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

Posts tagged ‘Mantella Autosport’

St. Petersburg Florida, March 21 2017

The 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship kicked off March 10-12 in the streets of St. Petersburg Florida. It was exciting to see the new hardware in the class now made up of the KTM XBow GT4, Mclaren 570 GT4, Camaro GT4, SIN R1 GT4, Mustang GT4, Cayman Clubsport MR GT4 and the Panoz Avezzano currently awaiting it’s GT4 Homologation. The GT4 category is really looking like the place to be for great competition without the costs of GT3 category racing.

Constant action in turn 1

Constant action in turn 1 as Martin Barkey gets the inside line.

Anthony Mantella holds off the Camaro GT4 in turn 1

Anthony Mantella holds off the Camaro GT4 in turn 1

PWC maintained the double header sprint race format for 2017 and once again it didn’t disappoint with two action packed 50 minute races. Martin Barkey ran a clean race #1 earning P5 and won the first ever GTS-A race while Anthony Mantella finished P10.

Winner of the first ever GTS-A race, we'll take it but we're here for overall wins.

Winner of the first ever GTS-A race, we’ll take it but we’re here for overall wins.

Day 2 saw Martin Barkey challenging the lead pack, holding P4 while Anthony Mantella was looking for opportunities to get by the Camaro of Tony Gaples while defending the Panoz of Ian James. It all went wrong on the restart when Martin Barkey made contact with Lawson Aschenbach going for the inside pass, and Anthony mantella made contact with Ian James, defending on the inside. Martin was able to continue, serve a drive through penalty and work his way back to P11.

 

Not the day Anthony Mantella had hoped for, focused forward now to VIR

Not the day Anthony Mantella had hoped for, focused forward now to VIR

The streets of St.Pete are a beautiful place to race.

The streets of St.Pete are a beautiful place to race.

While St.Pete didn’t bring the results we’d hoped for, the cars ran flawlessly and there is much to build on going to the second round of the season at VIR. Following the race the team went straight to VIR for 2 days of official testing with Pirelli World Challenge. It was great seeing both Anthony and Martin challenge each other to improve and learn from each others strengths on track. Bring on the second round of the championship!

You can't beat the experience racing like this brings. Want to find out for yourself? Email andrew@mantellaautosport.com to find out more.

You can’t beat the experience racing like this brings. Want to find out for yourself? Email andrew@mantellaautosport.com to find out more.

Follow us on Facebook (Mantella Autosport) and Instagram (Mantella_Autosport), and check out our awesome event videos on Youtube or on the Mantellaautosport.com website. Photos by:Jay Bonvouloir

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

Bowmanville, Ontario. (May 21, 2016)

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Martin Barkey and Anthony Mantella entering the infamous Mosport Turn 2

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP, formerly Mosport) hosted the 4th stop of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship, continuing with the double header format that offers fans a great opportunity to experience sports car racing at its best. Mantella Autosport arrived tested and prepared with two fast KTM XBow GT4’s ready to challenge the fierce competition at the teams’ home circuit.

Anthony Mantella started race 1 in P4, here racing to corner 1

Anthony Mantella started race 1 in P4, here racing to corner 1

Anthony Mantella, driver of the #8 Gulf liveried XBow GT4 reflected on the event “I love Mosport. The staff at Mosport are so supportive and friendly they feel like family – they clearly care about this sport we love so much.  Their passion and commitment to our industry is impressive. And, who wouldn’t want to race on a former Formula One track?  I look forward to racing on this circuit every year – it’s a high speed track with amazing blind corners that challenge the drivers. I’m looking forward to next year already!!”

Martin Barkey leads Nate Stacey and his Roush Mustang around Moss Corner

Martin Barkey leads Nate Stacey and his Roush Mustang around Moss Corner

Martin Barkey, driver of the #80 MBRP Performance Exhaust Xbow GT4 commented “Racing at CTMP is always a treat, I love this track and do call it home. The KTM is a good car for CTMP but does struggle with much less top speed when compared to the competition due to the current BOP enforced by the series at this time. I would like to thank everyone that came out to watch and cheer. I appreciate the support from all of my family, friends and fans.

low, light, fast

low, light, fast

The series now heads directly to Lime Rock Park for the 5th round of the championship. Be sure to follow the Mantella Autosport website (www.mantellaautosport.com) facebook and Instagram accounts for all the latest details. Photos and video by Sawmill Creative.

