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

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Braselton, Georgia. (October 5th, 2015) – Mantella Autosport’s Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey brought the No. 80 MBRP Inc. Camaro Z/28.R to a 3rd place finish overall in October 2nd’s race while the No. 8 Gulf Liveried Camaro Z/28.R of Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins finished 5th at the season ending Road Atlanta race. Mantella Autosport is proud to congratulate Chevrolet on winning the Manufacturers Championship.

Camaro Z28.R Train

Camaro Z28.R Train

A mix of conditions during testing and practice allowed the team to prepare for an uncertain weather forecast for race day, honing in on ideal wet and dry setups. Despite a forecast calling for no precipitation during the 2.5 hour race, the actual conditions were anything but. Steady rain that increased in intensity while on the pre-grid forced a difficult tire decision for team engineer and strategist on the #80 car, Andrew Wojteczko. “I was confident based on the forecast that dry tires were the right choice as we went to grid, but the conditions leading up to the start had me doubting that decision. Turns out Ginger and Martin Barkey were having the same concerns and after some quick communication, I made the call to put both cars on wets.” It was a decision that proved to be instrumental to a successful opening stint for both Martin and Anthony, with them running in P3/P4 in the opening laps of the race. “I’m stoked to finish the season out with our teams first podium in CTSCC competition.” Said Andrew Wojteczko. “The team performed really well and did a great job getting the 8 car turned around after the damage following the practice incident. I’m really looking forward to what 2016 may bring, some exciting possibilities in the works.

Engineer Andrew Wojteczko making sure to hit target fuel consumption in the final stint.

Engineer Andrew Wojteczko making sure to hit target fuel consumption in the final stint.

Here’s what Martin had to say “I really enjoy racing at Road Atlanta, the track flows well and really pushes a driver to go 110% at all times. Fast corners and heavy brake zones combined with cold track conditions and rain would seem to be just what we needed to get our first podium of the season. Mantella Autosport prepped a great race car all week, when the rain came at the start of the race it was go time and we were prepared.

I would like to thank the entire Mantella Autosport race team for such a successful 2016 race season. This team always brings their best game to every race event. Thanks as well to Kyle Marcelli my co – driver and driving coach. Without the countless hours of data review and his drive to be the best prepared drivers we simply would not have had the results we did.” Martin Barkey drove a clean first stint bringing in a perfect car for Kyle Marcelli to race to the end.

Tension ran high during the closing moments while fighting to regain P2

Tension ran high during the closing moments while fighting to regain P2

“All year I’ve commented that I feel we have a team, car and drivers capable of racing up front. We have shown our speed on numerous occasions, but today we put it all together and the result reflected that.

The conditions were very challenging, and required everyone to bring their best effort. Mentally it was a demanding race that required every ounce of focus.

I’m proud of Mantella Autosport, they have proven to be a competitive, professional race team. Our race car reliability has been excellent all year thanks to hard work and preparation. For my teammate Martin Barkey, this year he has made big leaps in his development as a race driver. It’s been a pleasure to work with him, and watch his speed and confidence mature. His driving in the first stint of the race was impressive and played a key role in our result.” Said Kyle Marcelli

Kyle Marcelli in P2 leading the Stevenson Motorsport #6 car.

Kyle Marcelli in P2 leading the Stevenson Motorsport #6 car.

Hard earned champagne on the Podium

Hard earned champagne on the Podium

The 8 car also had a great run achieving a top 5 finish. Anthony Mantella drove a great first stint and had the following to say “What a way to close out the season. Martin drove a clean race with myself in tow. Right from the start I was impressed with our pace, racing up near the front. I’ve really come to enjoy racing in the rain. Racing the Continental Series has surely honed our skills as a team and we’re excited for what the future may hold.

Anthony Mantella watches Mark Wilkins close out the season after a spectacular starting drive in the challenging conditions.

Anthony Mantella following a spectacular starting drive, earning the hard charger award, watches on as Mark Wilkins closes out the season.

Mark Wilkins found “Road Atlanta proved to be a week of highs and lows for the 8 car. The Mantella Autosport Crew prepped a great car for Anthony and I and testing went well. Andrew rolled an excellent car off the trailer for us and the Road Atlanta circuit provided all smiles thanks to its awesome flow. Unfortunately, we suffered a setback on Thursday when Anthony was sent into the wall by an ST car that missed his braking zone. Many thanks to Joe, Lionel and the entire Mantella crew for repairing the car and getting it back on track so we could race! Anthony did an awesome job keeping the car up front in very tricky conditions. All in all, a fifth place finish is a good result to end the season with and many congrats to our sister car for a great podium effort! Many thanks to Anthony for the opportunity to race alongside him and to Andrew for running a fantastic program. Super proud of Mantella Autosport!”

8 car back on track and racing hard after post practice repairs.

8 car back on track and racing hard after post practice repairs.

Be sure to follow Mantella Autosport on Facebook and Instagram for the most up to date information on the team and plans for 2016.

It definitely didn't dry up like the forecast said it would.

It definitely didn’t dry up like the forecast said it would.

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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