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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

 

 

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Austin, Texas. (September 21, 2015) – Mantella Autosport’s Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey brought the No. 80 MBRP Inc. Camaro Z/28.R to a sixth-place finish overall in September 18th’s race and marked the return of the #8 Gulf Liveried Camaro Z/28.R of Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins to IMSA CTSCC competition at the Circuit of the Americas.

Two MA team cars back in action at COTA.

Two MA team cars back in action at COTA.

The lack of a promoter test day limited the potential to make multiple setup changes. Following practice 1 it was immediately clear that despite being an extremely smooth surface, tire degradation in the texas heat was severe at the 3575lb IMSA mandated base weight (plus fuel/driver) and a setup change was made on both the #8 and #80 Camaro for practice #2.

Sawmill Creative getting the great shots as usual

Sawmill Creative getting the great shots as usual

“COTA proved to be a challenging race in many ways. As always the competition in the CTSCC was very strong with all teams, drivers and cars bringing their best performance. The heat introduced another element of challenge as the 100 degree plus temperatures took a toll on us drivers. My co-driver Martin Barkey drove one of his best qualifying performances to date and executed a clean race stint.

Martin Barkey starting P9 after a well executed qualification.

Martin Barkey starting P9 after a well executed qualification.

My double race stint was exciting and challenging. We made our way to P4 before getting spun in turn 13 which dropped us back to P11. Ultimately, that ruined our chances of a podium. We had to fight hard with multiple cars that have more straight line speed to work our way back to P5, and unfortunately pushed too hard and wore out our rear tires. With the heat and lack of rear tire grip, it was difficult to manage the pace we needed in the closing laps. We lost one position to finish P6.

I’m very proud of Mantella Autosport. The guys worked hard to fix some gearbox issues we were having before qualifying. They once again prepared a reliable, quick race car for Martin and I to compete with. I’m looking for to Road Atlanta and with a little luck spraying some champagne.” Said Kyle Marcelli.

Kyle Marcelli aced the first restart to gain two positions.

Kyle Marcelli aced the first restart to gain two positions.

Co Driver Martin Barkey felt “It was a roller coaster race to say the least. After battling slick track conditions during practice sessions we found a good set up for the race that would allow us to be competitive.The entire race found both Kyle and I battling for position. Pushing hard yet trying to keep keep tires on the car seemed to be the job at hand. Kyle Marcelli ran a super strong race working his way up to P4 before being spun by a competitor.I think we had a chance to once again fight for a podium, finishing P6 just seems to be coming up short. We are hoping for a good clean race at Atlanta. with a little luck on our side we might just net the podium position we are capable of.

Mantella Autosport crew executed exceptionally well in the pit.

Mantella Autosport crew executed exceptionally well in the pit.

“It was great to be back in the 8 car and back on track with the Mantella Autosport guys. It was a tough weekend. Unfortunately, we had to retire the car due to an issue with the cooling system and subsequent overheating.  I felt we had a very well balanced car and many thanks to Andrew Hall for his engineering expertise. Anthony drove a strong first stint and had a great start. Thanks to the Mantella Autosport crew who are working hard to get the Z28R prepped for the final race of the season at Road Atlanta. I love this track and can’t wait to end the season on a high note.” Said Mark Wilkins. Unfortunately a ruptured coolant hose ultimately lead to the demise of the LS7 power plant prior to the 2.5 hour mark, though still scoring points for completing greater than 70% of the race.

4 tires and fuel for Mark Wilkins.

4 tires and fuel for Mark Wilkins.

Team Owner Anthony Mantella stated “It was great to have the whole team together in Texas.  Coming to COTA was really just practice to get us back in shape after two missed races. Mark and I really like Road Atlanta And we would love to podium there. With a freshened car we’ll be ready to compete then move on to a different series and hopefully not have to endure the BOP problems associated with IMSA CTSCC racing.

Anthony Mantella focused and ready to race despite extremely hot conditions. Regular training helps cope with the extreme temperatures.

Anthony Mantella focused and ready to race despite extremely hot conditions. Regular training helps cope with the extreme temperatures.

The team now prepares at the legendary T1 Race Development location in Dallas Texas (home of the T1r 2165WHP Nissan GTR) prior to sending the rig to Road Atlanta for the final race of the year October 2nd 2015. Be sure to catch the COTA race broadcast on Fox Sports or at IMSA.com in the days to come. Be sure to keep up to date by following the Mantella Autosport Facebook and Instagram pages.

The immediately recognizable COTA tower. A great place to take in the race action from.

The immediately recognizable COTA tower. A great place to take in the race action from.

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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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