Mantella Autosport team to hone in on the ideal race setup for the #80 MBRP Z28R Camaro. This proved to be invaluable when the official practice sessions were littered with red flags ultimately leading to a rained out qualification session. This resulted in starting positions being sorted based on championship points, placing the #80 car P7 on the grid.

The team made use of both the 8 and 80 car during the promoter test to maximize seat time and evaluate multiple setup directions. It paid off when Practice day was filled with red flags and wet weather.

The team made use of both the 8 and 80 car during the promoter test to maximize seat time and evaluate multiple setup directions. It paid off when Practice day was filled with red flags and wet weather.

Team owner and driver of the #8 Z28R, Anthony Mantella opted to withdraw from this round of the championship, due to frustrations with the reduced performance currently being experienced by the Z28R, following multiple restrictions imposed by the sanctioning body (IMSA) on the vehicle. Despite the #8 car not competing, it was available to fans and spectators alike to get up close with at the Chevrolet promotional booth.

8 car on display at the Chevy booth with some good company.

8 car on display at the Chevy booth with some good company.

Weather conditions leading into the race were overcast with low probability of rain. Martin Barkey took the green flag and had this to say about his stint: “Road America, is a beautiful track setting, it’s fun to race here. The team once again prepared a very good car for us to race, unfortunately I was not at the top of my game this weekend, losing position to some faster cars early, then having a moment in turn 6 where I lost two positions and was unable to regain these during the balance of my stint. Fortunately Kyle was ready to battle hard, he ran a great race making up positions, putting our #8 MBRP Camaro in P6 to finish the race.”

Sawmill Creative getting the goods as always, non stop killer photo and video work.

Sawmill Creative getting the goods as always, non stop killer photo and video work.

While Martin Barkey didn’t achieve the pace he had hoped for, he did keep the car in pristine condition, exactly what was needed for Kyle Marcelli to push towards the front. Team strategist Andrew Wojteczko opted to fuel the car during the initial caution that was outside of the minimum 45 minute drive time requirements. Immediately following the restart the team was able to meet drive time requirement and pit for the driver change and 4 tires, 8 seconds quicker than if not having completed the prior fuel fill. A well-executed stop got Kyle back on track and in need of a yellow to get back in the mix.

4 tires, fuel splash and driver change. GO GO GO

4 tires, fuel splash and driver change. GO GO GO

Kyle Marcelli who drove a flawless stint had the following to say: “Road America is a great racing circuit and one of the more challenging events on the schedule because of the length of the circuit. Strategy and fuel consumption is always a factor in the outcome of the race.

In for the final stop with 2 Liters left in the tank, ready to go to the end.

In for the final stop with 2 Liters left in the tank, ready to go to the end. Andrew Stittle was on his game all weekend, center stage here on the rear gun.

With the current BOP we knew it was going to be a challenging race for us in the Camaro Z28.R. Our top end speed is an issue and a circuit like road america with three long straights, we knew both over taking and defending would be tough. However, I think we showed great perseverance to push hard for a respectable result. The final restart with 35 minutes remaining proved to be entertaining. I’m proud of our team to finish P6 and earn good championship points. We look forward to the remaining three races and will continue to push hard for podiums”.

Kyle Marcelli used his top-notch race craft to get by and keep BMW/Aston/Shelby at bay. P6 didn't come easy.

Kyle Marcelli used his top-notch race craft to get by and keep BMW/Aston/Shelby at bay. P6 didn’t come easy. A job well done Kyle!

“I’m thrilled to see the team perform at such a high level. While I definitely missed being part of the on track action, watching the 370Z drive around Kyle on the front straight like he was sitting still was a quick reminder of why I made the decision I did. I will continue to wait and see if the series takes the necessary steps to correct the imbalance present in vehicle parity.” Team owner, Anthony Mantella.

Martin Barkey making it a special day for this fan.

Martin Barkey making it a special day for this fan.

VIR is up next in only two short weeks (August 22nd), be sure to follow the Mantella Autosport website (www.mantellaautosport.com) facebook and Instagram accounts for all the latest details.

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Bowmanville, Ontario (July 11, 2015) – Mantella Autosport challenged for the lead and proved it was a contender for victory at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Cresting the infamous corner 2 at Mosport

Cresting the infamous corner 2 at Mosport

The Gulf Oil No. 8 Camaro Z/28.R of Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins recorded its best finish of the season of fifth after starting ninth, while the MBRP Inc. No. 80 Camaro Z/28.R of Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli finished sixth after starting eighth.

Raising awareness and support for a young boy suffering from Severe Aplastic Anemia

Raising awareness and support for a young boy suffering from Severe Aplastic Anemia

 

Oliver checking out the view from the driver's seat.

Oliver checking out the view from the driver’s seat.

