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Caledon Ontario, (September 20th 2014). The Mantella Autosport, No.8 Powered by Spyder/Gulf lubricants Aston Martin Vantage qualified well, unfortunately first lap contact necessitated a behind the wall repair before resuming.

Great view from the tower

Great view from the tower

Hot and humid conditions with severe rain storms best described COTA 2014 with temperatures exceeding 42 degrees C with the humidex factored in. Pre-event analysis and setup work resulted in a fast Aston Martin Vantage right off the transporter, especially important at an event with only two practice sessions before qualification.

The red white and blue of COTA

The red white and blue of COTA

Anthony Mantella continued to improve his qualification posting a season best 12th place after completing only two timed laps. ” I knew I had to get it done in the first two laps to make sure I had the best possible tires to start the race.” Continental GS rules require cars to start the race on 3 of their 4 qualification tires. “It’s encouraging looking at the data, there was a top 6 qualification between the two laps so I’m just going to keep working at improving my consistency and the results will come.” Said Anthony Mantella

Team drivers Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins

Team drivers Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins

Unfortunately race day visions of greatness were quickly dissolved following contact in the first corner that left the Aston stranded on the side of the track. The team stayed positive and quickly got to work as soon as receiving the car back from the flat bed. A new tie rod, minor body repair, MAF sensor repair and an alignment and the car was back on track with Mark Wilkins at the wheel.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Mark Wilkins.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Mark Wilkins.

“The car was a blast to drive in the mixed conditions, we pitted for wets half way through my stint and managed to climb back to 18th place at the chequer. The balance of the car was fantastic and the team did a great job getting it fixed up and back out. It was easy to manipulate between under/oversteer and confidence inspiring at the limit. It’s always a great feeling when you’re made aware you’re running the fastest current times of the session over the radio. I know we’ll be strong again in Atlanta and can’t wait to get back behind the wheel.” Said Mark Wilkins.

Jake Media with the great shots as always!

Jake Media with the great shots as always!

“I’m very pleased with the performance of our team” said Andrew Wojteckzo. “The guys do a great job and I know without any doubt our drivers are getting in the best prepared car on track for every session. Unfortunately contact is a part of the sport and you’re not always able to show your true potential. Everyone executed perfection on the tasks that they could control and that’s all I can ask for.” JKMD9818

To keep up to date on the travels of the Mantella Autosport Race Team check out our Facebook and 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

Caledon Ontario, May 7th 2014

Mantella Autosport continues to build speed at Laguna Seca

The 3rd round of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge at Laguna Seca was an emotional roller coaster for the Mantella Autosport team. The team had some highs and some tough lows throughout their week in Monterey CA.

Fast at Laguna, photo courtesy Jake Media

Fast at Laguna, photo courtesy Jake Media

Early in the test sessions, the Mantella team struggled with an intermittent low power condition on the Spyder/Gulf Oil Aston Martin Vantage GT4. “These small technical issues are distracting to our focus on getting a fast race setup for this track.” said team owner and driver Anthony Mantella “I have to tip my hat to my team, they resolved the problem and set up a great race car for this technical track.”

Mantella, who had never driven Laguna Seca before, started the Saturday race in 16th and drove with determination, moving all the way up to 10th during his stint in thecar. “I guess all those hours in the simulator paid off” said Mantella. “Again, I have to hand it to Andrew and the team. The race set up for the car was awesome and allowed me to focus on my driving.”   Wojteczko said “Anthony achieved great track position for the hand off to Mark Wilkins, a job well done.”

Up to P2 in the race before penalty

Up to P2 in the race before penalty

Wilkins continued the charge up the field and moved up to P2 in time for the second and final pit stop. Shortly after a well-executed stop for fuel and 4 tires, IMSA officials notified the team of a penalty to be served. Mark did not see the red light at pit exit and had driven out of a closed pit lane, the penalty was stop plus 60 seconds.

