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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.

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.

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.

LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 27, 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 July 25 at Lime Rock Park.

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The IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race featured few yellow flags and short cautions, a rarity on the 1.5-mile, technical course. The short track provided the teams with little room for error; one lap could be completed in less than a minute, with speeds over 100 mph.

pre event track walk, helps reveal the small details about a track that can make a big difference in lap time.

pre event track walk, helps reveal the small details about a track that can make a big difference in lap time.

Barkey spent most of his race dueling with the No. 99 Aston Martin of Rob Ecklin Jr. and former teammate Brett Sandberg in the Grand Sport class. Barkey and Ecklin parried back and forth, stealing position from one another, through the majority of Barkey’s one-hour stint.

staged and ready for a 2 hour, 40 car run around the bull ring

staged and ready for a 2 hour, 40 car run around the bull ring

Due to the lack of cautions, Barkey was forced to pit for a driver change and fuel under green flag racing.

The CTSCC Fan walk is always well attended, Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli signing autographs for the fans.

The CTSCC Fan walk is always well attended, Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli signing autographs for the fans.

“I had a great time battling the 99 Aston,” Barkey said. “Rob and I traded places for most of the entire stint. It was nice, clean racing between classes, the GS cars and ST (Street Tuner) cars, with no issues, which made for an overall good race.

“The Continental Tires held up fine. We ended up with a car with too much understeer overall, so had to drive accordingly. The Camaro handled this track well. It is heavy and it is tall, yet we were able to run a good, clean, respectable race. The Mantella Autosport team is top-shelf; they prepared a great car for us today.”

 

Cresting the jump requires a lift of the throttle to manage wheel spin.

Cresting the jump requires a lift of the throttle to manage wheel spin.

Marcelli took over for Barkey after the one-hour mark of the two-hour event. He exited the pits 20 seconds behind the leader, but a late caution came out with 15-minutes left in the race to level the playing field.

Marcelli contended for the lead in the GS class but was unable to get around the Ford Shelby cars, which dominated the second half of the race. Marcelli dealt with understeer through his stint, making the Camaro more difficult to drive in the corners.

It was a one stop race, driver change, 4 tires and fuel at the 57 minute mark.

It was a one stop race, driver change, 4 tires and fuel at the 57 minute mark.

“Overall, it was a clean, well-driven and well-executed race for us,” Marcelli said. “The Mantella Autosport team was at the top of their game all weekend. Martin did a super job in the opening stint. He drove smart and showed confidence.

“My stint was a bit lonely for the first 45 minutes, being that our pit stop was under green flag racing. The caution was our best chance to move forward. However I just didn’t have anything for the leaders. I tried many different lines and driving techniques, but ultimately it was not enough. We ended the day with good points and will continue to push forward during the balance of the season.”

8 car had to go behind the wall for repairs after an st car had brake issues and made contact bending rear suspension components.

8 car had to go behind the wall for repairs after an st car had brake issues and made contact bending rear suspension components. Lionel channing getting his sweat on while working hard to get the 8 car back in the race.

The No. 8 Gulf Oil Camaro Z/28.R of Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins finished 11th in the GS class after contact early in the race from an ST car caused damage.

The No. 8 returned to the garage for repairs after the collision. The diligent work of the Mantella Autosport crew returned the No. 8, Mantella and Wilkins back to the race. But with very few cautions, the No. 8 car re-entered 38 laps down from the lead and was unable to make up the lost position.

Sawmill Creative killing it as always with the awesome photos and video. Event video to follow shortly.

Sawmill Creative killing it as always with the awesome photos and video. Event video to follow shortly.

Lead Engineer Andrew Wojteczko was proud to see his drivers shine through the adversity faced. Wojteczko focused on the points championship and where his drivers stood after Lime Rock Park. Mantella stands sixth in the driver championship while Marcelli and Barkey stand seventh and Wilkins stands ninth after missing Watkins Glen due to a conflicting race.

Stunning.

Stunning.

“Martin ran a great race,” Wojteczko said. “He was able to give me the hour stint I needed to keep us on the lead lap. It’s exciting to see a significant progression in performance compared to last year’s pace. The yellow flag did bunch everyone up for Kyle, but the understeer didn’t allow him to bring the fight at the end. The guys executed the steps really well, I’m proud of all the guys.”

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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Watkins Glen, N.Y. (June 27, 2015) – The No. 8 and No. 80 of Mantella Autosport finished in the top 10 Saturday in the Continental Tire 150 at Watkins Glen International despite racing in heavy rain.

Full wet setup and ready to race. Based on the radar there was no question this was going to be a wet race.