The two-hour, 30-minute race featured five yellow flags, and the caution periods played into the team’s race strategy.

The Mantella Autosport paddock was the place to be all weekend with large crowds and Gulf promotional giveaways.

The Mantella Autosport paddock was the place to be all weekend with large crowds and Gulf promotional giveaways.

In the first hour of the race, the No. 8 and No. 80 were running first and second, respectively, in the Grand Sport class, with Wilkins and Marcelli dueling for the lead. The two cars were on a different pit strategy than the rest of the field and pitted with 30 minutes under green, dropping in position.

Kyle and Mark leading the field into turn 9

Kyle and Mark leading the field into turn 9

Both Marcelli and Wilkins recovered to their respective finishes, hoping the leading cars would have to pit for fuel and tires.

Get your signed Mantella Autosport team posters! Available at upcoming CTSCC events.

Get your signed Mantella Autosport team posters! Available at upcoming CTSCC events.

Mantella Autosport had no such luck but walked away proud of the fight it produced for guests from Gulf Oil Canada and MBRP Inc., and family that came to support the team.

“Anthony did an awesome job today,” Wilkins said. “He gave me a clean car and a perfect car to go out and just run. The yellows sort of helped and sort of didn’t. They definitely got us in the game. We took two tires on the last stop toward the end, and we knew we had plenty of fuel. We knew the guys in front of us would be close (on fuel).

“We were strong today, for sure. It’s just so hard to pass here at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. All in all, it’s a good day for Mantella Autosport, the Camaro Z/28.R and Team Chevy.”

Carl Cason getting the wheels and tires ready to race.

Carl Cason getting the wheels and tires ready to race.

Mantella handed a smooth-running race car to Wilkins after fighting off competitors and gaining position while battling with the No. 80 of Barkey and Marcelli.

“The strategy worked perfectly at the end,” Mantella said. “In the beginning, it wasn’t working out, but then it came to us. What was supposed to happen was the cars in front of us were supposed to run out of fuel or run out of tires. It didn’t work that way. Those guys conserved their fuel, conserved their tires. They’re pro drivers, so you never know what’s going to happen. So we’re fifth and sixth, and it’s a great showing at our home track.

“During the driver change, Mark only took two tires and was running with guys that took four tires. That says something about Mark’s capability that he can only take two and still run the pace with the guys up front. That really says a lot about what kind of a driver he is.”

Back on track after the final stop making a push to the front.

Back on track after the final stop making a push to the front.

Marcelli and Barkey in the No. 80 Camaro Z/28.R were in tune to the steps of the No. 8. The teammates spent a majority of their race fighting for the front, alongside Wilkins and Mantella.

The No. 80 car ran a similar pit strategy to the No. 8, though it opted for four tires during the driver change.

Nick Giovanatto brings positive energy and keeps spirits high

Nick Giovanatto brings positive energy and keeps spirits high

“It was a good showing for Mantella Autosport for both cars to be up front for a good portion of the race,” Marcelli said. “I had a lot of fun. It was tough. We had a lot of work to do going into the race. To lead a good portion of it was a lot of fun and was a good show for the home crowd. It proved to myself that I’m capable and proved to the team that we are capable.

“Our strategy was a bit different from the leaders, so we were always a bit off-sequence. The difficult thing here is passing. It’s such a fast track and there are two brake zones, and if you’re defensive through there, it’s like follow the leader. I threw a ‘Hail Mary’ and got side-by-side with our sister car a couple of times. But overall it was a good showing, and I’m happy with our result.”

8 vs 80 driver change practice put on a good show for the fans under the Mantella Autosport tent.

8 vs 80 driver change practice put on a good show for the fans under the Mantella Autosport tent.

Barkey and Marcelli were hoping to best their top finish of fourth place, posted in mid-March at Sebring International Raceway. But their finish encouraged the team and showed progress.

“Overall, it was a great race,” Barkey said. “Kyle and I both are happy with our driving. The team provided a great car. Hats off to Mantella Autosport. We started the race off battling back in seventh, eighth and ninth. We had a great race with the guys in the No. 41 Nissan, and between Anthony and I working together and being able to fend off the Nissan, I was able to find a position on Anthony. We just continued to work together and work our way through.

The crew all ready to rock on race day

The crew all ready to rock on race day

“The first pit stop we found ourselves in second and third, and later on in the race Kyle and Mark found first and second. I think it was a really good showing. We’ve probably got over 100 guests here as a team, and we’re excited to put on a good show for everybody. I think we finished where we needed to. It would have been nice to finish a little higher in the finish, but it was good race.”

Prior to the strong finish in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race, the team had a race against the clock.

Mantella Autosport spent six hours repairing the No. 8 to ensure it would not miss qualifying after damage suffered in a crash during the first practice. Being close to home paid off for the team as the crew made a trip back to its Toronto-based shop for parts.