The driver change has to be perfect to not be the limiting factor

The driver change has to be perfect to not be the holdup in a stop

Mark came back in to serve the penalty yet managed to stay on the lead lap. While conserving tires and fuel, the full course yellow needed to rejoin the pack finally came, and we were back within site of the leaders. Once again, Mark worked his way up through the field one position at a time. A testament to his skill, sound tire strategy and a great car set up.   The team was cautiously optimistic, watching their car work, yet, knowing time was not on their side.

high intensity in the closing moments

high intensity in the closing moments

Then, with three laps remaining, contact in corner 3 while challenging for 7th position left the car stuck in the gravel trap.

“A tough result to swallow at Laguna but certainly plenty of positive takeaways” said Mark Wilkins “Anthony drove a great opening stint and handed me an excellent car. It was great to run up front and challenge for the lead and then have to battle through the field after the penalty. I pushed very hard to get back up front and the team did a fantastic job with the pit stops to get me there. Unfortunately, late race contact took us out of the race. That’s racing! We’ll get them next time.”

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“The team performed very well all week. I have no doubt we had podium potential this race, but we have to avoid penalties”. Said Team Engineer Andrew Wojteczko.   “It was very encouraging to see the team recover from the penalty and move back up into the top 8 before contact ended our day. The damage to the car is minimal and we will be ready to challenge for the podium at Lime Rock”.

“We are a new team and I suppose new teams must pay their dues!” Said team owner Anthony Mantella. This is a very tough, competitive series with a lot of great cars and drivers. “We continue to get better and build speed every race. I am proud of every member of this team and I can’t wait for Lime Rock. Thanks to Jacques Dallaire and Jake media for the photos seen here.

Chris Ruigrok ready to rock the tire change

Chris Ruigrok ready to rock the tire change

Tyler Givogue, focused

Tyler Givogue, focused

Pre race excitement

Pre race excitement

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 IMSA 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. For more information on the team and drivers check out MantellaAutosport.com and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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 LWebb@Spyder.com

 

The race had a record high  7 full course cautions, and saw multiple cars on their roofs

The race had a record high 7 full course cautions, and saw multiple cars on their roofs

Mantella Autosport makes big advances in Sebring.

Caledon On. (Feb 22, 2014)  The Powered by Spyder, Gulf, Mantella Autosport race team travelled to Sebring Florida last week for further testing of the number 8 GS Class Aston Martin Vantage.  Incremental improvements were made in both the speed of the car and pit crew performance during the two days of testing.

Navigating the technical 17 turn Sebring circuit

Navigating the technical 17 turn Sebring circuit

“The Sebring test was very productive”, says team director and race engineer Andrew Wojteczko.  “We made great strides with the dampers, fuel consumption, brakes and more and the data gathered will now be used in simulation software to see if further gains can be found. The car ran without fault for the 5.5 hours of track time”.

“I’m very pleased with our progress at the Sebring winter test” said team driver Mark Wilkins, “The team worked diligently through a detailed test plan and gained invaluable knowledge about the Aston on the technical and bumpy Sebring circuit”.

Endurance racing is a team sport and these two days turned into a real test for the pit crew as well.  “The CTSCC is very competitive and wins and losses are often decided during the pit stops” said Wojteczko – “My crew is fantastic and I really challenged them this weekend. They worked through each scenario with great composure.  Day one started with a written test ensuring a complete understanding of the 110 page rule book, followed by on track tests with driver changes, simulated pit box overshoots, short fuel hose, short notice stops for tires/damage, and even wheel gun failures.  Being prepared for these situations is essential to winning championships and will certainly pay dividends during the highly unpredictable race situations that can come up at a moment’s notice.”

testtime

Test Time, understanding the rules is fundamental in the IMSA CTSCC

Team owner and driver Anthony Mantella is thrilled with the way his team is shaping up this early in the season.  “I really can’t say enough about the team!  I’m in total amazement at how well we all work together. People won’t believe we started five short months ago. We’re like family. Things are moving so well. We’ve got great Sponsors and an awesome fan base that’s growing daily”

What Sebring lacks in elevation, it makes up for in the bumps, the roughest track on the 12 race calendar.

What Sebring lacks in elevation, it makes up for in the bumps, the roughest track on the 12 race calendar.

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 Sports Car 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 – 2014 Rolex PC champion, 3rd – 2013 Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship, 3rd – 2013 Rolex 24 GT,  1st -2012 Petit Le Mans 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 driver coaching abilities makes him an 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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