Full wet setup and ready to race. Based on the radar there was no question this was going to be a wet race.

The No. 8 Gulf Oil Camaro Z/28.R of Anthony Mantella and Sasha Anis finished eighth after starting 10th while the No. 80 MBRP Inc. Camaro Z/28.R of Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli finished ninth after starting 12th, both in the Grand Sport class.

Only two practice sessions and then qualifying meant the pre event testing was more valuable than ever.

Only two practice sessions and then qualifying meant the pre event testing was more valuable than ever.

Round 4 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge took place under challenging conditions, with constant rainfall that induced spins and wall contact by many cars.

The rain and chaos limited green-flag racing. There was only one green lap in the last our of the two-hour, 30-minute race. A red flag was thrown with 30 minutes left in the race, as cars were parked for 17 minutes in the pit. The red flag was followed with a 13-minute caution period to the checkered flag.

Staged for qualifying

Staged for qualifying

Both the No. 8 and No. 80 Camaro Z/28.R ran clean races with fast pace, avoiding all on-track incidents.

Barkey was held up behind another GS-class car and was pushed deep in the field behind cars in the Street Tuner class. He maneuvered through the ST traffic, regaining position near the top of the GS class quickly.

The rain didn't let up at any point during the 2.5 hour race, ultimately leading to IMSA intervening and shutting down the fun.

The rain didn’t let up at any point during the 2.5 hour race, ultimately leading to IMSA intervening and shutting down the fun.

“It is fun racing here at Watkins Glen at any time,” Barkey said. “I really enjoyed my time in the Camaro Z/28.R. Unfortunately in the class split, there was a GS car that wouldn’t advance and kept me back.

“It’s a little disappointing to see a race like that where we showed good pace. Both Kyle and Sasha had some of the quickest pace out there toward the end. It would have been an exciting finish.”

Running the rain line. Out wide and off of the concrete.

Running the rain line. Out wide and off of the concrete.

Team Owner Mantella was proud of the hard work and dedication Mantella Autosport showed over the weekend. Mantella’s personal hard work shined under heavy cloud cover as he skillfully maneuvered the wet 11-turn, 3.4-mile circuit and traffic.

“It was a great race,” Mantella said. “Our Camaro Z/28.R was awesome. I’d never raced it at the this track in the rain, and after 10 laps I felt invincible in the car and could really go flat out of the apexes to catch the other cars. The team did a great job.

The team has a few Andrew's, in order from left to right, Andrew Hall, Andrew Wojteczko, Andrew Stittle

The team has a few Andrew’s, in order from left to right, Andrew Hall, Andrew Wojteczko, Andrew Stittle

“I would have liked to see a green flag at the end. It was disappointing, yet another decision surrounding this event that set us back, starting with the BoP adjustment before the race. We eat, sleep, drink and love this sport: All we want is a chance to show our true capabilities on a properly balanced playing field. But in the end, Chevy finished on top, and that’s all that matters.”

Lead Engineer Andrew Wojteckzo echoed Mantella’s thoughts on the team’s work ethic but was disappointed his drivers and crew didn’t receive more time to show their capabilities.

Kyle Marcelli showing a well known Porsche how it's done in the rain.

Kyle Marcelli showing a well known Porsche how it’s done in the rain.

“I’m happy with the two top-10 finishes,” Wojteckzo said. “Unfortunately, the eighth- and ninth-place finishes doesn’t really reflect what we had today. The setup for the rain was spot-on, and the drivers did an awesome job. We could see it in the lap times, and we had some of the fastest cars on track.

“We were hoping for an opportunity to show that. I guess mixed emotions. It was incredibly frustrating to watching the time tick down toward the end and just realizing we weren’t going to get the opportunity.”

It was a challenge keeping anything dry.

It was a challenge keeping anything dry.

No. 80 co-driver Marcelli and No. 8 co-driver Anis received the least amount of green-flag racing. They participated in the second half of the race, which included long, continuous caution periods.

“In a nutshell, I was frustrated with how the last 40 minutes ran under yellow,” Marcelli said. “For us, we’re a Pro-Am lineup, and our chance to race up front comes in the last hour of the race. Our starting driver’s job is to hand off the car in good condition, on the lead lap and in decent position. Then we try to race our way to the front in the end. Having run the last 40 minutes under yellow, we just didn’t receive the opportunity to do that.

Anthony Mantella ready to run a clean race despite challenging conditions.

Anthony Mantella ready to run a clean race despite challenging conditions.