Sawmill Creative killing it with the great photos, make sure to check out the event video!

Sawmill Creative killing it with the great photos, make sure to check out the event video!

Round 6 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge will take place July 24-25 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.

Round 5 action from CTMP will air at noon (ET) Sunday, July 19 on Fox Sports 1.

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MONTEREY, Calif. (May 2, 2015) – Mantella Autosport overcame slick track conditions and on-track incidents to finish Round 3 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge ninth and 16th before heading to a surprise wedding in Turn 8 of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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CTSCC GS guarantees close, action packed racing

 

After the race, the team surprised crew member Joe Ferguson with a suit and explained his beautiful bride-to-be was waiting for him at the top of Mazda Raceway’s famous “Corkscrew” turn. Ferguson, who thought his wedding was to take place Monday, was swept off his feet by his bride, Clair Ferguson, who organized the surprise.

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One very special race day

 

The bride selected the Corkscrew as their wedding destination because Mazda Raceway is her now-husband’s favorite track and because of the venue’s breathtaking views.

“It was great to see a good friend so happy,” said owner and driver Anthony Mantella. “After a rough race day, we all needed a reason to relax and get our mind off of things. We’re a family here at Mantella Autosport, so it was an honor to be a part of their big day. We wish them nothing but the best; they’re both amazing people, and I know they’ll be very happy together.”

Joe Ferguson, you may now kiss your bride!

Joe Ferguson, you may now kiss your bride!

Prior to the wedding, Mantella Autosport reflected on its hectic race day that included both cars fighting to the finish.

“Thanks to the Mantella Autosport guys and Team Chevy for giving us a really strong Camaro Z/28.R,” Wilkins said. “It took a fair amount of abuse today. It was a little bit unfortunate with the incident. I feel bad for Martin (Barkey) and Kyle (Marcelli). We had a strong car, too.

Rolling speed through the cork screw, pre contact.

Rolling speed through the cork screw, pre contact.

“Obviously we fought a little bit of handling adversity with the damage, but we tried to stay out of trouble and get some points. The guys did a good job. We had good stops. We worked hard, and it’s another top-10. We want to move up the grid, so we just need to keep working.”

Andrew Wojteczko, lead engineer and engineer of the No. 8, looked past the early incident and concentrated on a race strategy to get the No. 8 back to the front of the field.

Strategy decisions and killer fast pit stops kept the 8 car on the lead lap despite the damage and repairs.

Strategy decisions and killer fast pit stops kept the 8 car on the lead lap despite the damage and repairs.

“Anthony did a great job on the start,” Wojteczko said. “We moved up from 13th to ninth and had the pace to stay there, so we were happy to see that. Unfortunately, we just had a moment, and the two team cars made contact, which is never what you want to see happen.

“My guys did such a great job recovering. I’m really, really pleased with how the team performed and stayed positive.”

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The race will be broadcast at 11 a.m. (ET) Sunday, May 17 on FOX Sports 1.

Team manager/engineer Andrew Wojteczko took part in the Twilight Charity bike ride and managed to complete the most laps in the event.

Andrew Wojteczko putting in the KM's, completing the most laps during the charity ride.

Andrew Wojteczko putting in the KM’s, completing the most laps during the charity ride.

Mantella Autosport’s next race will be the Continental Tire 150 at The Glen, a two-hour, 30-minute event. The race takes place in Watkins Glen, New York at Watkins Glen International.

The Mantella Autosport paddock is the perfect place to stop by and get an up close look at what a CTSCC GS car is made of.

The Mantella Autosport paddock is the perfect place to stop by and get an up close look at what a CTSCC GS car is made of.

For additional information regarding Mantella Autosport please contact megan@mantellaautosport.com

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Catch the TV coverage on Fox Sports 1 April 5th 9:00AM to 11:00AM Eastern Time. Or stream on IMSA.COM

Catch the TV coverage on Fox Sports 1 April 5th 9:00AM to 11:00AM Eastern Time. Or stream on IMSA.COM

SEBRING, Fla. (March 20, 2015) – Mantella Autosport placed both its No. 8 and No. 80 Camaro Z/28.R cars in the top 10 of Round 2 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge on Friday at Sebring International Raceway.

The No. 80 of Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey finished fourth in the Microsoft Visual Studio 150 while the No. 8 of Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins finished seventh in the Grand Sport class.

 

Final setup checks on the pad.

Final setup checks on the pad.

At Sebring, Mantella Autosport Lead Engineer Andrew Wojteczko was hopeful the team’s call for two tires on the No. 8 would lead to a better result but was happy to collect the points from the 7th place finish.

“It’s an improvement coming from Daytona,” Wojteczko said. “Still good points there, but this is the direction we want to be going, and we keep trying to improve from here. I’m thrilled with everybody on the team; the guys really did a great job.

