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

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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.

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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