“Our pace was really good. I understand that just prior the yellow both the 8 car and the 80 car were two of the quicker cars on track, running in the (2:) 25’s in the wet. The car was really good; I had a lot of fun. Frustrated with how the end of the race played out, though.”

Anis shared similar sentiments.

“From where we were starting from, we wanted to make up some positions,” Anis said. “The yellows didn’t come at the right time for us for us to kind of attack. The end of the race, the last 30 minutes would have been a great time to attack, and IMSA just decided to not let us race those last 30 minutes. We didn’t get to see where we would end up, but I guess the car’s in one piece so we can look at it that way.”

Mantella Autosport hosted tech talks with Corvette and Camaro fans were well received.

Mantella Autosport hosted tech talks with Corvette and Camaro fans were well received.

Mantella Autosport’s next race will be at its home track of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge weekend will take place July 9-12.

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.

For Immediate Release:

Team’s first race with pair of Chevrolet Camaro Z28.Rs brings top-ten finish

Check out the Daytona 2015 race broadcast here

Staged up front for Qualifying

Staged up front for Qualifying

January 27, 2015 (Toronto, Ontario) – Friday afternoon’s BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway, the kickoff to the 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, saw the pair of Mantella Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z28.Rs in competition for the first time.

Team member Andrew Stittle waits in anticipation for the green flag to drop

Team member Andrew Stittle waits in anticipation for the green flag to drop

After two hours and thirty minutes of racing, the no. 8 Mantella Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R would finish the race in ninth position in the GS class, with the no. 80 Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R finishing in 12th position.

The MA Z28R's received lots of attention on the popular Fan Walk

The MA Z28R’s received lots of attention on the popular Fan Walk

The no. 8 Mantella Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R of Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins qualified in 14th position. In the opening lap, Mantella passed several cars but also made minor contact with another car that caused damage to the front of the Camaro. The team elected to keep Mantella on track despite the damage, and repaired it during the car’s first pit stop.

It is clear reinforcements are required to prevent the front bumper from failing after contact.

It is clear reinforcements are required to prevent the front bumper from failing after contact.

With a long green flag period at the end of the race, Wilkins – who replaced Mantella during the second stop – ran well within the top-ten during his stint but was slowed on the final lap as his Camaro ran low on fuel, and crossed the finish line in ninth position.

At speed on the banking, bringing home a 9th place finish on fumes.

At speed on the banking, bringing home a 9th place finish on fumes.

“We are beyond fortunate to have a top-ten finish,” said Mantella. “After months of intense preparation and anticipation, I was excited to finally take the green flag at Daytona. I quickly passed a handful of cars in the first lap only to have the front grill and valence break apart because of a small contact. The damage had an immediate effect on my ability to see the track. My engineer Andrew – a strategy genius – determined the best strategy was to keep me on the track until it made sense to pit for repairs.

“Mark Wilkins continues to inspire and impress me with his masterful driving and I could not possibly be any luckier than to have this man as my co-driver, coach and friend. Wilkins’ tremendous skill carried the Z28.R through the second portion of the race into eighth position almost finishing there until the car had to coast on fumes through the line, placing ninth. My entire team is dedicated to having a successful season and we all work incredibly hard to reach our goals. I am looking forward to Sebring. The Z28.R will perform very well on that track.”

Pre race discussions. Cautiously optimistic, these races can be cruel.

Pre race discussions. Cautiously optimistic, these races can be cruel.

Wilkins was happy with the result in Mantella Autosport’s first race with the Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R

“Anthony drove a strong first stint and kept focused after early contact dislodged the front grill and required repair,” said Wilkins. “I drove hard in an attempt to get back up front, and a top-ten finish is a positive start to the season. We will work hard to come out of the box with a quick car at Sebring where I think the track will be better suited to the car.”

The no. 80 Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R of Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli started the race in 19th position. Barkey, in his second season in the series, advanced up to eighth position during the opening stint of the race before handing the car over to Marcelli. After taking the car over, Marcelli ran in tenth position before the final pit stop under full course caution. During the stop, his car made contact with a tire left in his pit stall and he was assessed a drive-through penalty.

Martin drove an awesome first stint moving up to P8 overall.

Martin drove an awesome first stint moving up to P8 overall.

“Daytona was an opportunity to see just how capable our team really is,” said Barkey. “Our Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28 is fast, the team is dedicated, and Kyle and I are capable of running up front. Unfortunately a simple mistake in the pits cost us a much better finish than twelfth. We will now focus on performing our best at Sebring.”

The hand off to Kyle Marcelli, fortunately the door still opened, barely.

The hand off to Kyle Marcelli, fortunately the door still opened after side contact, barely.