“Penalty-free, and that’s the key to succeeding in this series, no doubt.

Finding speed through data analysis and driver coaching

Finding speed through data analysis and driver coaching

“Setup on the 8 car, we just didn’t have it at the end. With our strategy, I was hoping to see a yellow in that last run, and it just didn’t work out. We did a short fuel and two tires trying to gain a bunch of track position, and it worked. But we really needed a yellow to make that car work to the end. But two top-10’s. Great for points, and I am really proud of the whole team.”

Moving up through the pack

Moving up through the pack

The No. 80 of Marcelli and Barkey, engineered by Sasha Anis, ran strong throughout the two-hour, 30-minute race. The car lost ground once when Barkey was pushed off track to avoid an incident.

“I had one little bobble coming into (Turn) 13,” Barkey said. “I was between a GS and an ST car, one of them found the left side of my car, and I just went off into the grass. I couldn’t save it, so I wanted to keep it one piece, let it run off the track and found the exit road back on. I lost one position in class, so not a big deal but not what we wanted. I lost some time but saved the car. Kyle and Sasha did a great job with the race. I’m really happy with our result.”

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Marcelli took the wheel from Barkey halfway through the race and entered in the 10th position. Marcelli led a steady charge to the front, but as the clock wound down he was forced to back off from third place to conserve fuel. But with a large-enough gap between his Camaro Z/28.R and the fifth-place car, he had a smooth ride to the finish line.

Ready for battle

Ready for battle

“It sure would have been nice to have Team Chevy a one-two-three (finish),” Marcelli said. “A one, two and a four is, I guess, second-best. I’m very pleased with Mantella Autosport. I’m very pleased with our Camaro Z/28.R. We’ve done a lot of testing here. And we’ve done a lot of testing on an old tire and a new tire, so we were really, really confident going into this race.

Hustling turn one

Hustling turn one

“Providing everything went well, I thought we were going to have a shot at a result, and it kind of worked out that way. I got in the car I think P9 or P10, and our strategy worked out actually quite well, and I had fresher tires than everyone in front of me. So I had to take advantage of that.

“When the race went green, we were really aggressive and made five spots on the first two laps. That got us to about P4, and then we just kind of held that position. For the last half an hour, we were on fuel conservation mode. We weren’t sure we were going to make it to the end, so I had a nice 10-second gap to the fifth-place car, and we just kind of went on cruise mode.”

Pit stop practice under way.

Pit stop practice under way.

The No. 8 of Mantella and Wilkins, like their teammates, had a strong start. But they had to fight to hold position at the end, with track temperatures soaring higher than 100 degrees and only two new tires. And Wilkins battled in the last minutes of the race, climbing up the running order while sliding around the slick, hot track.

“When I went out, we gambled a little on tires,” Wilkins said. “We took two instead of four to try to get some track position back. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the call we needed, but that was the call Andrew and I made together.

“We thought it would get us to where we needed to be, and we thought maybe we could hold them off. But it’s a hot day and we ran out of tires, and we just tried to hang on best we could to get good points. Anthony had a great stint; he did an awesome job. He ran right up near the front and had great pace, and just hat’s off to him.”

perfect placement

perfect placement

Team owner and driver Mantella started the race 11th and took the No. 8 Camaro Z/28.R straight to the front of the pack. Diligently weaving through traffic, Mantella spent most of his time at the front of the field, even leading the GS class.

Though the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge event was not an endurance race, the bumpy, 17-turn, 3.74-mile circuit is often tough enough on the car and driver to make it feel like one. Mantella felt energized about the performance of his entire team.

“This was definitely my strongest performance of the year, although it’s only the second race,” Mantella said. “My fitness is really good. If they gave me some new tires, I feel like I literally could have done a second stint. The car was great; the guys did an excellent job. Mark drove a great race, and Andrew did an incredible job, as well. Of course, congratulations are in order for Martin, Kyle and Sasha.”

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Mantella Autosport competes next in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge on May 2 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.

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For more information on Mantella Autosport, visit mantellaautosport.com and follow the team socially on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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For Immediate Release:

Team’s first race with pair of Chevrolet Camaro Z28.Rs brings top-ten finish

Check out the Daytona 2015 race broadcast here

Staged up front for Qualifying

Staged up front for Qualifying

January 27, 2015 (Toronto, Ontario) – Friday afternoon’s BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway, the kickoff to the 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, saw the pair of Mantella Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z28.Rs in competition for the first time.

Team member Andrew Stittle waits in anticipation for the green flag to drop

Team member Andrew Stittle waits in anticipation for the green flag to drop

After two hours and thirty minutes of racing, the no. 8 Mantella Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R would finish the race in ninth position in the GS class, with the no. 80 Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R finishing in 12th position.