Team Photo

From Left to Right, Andrew Wojteczko, Jacob Barkey, Trevor McClure, Anthony Mantella, Kyle McDougall, Andrew Stittle, Steve, Martin Barkey, Joseph Ferguson, Kevin Stittle, Carl Cason, Corson Panneton

Toronto, Ontario . (December 14th, 2015) – Mantella Autosport is proud to be the official Canadian importer and distributor for the newly developed KTM XBow GT4. The GT4 derivative of the road going XBow available in Europe is manufactured by Reiter Engineering and homologated to compete in the GT4 category, which in North America includes the Pirelli World Challenge GTS class. This is where Mantella Autosport will operate a 3 car effort, vying for the 2016 Drivers and Manufacturers Championship. 2016 also marks the return of MBRP Inc.’s Martin Barkey with Mantella Autosport Inc.

Testing the Reiter Engineering XBow GT4 in Belgium

Testing the Reiter Engineering XBow GT4 in Belgium

The highly competitive Pirelli World Challenge GTS class will be present at 9 prestigious race events spread over North America and can be seen live on CBS Sports or streamed on world-challengetv.com. Events typically consist of two 50 minute sprint races, with an exciting standing start format. The team is also looking to compete in the 6 hour endurance race at the opening round at COTA and is considering entering the Sprint X races consisting of two drivers sharing the car in a 1 hour race.

The car features a full carbon tub, inboard bellcrank suspension, paddle shift, motorsport ABS among many other exciting features.

The car features a full carbon tub, inboard bellcrank suspension, paddle shift, motorsport ABS, and 2.0T Audi power among many other exciting features. Anthony Mantella is fitted for the first time.

2016 Pirelli World Challenge Schedule  
March 3-6 Circuit of the Americas
March 11-13 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
April 22-24 Barber Motorsport Park
May 19-22 Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
May 27-28 Lime Rock Park
June 23-26 Road America
July 29-30 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
September 16-18 Sonoma Raceway
October Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

 The team driver lineup consists of Anthony Mantella in the #8 car and Martin Barkey/MBRP Inc. in the #80 car. The team currently has an open seat available in the #88 car for funded drivers. Interested parties can contact team manager Andrew Wojteczko andrew@mantellaautosport.com for further information.

Team owner Anthony Mantella had this to say “I’m excited to bring Mantella Autosport Inc. to the Pirelli World Challenge and back to my roots in sprint format racing. I’m confident with the experience we have gained in professional endurance racing that we can achieve great results. I’m equally excited about the newly formed relationship with Reiter Engineering/KTM and am looking forward to promoting the Xbow GT4 and supporting all Canadian interest in the product, it truly is an amazing machine.

Rolling out for some wet weather testing. Results were positive. Despite being a closed cockpit, fogging was not an issue.

Rolling out for some wet weather testing. Results were positive. Despite being a closed cockpit, fogging was not an issue.

Team driver Martin Barkey, MBRP Inc. commented “It’s the “silly season” for most race car drivers, for me it’s hurry up and wait as I’m fully prepared for the 2016 race season. Big changes are coming as I enter a new race series, order a new race car and turn to sprint racing rather than the endurance race format I have been accustomed to for the last two years. I’m thrilled to be once again driving with Mantella Autosport, the professionals here make this team one of the best in the business. I have no doubt partnering with MA once again will generate great opportunities and great rewards. The KTM X Bow GT4 is my car of choice this year, the engineering is amazing. After several test opportunities, it’s clear it does everything well. It will be an adjustment coming from the GT platforms that I’m accustomed to and I’m excited to get racing.

It's one great looking car, lightweight, easy on brakes and tires. Well suited to sprint and endurance racing.

It’s one great looking car, lightweight, easy on brakes and tires. Well suited to sprint and endurance racing.

Be sure to follow along on facebook, Instagram, and the team website for all the latest details on an exciting 2016 program.

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.

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.

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.