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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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