The MA Z28R's received lots of attention on the popular Fan Walk

The MA Z28R’s received lots of attention on the popular Fan Walk

The no. 8 Mantella Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R of Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins qualified in 14th position. In the opening lap, Mantella passed several cars but also made minor contact with another car that caused damage to the front of the Camaro. The team elected to keep Mantella on track despite the damage, and repaired it during the car’s first pit stop.

It is clear reinforcements are required to prevent the front bumper from failing after contact.

It is clear reinforcements are required to prevent the front bumper from failing after contact.

With a long green flag period at the end of the race, Wilkins – who replaced Mantella during the second stop – ran well within the top-ten during his stint but was slowed on the final lap as his Camaro ran low on fuel, and crossed the finish line in ninth position.

At speed on the banking, bringing home a 9th place finish on fumes.

At speed on the banking, bringing home a 9th place finish on fumes.

“We are beyond fortunate to have a top-ten finish,” said Mantella. “After months of intense preparation and anticipation, I was excited to finally take the green flag at Daytona. I quickly passed a handful of cars in the first lap only to have the front grill and valence break apart because of a small contact. The damage had an immediate effect on my ability to see the track. My engineer Andrew – a strategy genius – determined the best strategy was to keep me on the track until it made sense to pit for repairs.

“Mark Wilkins continues to inspire and impress me with his masterful driving and I could not possibly be any luckier than to have this man as my co-driver, coach and friend. Wilkins’ tremendous skill carried the Z28.R through the second portion of the race into eighth position almost finishing there until the car had to coast on fumes through the line, placing ninth. My entire team is dedicated to having a successful season and we all work incredibly hard to reach our goals. I am looking forward to Sebring. The Z28.R will perform very well on that track.”

Pre race discussions. Cautiously optimistic, these races can be cruel.

Pre race discussions. Cautiously optimistic, these races can be cruel.

Wilkins was happy with the result in Mantella Autosport’s first race with the Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R

“Anthony drove a strong first stint and kept focused after early contact dislodged the front grill and required repair,” said Wilkins. “I drove hard in an attempt to get back up front, and a top-ten finish is a positive start to the season. We will work hard to come out of the box with a quick car at Sebring where I think the track will be better suited to the car.”

The no. 80 Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R of Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli started the race in 19th position. Barkey, in his second season in the series, advanced up to eighth position during the opening stint of the race before handing the car over to Marcelli. After taking the car over, Marcelli ran in tenth position before the final pit stop under full course caution. During the stop, his car made contact with a tire left in his pit stall and he was assessed a drive-through penalty.

Martin drove an awesome first stint moving up to P8 overall.

Martin drove an awesome first stint moving up to P8 overall.

“Daytona was an opportunity to see just how capable our team really is,” said Barkey. “Our Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28 is fast, the team is dedicated, and Kyle and I are capable of running up front. Unfortunately a simple mistake in the pits cost us a much better finish than twelfth. We will now focus on performing our best at Sebring.”

The hand off to Kyle Marcelli, fortunately the door still opened, barely.

The hand off to Kyle Marcelli, fortunately the door still opened after side contact, barely.

The penalty, assessed when the race returned to green flag conditions, put Marcelli’s car more than 30 seconds behind the race leaders. Despite running a pace similar to the leaders, with no cautions in the final 45 minutes, Marcelli was unable to make up additional track position and finished in twelfth position.

Rubbing is often racing in the CTSCC, the fans got a great show and the cars will be back to pristine for Sebring.

Rubbing is often racing in the CTSCC, the fans got a great show and the cars will be back to pristine for Sebring.

“Unfortunately, we did not have the result that we wanted to start the season with,” said Marcelli. “As we know, at this level of competition, we need to make no mistakes to win. My co-driver Martin Barkey drove a great first stint and it was exciting to watch him battle for position. After taking the wheel of the car at the 45-minute mark, I was pleased with our pace and our position in the top-ten. We know the Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R is a good race car and Mantella Autosport is a good team. Expect us on the podium shortly.”

The next Continental Tire Challenge race will be on Friday, March 20 at Sebring International Raceway.

About Mantella Autosport

Mantella Autosport is an all-Canadian team composed of dedicated individuals with experience at the highest levels of motorsport united to achieve continued success, competing in the 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series with two Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R race cars. Mantella Autosport’s partners include General Motors, Gulf Oil, MBRP Performance Exhaust and Spyder. For more information, visit www.mantellaautosport.com.

Media Contact

Efrain Olivares
(818) 254-7196
efrain@shiftgroup.net

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For Immediate Release:

Mantella and Wilkins team in no. 8 Mantella Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R while Barkey and Marcelli will drive no. 80 Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R

January 20, 2015 (Toronto, Ontario) – Entering its second season in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Mantella Autosport features two new cars and two new drivers.