The penalty, assessed when the race returned to green flag conditions, put Marcelli’s car more than 30 seconds behind the race leaders. Despite running a pace similar to the leaders, with no cautions in the final 45 minutes, Marcelli was unable to make up additional track position and finished in twelfth position.

Rubbing is often racing in the CTSCC, the fans got a great show and the cars will be back to pristine for Sebring.

Rubbing is often racing in the CTSCC, the fans got a great show and the cars will be back to pristine for Sebring.

“Unfortunately, we did not have the result that we wanted to start the season with,” said Marcelli. “As we know, at this level of competition, we need to make no mistakes to win. My co-driver Martin Barkey drove a great first stint and it was exciting to watch him battle for position. After taking the wheel of the car at the 45-minute mark, I was pleased with our pace and our position in the top-ten. We know the Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R is a good race car and Mantella Autosport is a good team. Expect us on the podium shortly.”

The next Continental Tire Challenge race will be on Friday, March 20 at Sebring International Raceway.

About Mantella Autosport

Mantella Autosport is an all-Canadian team composed of dedicated individuals with experience at the highest levels of motorsport united to achieve continued success, competing in the 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series with two Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R race cars. Mantella Autosport’s partners include General Motors, Gulf Oil, MBRP Performance Exhaust and Spyder. For more information, visit www.mantellaautosport.com.

Media Contact

Efrain Olivares
(818) 254-7196
efrain@shiftgroup.net

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For Immediate Release:

Mantella and Wilkins team in no. 8 Mantella Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R while Barkey and Marcelli will drive no. 80 Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R

January 20, 2015 (Toronto, Ontario) – Entering its second season in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Mantella Autosport features two new cars and two new drivers.

Mantella Autosport will field a pair of ground-pounding Chevrolet Camaro Z28.Rs driven by a quartet of Canadian drivers in the 2015 Continental Tires season. Team owner Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins will drive the no. 8 Mantella Autosport / Gulf Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R, while newcomers Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli will drive the no. 80 Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R. MBRP is a leading manufacturer in high performance exhaust systems for today’s most popular import and domestic vehicles, ATV’s and snowmobiles.

An all Canadian driver lineup and crew

An all Canadian driver lineup and crew

At the Roar Before the 24, Mantella and Wilkins drove their Camaro to the ninth position in the combined practice times. The two drove together throughout the 2014 Continental Tire Challenge season.

“As team owner I can’t express how I feel about going to Daytona – it’s impossible!” said Mantella. “We’ve got fast Z28.Rs, an awesome engineering team, tireless crew and two pro drivers that would be competitive anywhere in the world in any series. It really is a dream to have Mark and Kyle as our pro drivers, words to describe the respect I have for each of them escape me. These gentlemen both prove to Martin and I that with proper focus, dedication and a never-ending will to win, championships are possible.”

Wilkins, a noted endurance racing specialist, has won at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

The banks of Daytona are much steeper than photos lead you to believe.

The banks of Daytona are much steeper than photos lead you to believe.

“The Mantella Autosport crew has had an exceptionally busy off-season preparing the two Chevrolet Camaro Z28.Rs,” said Wilkins. “The Roar was a great opportunity for us to put some miles on the cars and get to work on setup for the race weekend. We ran through a series of changes and I feel we made some great progress heading into the race this weekend. We constantly developed and learned a lot last year, and we look forward to continuing the progress with our stunning Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R. I’m also very excited to have the opportunity to work with Kyle and Martin this season. It’s always nice to have a team car to work with and I’m confident this will really elevate the whole program in 2015!”

Newcomers to the team Barkey and Marcelli also drove together throughout the 2014 Continental Tire Challenge, scoring a best finish of third at Virginia International Raceway.

“The 2015 race season is here, and I can’t wait to get started at Daytona,” said Barkey. “With a good Roar Before the 24 behind us, I can say the Mantella Autosport team has our no. 80 Mantella Autosport / MBRP Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R ready to race. The car is a beast, yet easy to drive. Daytona is not the best track for this car, yet I feel we will still be competitive there. The team is dedicated, from ownership to engineers, drivers to crew. Everyone is 100% willing to do what it takes to bring a professional team to the line every time. It’s going to be a great year.”

Up to speed in the Daytona infield.

Up to speed in the Daytona infield.

Marcelli is a multi-time race winner in the American Le Mans Series, and has extensive experience in prototypes as well as GT-class machinery.

“This is a big-time program for Mantella Autosport to take on, and I think there are many people watching and evaluating,” said Marcelli. “That being said, I have complete faith and confidence in Mantella Autosport that we will succeed in this year’s Continental Tire Challenge. We have a wonderful group of individuals – ownership, engineering, mechanics, drivers, and all of our sponsors and supporters. Collectively, we are all driven with a goal of winning races and showcasing the utmost professionalism on and off the track.”

