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

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St. Petersburg Florida, March 21 2017

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

Constant action in turn 1

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

Anthony Mantella holds off the Camaro GT4 in turn 1

Anthony Mantella holds off the Camaro GT4 in turn 1

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dubai 24 Hour circuit

The 5.39KM 16 turn Dubai 24 Hour circuit

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

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

24h-dubai-2017-general-information

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Celebrating the win at the wall, congratulations Martin Barkey!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anthony Mantella finds the podium for the second straight event.

Anthony Mantella finds the podium for the second straight event.

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

Exiting the tight turn 7 hairpin.

Exiting the tight turn 7 hairpin.

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

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

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

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

High Altitude at Utah Motorsport Campus

High Altitude at Utah Motorsport Campus

 

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

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

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

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

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

Race 2, Team Effort moving through the pack

Race 2, Team Effort moving through the pack

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

#teammates

#teammates

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

Road America, Back to Back podium events!

Elkhart Lake, WI. (July 20, 2016)

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

race start

Racing hard to turn 1

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

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

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

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

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

Sawmill Creative with the killler photos.

Sawmill Creative with the killler photos.

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

 

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Anthony Mantella leads Lawson Aschenbach in Race #2

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

What racing is all about

What racing is all about

Photo Credit: Sawmill Creative

Lakeville, CT. (June 4, 2016)

Martin Leads Hugh Plumb in an XBow vs XBow battle

Martin Leads Hugh Plumb in an XBow vs XBow battle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Turning right

Turning right

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

Holding off a SIN R1 in the MBRP XBow GT4

Holding off a SIN R1 in the MBRP XBow GT4

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Sawmill Creative

 

 

Leeds, Alabama. (April 23, 2016) – Picturesque Barber Motorsport Park hosted the 3rd event of the Pirelli World Challenge GTS season. The facility could easily be mistaken for a country club, with manicured grounds, rolling hills and great atmosphere. Extensive testing and preparation was the theme of the event for Mantella Autosport.

XBow GT4

XBow GT4

Barber Motorsport Park, a new track to team drivers Anthony Mantella and Martin Barkey required seat time to understand its multiple blind entry corners coupled with sweeping elevation changes. Fortunately pre event testing allowed both drivers to learn the circuit and understand how to get the most from their KTM X-Bow GT4’s prior to race day.

Sweeping curves with elevation changes define Barber Motorsport Park

Sweeping curves with elevation changes define Barber Motorsport Park

Qualifying brought a damp, but drying track. Based on weather radar, team engineer Andrew Wojteczko elected to hold the cars for the early stages of the qualifying session, allowing the track to improve and ensuring the drivers had the peak grip of their tires to match the best conditions of the session. This strategy paid off with driver Anthony Mantella earning his best ever qualifying, P5. Teammate Martin Barkey showed great pace but struggled with traffic, finishing the session in P12.

 

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Anthony Mantella, Joe Ferguson, Ready to Race

 

Race 1 brought a mix of challenging conditions, swinging from wet to dry, often with parts of the track completely dry and others with standing water. Driver Anthony Mantella had this to say “Race one was challenging but fun! It has been a while since I’ve been on slicks in the rain. A light car like the X-Bow hydroplane’s very easily but there wasn’t enough water to go to full wet tires. I gave up two positions to finish seventh after a downpour and lightning brought out a red flag to end the race early. Our KTM’s are absolutely spectacular. By far the best race car I’ve driven. This car is so comfortable at speed, the combination of the tight, technical track and our nimble X-Bows are matched very well.” Martin Barkey found “Race one was a blast although we struggled with the wet conditions on stickers the car was fast in the dry sections of the course.”

 

Martin Barkey, ready to strap in

Martin Barkey, ready to strap in

Race 2 brought ideal conditions, clear and sunny skies coupled with a dry race track. Martin Barkey was looking for a great race, a chance to apply the gains made in testing but it wasn’t to be. “Race 2 did not go as planned as I was taken out of the race on the race restart by a competitor on turn 2, sending me into a spin and tagging the wall.” Said Martin Barkey. Unfortunately the resulting damage including a broken wheel meant he was parked for the race. Anthony Mantella raced hard moving up through the field to P8 before a spin dropped him down the order. “Right from the start I was behind the mustang of Jack Roush, it took quite a few laps to get around his defensive driving. I kept the pressure on and let him use up his tires finally getting inside him in 13. After the pass I was hunting down the next opponent, I was pushing hard and lost the rear in corner 12, I just couldn’t catch it! From 8th I went to 20th and fought back to 15th. Lesson learned.”