Mantella Autosport will field a pair of ground-pounding Chevrolet Camaro Z28.Rs driven by a quartet of Canadian drivers in the 2015 Continental Tires season. Team owner Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins will drive the no. 8 Mantella Autosport / Gulf Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R, while newcomers Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli will drive the no. 80 Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R. MBRP is a leading manufacturer in high performance exhaust systems for today’s most popular import and domestic vehicles, ATV’s and snowmobiles.

An all Canadian driver lineup and crew

An all Canadian driver lineup and crew

At the Roar Before the 24, Mantella and Wilkins drove their Camaro to the ninth position in the combined practice times. The two drove together throughout the 2014 Continental Tire Challenge season.

“As team owner I can’t express how I feel about going to Daytona – it’s impossible!” said Mantella. “We’ve got fast Z28.Rs, an awesome engineering team, tireless crew and two pro drivers that would be competitive anywhere in the world in any series. It really is a dream to have Mark and Kyle as our pro drivers, words to describe the respect I have for each of them escape me. These gentlemen both prove to Martin and I that with proper focus, dedication and a never-ending will to win, championships are possible.”

Wilkins, a noted endurance racing specialist, has won at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

The banks of Daytona are much steeper than photos lead you to believe.

The banks of Daytona are much steeper than photos lead you to believe.

“The Mantella Autosport crew has had an exceptionally busy off-season preparing the two Chevrolet Camaro Z28.Rs,” said Wilkins. “The Roar was a great opportunity for us to put some miles on the cars and get to work on setup for the race weekend. We ran through a series of changes and I feel we made some great progress heading into the race this weekend. We constantly developed and learned a lot last year, and we look forward to continuing the progress with our stunning Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R. I’m also very excited to have the opportunity to work with Kyle and Martin this season. It’s always nice to have a team car to work with and I’m confident this will really elevate the whole program in 2015!”

Newcomers to the team Barkey and Marcelli also drove together throughout the 2014 Continental Tire Challenge, scoring a best finish of third at Virginia International Raceway.

“The 2015 race season is here, and I can’t wait to get started at Daytona,” said Barkey. “With a good Roar Before the 24 behind us, I can say the Mantella Autosport team has our no. 80 Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R ready to race. The car is a beast, yet easy to drive. Daytona is not the best track for this car, yet I feel we will still be competitive there. The team is dedicated, from ownership to engineers, drivers to crew. Everyone is 100% willing to do what it takes to bring a professional team to the line every time. It’s going to be a great year.”

Up to speed in the Daytona infield.

Up to speed in the Daytona infield.

Marcelli is a multi-time race winner in the American Le Mans Series, and has extensive experience in prototypes as well as GT-class machinery.

“This is a big-time program for Mantella Autosport to take on, and I think there are many people watching and evaluating,” said Marcelli. “That being said, I have complete faith and confidence in Mantella Autosport that we will succeed in this year’s Continental Tire Challenge. We have a wonderful group of individuals – ownership, engineering, mechanics, drivers, and all of our sponsors and supporters. Collectively, we are all driven with a goal of winning races and showcasing the utmost professionalism on and off the track.”

The BMW Performance 200 will be streamed live on IMSA.com on Friday, January 23 at 2:00 PM ET.

About Mantella Autosport

Mantella Autosport is an all-Canadian team composed of dedicated individuals with experience at the highest levels of motorsport united to achieve continued success, competing in the 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series with two Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R race cars. Mantella Autosport’s partners include General Motors, Gulf Oil, MBRP Performance Exhaust and Spyder. For more information, visit www.mantellaautosport.com.

Media Contact

Efrain Olivares
(818) 254-7196
efrain@shiftgroup.net

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto, ON (December 19th 2014) – Following the recent announcement that Mantella Autosport will switch from Aston Martin to Chevrolet for the 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the team has now announced the signing of American Le Mans Series winner Kyle Marcelli to pilot one of the teams Camaro Z28.R’s alongside Martin Barkey.

Beautiful Sebring sunset wrapping up a successful 2 day test.

Beautiful Sebring sunset wrapping up a successful 2 day test.

This news comes not long after the team’s recent two-day test at Sebring International Raceway, where Marcelli tested the car for the first time.

“I’m pleased to be joining Mantella Autosport for 2015 and to be co-driving alongside fellow countryman Martin Barkey.” Said Kyle Marcelli. “The team has proven that they want to win races and there’s no question that they have the personnel and equipment to accomplish that goal. I worked with Martin in 2014; he takes his racing responsibilities seriously and puts forth a lot of effort both on and off track. Following our recent test, I enjoyed coming to grips with the Camaro, it’s a very different car than the Porsche. I look forward to the up coming season and I expect the competition to be strong, so we will need to bring forward our best effort.”

