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

Posts tagged ‘Joe Ferguson’

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

High Altitude at Utah Motorsport Campus

High Altitude at Utah Motorsport Campus

 

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

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

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

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

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

Race 2, Team Effort moving through the pack

Race 2, Team Effort moving through the pack

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

#teammates

#teammates

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

Columbus, OH. (July 30, 2016)

Rolling speed through the rolling hills of Mid-Ohio

Rolling speed through the rolling hills of Mid-Ohio

Mid Ohio brought stormy skies for Race 1, ultimately leading to a postponed race due to severe weather. With the makeup race scheduled for the final round at Laguna Seca, it was on to race 2 of the event with clear skies and perfect conditions.

Martin Barkey's KTM XBow GT4 leads the Ginetta

Martin Barkey’s KTM XBow GT4 leads the Ginetta

A stalled car and contact near the front ultimately resulted in Martin Barkey advancing to P2, and Anthony Mantella forced to come to a near complete stop to avoid the wreckage, now at the back of the pack.

A pushup competition was held, Martin Barkey beat all the lads to take the win

A pushup competition was held, Martin Barkey beat all the lads to take the win. Brandon Yapp shown here gave it his all for a close 2nd place finish.

Mid Ohio is a unique surface, one that takes more time than most for tires to come up to temperature. With back to back full-yellow course scenarios, coupled with the low mass of the KTM, we struggled early in the race to find pace. This resulted in Martin falling back until he was able to get the tires to come in. At that point, Anthony and Martin were the second and third fastest cars on track, but the lost track position was too much to regain, ultimately finishing in P9 and P10.

Keeping it light after the cancellation of Race #1

Keeping it light after the cancellation of Race #1. Trevor McClure, Joe Ferguson, Andrew Wojteczko

The team now prepares for a quick turn around before the truck heads west to Utah Motorsport Campus for a race in the mountains.

Anthony Mantella finished just ahead of Martin Barkey in race 2, setting the 2nd fastest lap of the race on route.

Anthony Mantella finished just ahead of Martin Barkey in race 2, setting the 2nd fastest lap of the race on route.

Be sure to follow along at Mantellaautosport.com, on Facebook @mantellaautosport, on Instagram @mantellaautosport. Photos by Sawmill Creative.

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

XBow GT4

XBow GT4

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

Sweeping curves with elevation changes define Barber Motorsport Park

Sweeping curves with elevation changes define Barber Motorsport Park

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

 

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Anthony Mantella, Joe Ferguson, Ready to Race

 

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

 

Martin Barkey, ready to strap in

Martin Barkey, ready to strap in

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

Anthony Mantella leading the Aston Martin in his KTM XBow GT4

Anthony Mantella leading the Aston Martin in his KTM XBow GT4

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

High banking, High grip

High banking, High grip

March 3rd 2016, Austin, Texas

Race 1 start

Race 1 start, in the mix you’ll find: KTM XBow GT4, Lotus Evora, Aston Martin Vantage, Ginetta G50, Camaro Z28.R, Mustang Boss 302R, Sin R1, Maserati GT4

The Circuit of the Americas hosted the opening round of the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge championship and marked Mantella Autosport’s shift from IMSA endurance racing to the sprint race format followed in PWC. The team took delivery of a trio of fresh XBow GT4’s from Reiter Engineering prior to the first event and worked diligently to have them up to PWC spec and ready for round 1.

Teammates

Teammates

Drivers Anthony Mantella of the #8 Gulf car and Martin Barkey of the #80 MBRP car took advantage of the testing/practice time available and found speed through every session. This showed when it came time to qualify, culminating in a personal best in professional competition for both drivers, P4/P6 respectively. Very impressive for a series debut with new cars.

Martin Barkey on line

Martin Barkey on line

Saturday morning’s race had moments of brilliance including some close racing and competitive pace, but ultimately did not amount to the race either driver was hoping for. An aggressive pass against the 8 car resulted in contact and a spin forcing Anthony Mantella to chase the pack down, ultimately recovering to a respectable P10 position. While the series acted swiftly and assigned an appropriate penalty, it is little consolation when you know you had so much more that day. Martin Barkey struggled with gearbox issues, unable to consistently downshift to 2nd gear when needed.

Anthony Mantella using every inch of track

Anthony Mantella using every inch of track

Now with 4 weeks leading up to round #3 at Barber Motorsport Park, the team will use this precious time to refine the cars, test and be ready to execute.

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The Xbow's drew large crowds all weekend.

The Xbow’s drew large crowds all weekend.

Be sure to follow along on Facebook and Instagram for the latest team updates @mantella autosport

Photography by Sawmill Creative

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.

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.

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.