Anthony Mantella leading the Aston Martin in his KTM XBow GT4

Anthony Mantella leading the Aston Martin in his KTM XBow GT4

The team now prepares to make the most of their home court advantage at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for rounds 7&8 of the PWC GTS championship. Be sure to follow the Mantella Autosport website (www.mantellaautosport.com) facebook and Instagram accounts for all the latest details.

High banking, High grip

High banking, High grip

Toronto, Ontario . (December 14th, 2015) – Mantella Autosport is proud to be the official Canadian importer and distributor for the newly developed KTM XBow GT4. The GT4 derivative of the road going XBow available in Europe is manufactured by Reiter Engineering and homologated to compete in the GT4 category, which in North America includes the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class. This is where Mantella Autosport will operate a 3 car effort, vying for the 2016 Drivers and Manufacturers Championship. 2016 also marks the return of MBRP Inc.’s Martin Barkey with Mantella Autosport Inc.

Testing the Reiter Engineering XBow GT4 in Belgium

Testing the Reiter Engineering XBow GT4 in Belgium

The highly competitive Pirelli World Challenge GTS class will be present at 9 prestigious race events spread over North America and can be seen live on CBS Sports or streamed on world-challengetv.com. Events typically consist of two 50 minute sprint races, with an exciting standing start format. The team is also looking to compete in the 6 hour endurance race at the opening round at COTA and is considering entering the Sprint X races consisting of two drivers sharing the car in a 1 hour race.

The car features a full carbon tub, inboard bellcrank suspension, paddle shift, motorsport ABS among many other exciting features.

The car features a full carbon tub, inboard bellcrank suspension, paddle shift, motorsport ABS, and 2.0T Audi power among many other exciting features. Anthony Mantella is fitted for the first time.

2016 Pirelli World Challenge Schedule  
March 3-6 Circuit of the Americas
March 11-13 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
April 22-24 Barber Motorsport Park
May 19-22 Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
May 27-28 Lime Rock Park
June 23-26 Road America
July 29-30 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
September 16-18 Sonoma Raceway
October Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

 The team driver lineup consists of Anthony Mantella in the #8 car and Martin Barkey/MBRP Inc. in the #80 car. The team currently has an open seat available in the #88 car for funded drivers. Interested parties can contact team manager Andrew Wojteczko andrew@mantellaautosport.com for further information.

Team owner Anthony Mantella had this to say “I’m excited to bring Mantella Autosport Inc. to the Pirelli World Challenge and back to my roots in sprint format racing. I’m confident with the experience we have gained in professional endurance racing that we can achieve great results. I’m equally excited about the newly formed relationship with Reiter Engineering/KTM and am looking forward to promoting the Xbow GT4 and supporting all Canadian interest in the product, it truly is an amazing machine.

Rolling out for some wet weather testing. Results were positive. Despite being a closed cockpit, fogging was not an issue.

Rolling out for some wet weather testing. Results were positive. Despite being a closed cockpit, fogging was not an issue.

Team driver Martin Barkey, MBRP Inc. commented “It’s the “silly season” for most race car drivers, for me it’s hurry up and wait as I’m fully prepared for the 2016 race season. Big changes are coming as I enter a new race series, order a new race car and turn to sprint racing rather than the endurance race format I have been accustomed to for the last two years. I’m thrilled to be once again driving with Mantella Autosport, the professionals here make this team one of the best in the business. I have no doubt partnering with MA once again will generate great opportunities and great rewards. The KTM X Bow GT4 is my car of choice this year, the engineering is amazing. After several test opportunities, it’s clear it does everything well. It will be an adjustment coming from the GT platforms that I’m accustomed to and I’m excited to get racing.

It's one great looking car, lightweight, easy on brakes and tires. Well suited to sprint and endurance racing.

It’s one great looking car, lightweight, easy on brakes and tires. Well suited to sprint and endurance racing.

Be sure to follow along on facebook, Instagram, and the team website for all the latest details on an exciting 2016 program.