“Mantella Autosport Inc. is thrilled to welcome Kyle Marcelli to the driver lineup alongside Martin Barkey. His extensive experience and outright pace is an asset to the team and will no doubt help secure great results in the #80 Mantella Autosport, MBRP Camaro Z28R.” Commented Andrew Wojteczko, Team Manager

Kyle Marcelli at speed entering Turn 1 at Sebring

Kyle Marcelli at speed entering Turn 1 at Sebring

The 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge kicks off with the official pre-season test at Daytona International Speedway on January 9-11, 2015, followed by round one of the championship at Daytona International Speedway on January 21-23, 2015 in support of the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona.

You can watch live race coverage on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.

For media inquiries, please contact: Press@KyleMarcelli.com

 

ABOUT: MANTELLA AUTOSPORT

Mantella Autosport is an all Canadian race team based out of Toronto, Ontario. For 2015 they are campaigning two Chevrolet Z28R race cars in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. The televised 10-race schedule, will see the team travel to premier race tracks in North America on their mission to win the 2015 Championship.

For more information on Manetlla Autosport visit: www.MantellaAutosport.com

ABOUT: KYLE MARCELLI

Today, at 24 years of age, Canada’s Kyle Marcelli has established himself as a professional racing driver and one of North America’s top rising stars in professional sportscar racing across the globe. After a successful career in go karts and single-seaters, Kyle made his rookie debut at the pinnacle of sportscar racing, the American Le Mans Series in 2010. Since then, Kyle has built a reputation of being a consistent front-runner earning many qualifying pole positions, race wins and podium finishes.

Kyle’s permanent residence is Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Following his career aspirations of professional auto racing; he’s a consummate professional both on and off the track. Kyle represents his passion, sport, sponsors, team and fans proudly and effectively. He’s winning, engaging and always visible.

For more information on Kyle Marcelli visit: www.KyleMarcelli.com

 

ABOUT: CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTSCAR CHALLENGE

The IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is a grand touring and touring car racing series run by the International Motor Sports Association. Originating from the Canadian Motorola Cup, the series was taken over by Grand-Am in 2001 to become the Grand-Am Cup following the demise of rival IMSA’s Firehawk series of similar rules in the US. KONI became series sponsor for the start of the 2007 season when the series became known as the KONI Challenge Series, before renaming once more prior to the start of the 2009 season as the KONI Sports Car Challenge. The series name was once again changed for the 2010 season.

The Continental Challenge was the support series for Grand-Am’s premier offering, the Rolex Sports Car Series. In 2014, the series became the support series for the United SportsCar Championship upon the merger of the Rolex Series and the American Le Mans Series. The series was renamed the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

For more information on the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge visit: www.IMSA.com

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Toronto Ontario, October 30 2014.

Mantella Autosport is thrilled to announce a two car, 2015 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge championship effort featuring the Chevrolet Camaro Z28R.

pratttag

Pratt Miller built chassis

The team is honoured to welcome Martin Barkey on to pilot one of the Z28R’s for 2015. Martin is the founder of MBRP performance exhaust systems, manufacturers of world renowned high performance exhaust systems for cars/trucks/ATV’s and Snowmobiles. Martin is also a visionary of some absolutely stunning project vehicles. If you’re not already following MBRP on Facebook and Instagram, you’re missing out. There is no doubt that Martin’s excellent mechanical understanding coupled with a full season of CTSCC experience in 2014 (Including an impressive 3rd place finish at VIR) means he is in great form starting the 2015 CTSCC season.

MBRP

The best performance exhaust products on the market.

Mantella Autosport is also pleased to welcome back Spyder and Gulf Competition lubricants as team partners. Stay tuned for a detailed release showing the updated Z28R’s and new team liveries.

The best apparel in the paddock and on the slopes.

The best apparel in the paddock and on the slopes.

Competition lubricants

Competition lubricants

Fans can also look forward to the return of driving pair Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins, hot off a great run up to 2nd overall and fastest race lap at the 2014 season finale at Road Atlanta. These gentlemen have shown they have the speed to run up front and are set to make a bid for the championship.

mbomp

Martin Barkey getting test fit and a custom seat insert poured. MoTeC data systems are the best in the business.

Shannonville Motorsports Park served as the initial testing location for the two Chevrolet Camaro Z28R’s. Initial testing was positive and the team is now hard at work carrying out improvements in preparation for the team’s second pre-season test at the famed Sebring International Raceway on November 19/20th.

GM's LS7 makes the party happen.

GM’s LS7 makes the party happen.

“Sebring is a very demanding circuit, both on equipment and driver ability. Consequently it is the perfect place to evaluate the cars and continue our programs development” Said team manager/engineer Andrew Wojteczko. “With Sebring as the second stop on the CTSCC schedule, it will be an asset to have some additional testing time at this circuit.”

Reliable motorsport ECU and power systems.

Reliable motorsport ECU and power systems.