The BMW Performance 200 will be streamed live on IMSA.com on Friday, January 23 at 2:00 PM ET.

About Mantella Autosport

Mantella Autosport is an all-Canadian team composed of dedicated individuals with experience at the highest levels of motorsport united to achieve continued success, competing in the 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series with two Chevrolet Camaro Z28.R race cars. Mantella Autosport’s partners include General Motors, Gulf Oil, MBRP Performance Exhaust and Spyder. For more information, visit www.mantellaautosport.com.

Media Contact

Efrain Olivares
(818) 254-7196
efrain@shiftgroup.net

1 Comment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Toronto, ON (December 19th 2014) – Following the recent announcement that Mantella Autosport will switch from Aston Martin to Chevrolet for the 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the team has now announced the signing of American Le Mans Series winner Kyle Marcelli to pilot one of the teams Camaro Z28.R’s alongside Martin Barkey.

Beautiful Sebring sunset wrapping up a successful 2 day test.

Beautiful Sebring sunset wrapping up a successful 2 day test.

This news comes not long after the team’s recent two-day test at Sebring International Raceway, where Marcelli tested the car for the first time.

“I’m pleased to be joining Mantella Autosport for 2015 and to be co-driving alongside fellow countryman Martin Barkey.” Said Kyle Marcelli. “The team has proven that they want to win races and there’s no question that they have the personnel and equipment to accomplish that goal. I worked with Martin in 2014; he takes his racing responsibilities seriously and puts forth a lot of effort both on and off track. Following our recent test, I enjoyed coming to grips with the Camaro, it’s a very different car than the Porsche. I look forward to the up coming season and I expect the competition to be strong, so we will need to bring forward our best effort.”

“Mantella Autosport Inc. is thrilled to welcome Kyle Marcelli to the driver lineup alongside Martin Barkey. His extensive experience and outright pace is an asset to the team and will no doubt help secure great results in the #80 Mantella Autosport, MBRP Camaro Z28R.” Commented Andrew Wojteczko, Team Manager

Kyle Marcelli at speed entering Turn 1 at Sebring

Kyle Marcelli at speed entering Turn 1 at Sebring

The 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge kicks off with the official pre-season test at Daytona International Speedway on January 9-11, 2015, followed by round one of the championship at Daytona International Speedway on January 21-23, 2015 in support of the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona.

You can watch live race coverage on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2.

For media inquiries, please contact: Press@KyleMarcelli.com

 

ABOUT: MANTELLA AUTOSPORT

Mantella Autosport is an all Canadian race team based out of Toronto, Ontario. For 2015 they are campaigning two Chevrolet Z28R race cars in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. The televised 10-race schedule, will see the team travel to premier race tracks in North America on their mission to win the 2015 Championship.

For more information on Manetlla Autosport visit: www.MantellaAutosport.com

ABOUT: KYLE MARCELLI

Today, at 24 years of age, Canada’s Kyle Marcelli has established himself as a professional racing driver and one of North America’s top rising stars in professional sportscar racing across the globe. After a successful career in go karts and single-seaters, Kyle made his rookie debut at the pinnacle of sportscar racing, the American Le Mans Series in 2010. Since then, Kyle has built a reputation of being a consistent front-runner earning many qualifying pole positions, race wins and podium finishes.

Kyle’s permanent residence is Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Following his career aspirations of professional auto racing; he’s a consummate professional both on and off the track. Kyle represents his passion, sport, sponsors, team and fans proudly and effectively. He’s winning, engaging and always visible.

For more information on Kyle Marcelli visit: www.KyleMarcelli.com

 

ABOUT: CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTSCAR CHALLENGE

The IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is a grand touring and touring car racing series run by the International Motor Sports Association. Originating from the Canadian Motorola Cup, the series was taken over by Grand-Am in 2001 to become the Grand-Am Cup following the demise of rival IMSA’s Firehawk series of similar rules in the US. KONI became series sponsor for the start of the 2007 season when the series became known as the KONI Challenge Series, before renaming once more prior to the start of the 2009 season as the KONI Sports Car Challenge. The series name was once again changed for the 2010 season.

The Continental Challenge was the support series for Grand-Am’s premier offering, the Rolex Sports Car Series. In 2014, the series became the support series for the United SportsCar Championship upon the merger of the Rolex Series and the American Le Mans Series. The series was renamed the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.

For more information on the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge visit: www.IMSA.com