When we find a good thing we tend to stick with it and that certainly applies to the excellent photography provided by Jake Media. Look forward to a season full of awesome photos from Jacob Barkey, truly the class of the field in motorsports photography.

Expect a well prepared Mantella Autosport team at the season opener in January at the legendary Daytona International Speedway. It’s going to be a great season of racing, don’t miss it!

To keep up to date on the travels of the Mantella Autosport Race Team check out our Facebook/Instagram @mantellaautosport @martinbarkey, and Mantellaautosport.com where we will post updates all season long. Also be sure to checkout http://www.martinbarkeyracing.com and http://www.mbrp.com

Mantella Autosport is an all Canadian, race team based out of Toronto Ontario. For 2015 they are campaigning two Chevrolet Z28R race cars in the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge. The televised 10 race schedule, will see the team travel to premier race tracks in North America on their mission to win the 2015 Championship.

Anthony Mantella – Team owner and driver. 2015 marks his second season in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge in addition to multiple seasons of Porsche GT3 Cup racing.

Mark Wilkins – Driver. Winner of the 2014 Rolex 24 Hrs of Daytona, PC class, 3rd place Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship.

Martin Barkey – Driver. 2015 brings Martin’s second season in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. In addition to Porsche GT3 cup experience, Martin earned a season best 3rd place finish at the VIR CTSCC round.

For more information on Sponsorship Opportunities, and Track Experiences contact Mantella Autosport at mantellaautosport@gmail.com

 

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A little red Georgia clay on the windscreen.

Caledon Ontario, (October 5th 2014). The Mantella Autosport, No.8 Powered by Spyder/Gulf lubricants Aston Martin Vantage tops practice and challenges for a podium result.

The forecast called for perfect conditions for the three days leading up to the race however come race day severe conditions and 100%POP were expected. The team used all of the available track time efficiently, fastest in practice 1 and p2 in practice 2. Anthony Mantella improved every session and put down a season best 8th place qualifying, ensuring a great starting position for the race. Come race day the team awoke to dark skies and heavy rain, just as expected.

JKMD1991

undoubtedly, Road Atlanta

“Despite intermittent rain and a damp track prior to the start of the race, I kept a close eye on the weather radar and put the car on grid on dry tires” said Andrew Wojteczko. “I was confident Anthony could manage the conditions at the start and kept the dry setup on the car. It all worked out and I was thrilled to see Anthony drive a flawless stint and bring the car in at the first yellow at the 50 minute mark with great track position. Mark took over and did a great job driving the car to the front. We definitely had the pace to hold 2nd place at the end, unfortunately contact with the #6 Stevenson Racing Camaro resulted in a spin with 2 laps to go and ultimately a 12th place finish at the line. Despite missing the podium, the team executed perfectly and certainly showed what we are capable of. Looking forward to 2015 with the new cars, and a chance to see the Road Atlanta broadcast, word is we received some good tv coverage.”

Ready

Ready

“Our goal was to win the race and end the season on a high note” Said Mark Wilkins. “We were fast all week and knew we had a shot at a great result. Anthony drove his best stint of the season and I couldn’t be happier with his performance. The team executed perfect stops and the strategy and car setup were spot on. Although we did not achieve our intended result, we certainly showed how far the team has come! I’m anxious to get the 2015 season started!”

Popular on the fan walk.

Popular on the fan walk.

“What a way to finish the year!” Said Anthony Mantella. “We haven’t caught too many breaks this season but handing the car off to Mark in good shape in seventh place was euphoric. I slipped into the zone and didn’t mis-shift the car once. We’re coming back here! Imsa is our home now, we’ve made some great friends, grown as a team and learned more than people think. We’ve got a new plan for next year, unfortunately it doesn’t include the Aston. One last thing!  The crew didn’t make a mistake all year, every stop was fast and precise, Andrew called our race strategy correct time and time again. They deserve a trophy. Bring on Daytona!”

Auto Analyser Performance Penske dampers can use all of the curbing.

Auto Analyser Performance Penske dampers can use all of the curbing.

“So that’s a wrap on 2014. I’d like to give a huge thanks to everyone that made this season possible, Anthony Mantella, Mark Wilkins, Chris Ruigrok, Lionel Channing, Andrew Stittle, Tyler Givogue, Lance Webb, Sasha Anis (OnPoint Dyno), Jacob Barkey (Jake Media), and another huge thanks to our team partners Spyder and Gulf lubricants.” Andrew Wojteczko.

three laps to go, P3 and about to make a clean pass for P2

three laps to go, P3 and about to make a clean pass for P2

To keep up to date on the travels of the Mantella Autosport Race Team check out our Facebook, Instagram and Mantellaautosport.com where we will post updates all season long.

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 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.

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. Winner of the 2014 Rolex 24 Hrs of Daytona, 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 jlancewebb@gmail.com

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