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

Posts tagged ‘MBRP’

Alton, Virginia, May 8 2017

Picturesque Virginia International Raceway marked the location for the second event (races 3 and 4) of the Pirelli World Challenge GTS Championship.

At the famous Oak Tree corner.

At the famous Oak Tree corner.

Martin Barkey and Anthony Mantella’s time spent testing at VIR made itself immediately apparent when they topped the final practice session leading into Qualifying.

Lined up for Race 1

Lined up for Race 1

Qualifying saw Anthony put together a well executed 4th place effort and Martin 6th. Unfortunately a penalty carried forward from the St.Pete event meant Anthony would start 5 spots back.

Trying hard to find passing opportunities

Trying hard to find passing opportunities

Martin drove a great race managing a 4th place finish and a 2nd row starting position for Race 2. Anthony ended up P11 but was fast enough to qualify on the 3rd row for race 2.

Race 2

Race 2

Race 2 saw a close battle between Anthony Mantella and Jason Bell, unfortunately minor contact resulted in a cut right front tire and a pit stop for replacement. Anthony continued but was no longer in touch with the leaders. Martin Barkey struggled to get some passes done early and ended up P5.

Consistency is proving to be key in the 2017 GTS championship, after 4 races Martin Barkey sits in 2nd place in the overall championship.

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

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

Sonoma, California. (September 21, 2016) – The penultimate round of the Pirelli World Challenge Championships brought the team to beautiful sunny California. Formerly known as Sears Point, Infineon, and now Sonoma Raceway, whatever you call it, this is one beautiful race circuit. Surrounded by rolling hills the track mirrors the landscape with blind crests and high speed curves, coupled with some heavy break zones and tight hairpins that invite some risky passes.

Anthony Mantella, Racing hard to turn 2, avoiding the spinning Maserati

Anthony Mantella, Racing hard to turn 2, avoiding the spinning Maserati

Both Anthony Mantella in the #8 Gulf liveried KTM Xbow GT4 and Martin Barkey in the #80 MBRP Exhaust KTM XBow GT4 have yet to compete at Sonoma raceway, so testing was key to success. Three days of testing prior to the event yielded the necessary time to familiarize with the challenging circuit and hone the setup.

Joe Ferguson always makes sure the XBow he oversees is prepared to perfection.

Joe Ferguson always makes sure the XBow he oversees is prepared to perfection.

Come race day, all of the testing and preparation clearly paid dividends with Martin Barkey setting fastest race lap, and Anthony Mantella hot on his heels, both battling for P2 for the majority of the run. Unfortunately Anthony Mantella made contact that forced a pit stop for repair, ultimately taking him out of the competition. Then the same fate for Martin Barkey, contact with the same car that ended the run for the #8, caused damage to the #80 and a drive thru penalty. A decision to complete the race and appeal the drive thru held on to P4 at the line, but was unsuccessful resulting in loss of points for Race 1 and starting from the back for Race 2.

Martin Barkey moving to the front, leads the Maserati of Jeff Courtney

Martin Barkey moving to the front, leads the Maserati of Jeff Courtney

Race 2, and the standing start that saw both cars stall on grid at Utah, was not a problem here. A great launch saw Anthony Mantella battling for the lead and Martin Barkey making his charge to the front. Once again Martin set fastest race lap, working his way up to P7 and a clean car at the chequer. Anthony earned the move of the race, with an impressive outside pass around a very wide mustang in the bus stop, claiming his second straight podium and P2.

Anthony Mantella finds the podium for the second straight event.

Anthony Mantella finds the podium for the second straight event.

The team now prepares for the season Finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Don’t miss it, October 7-9th, where KTM looks to secure the manufacturers championship.

Exiting the tight turn 7 hairpin.

Exiting the tight turn 7 hairpin.

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

It was a hard fought race with the Camaro Z28.R of Lawson Aschenbach, multiple passes back and forth made for some great action for the fans.

It was a hard fought race with the Camaro Z28.R of Lawson Aschenbach, multiple passes back and forth made for some great action for the fans.

Road America, Back to Back podium events!

Elkhart Lake, WI. (July 20, 2016)

The Mantella Autosport team once again found success in the Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship hunt. The racing at Road America did not disappoint, with frequent position changes and close racing battles throughout the field in both of the 50 minute feature races.

race start

Racing hard to turn 1

Martin Barkey, driver of the #80 MBRP KTM XBow GT4 commented “I came ready to compete, having found the podium at Lime Rock I was looking to carry this momentum into Road America. The Mantella Autosport team prepared a great car and once again I was able to find the 3rd step for race one. Race two consisted of some unfortunate car to car contact forcing a pit stop for repairs, culminating in a P13 finish.”

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KTM XBow vs Lotus Evora, battle of the GT4’s

Martin went on to say “This weekend was also an opportunity to find some personal bests. My best qualifying position to date for race one (P3) and also running second fastest lap in race one to net a P2 starting position for race two.

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P3 in Race 1, Martin Barkey is becoming a regular on the PWC Podium.

Anthony Mantella, driver of the #8 Gulf KTM XBow GT4 didn’t have the qualifying performance he has shown earlier in the season, starting deep in the field he managed to stay out of trouble and place well for Race #2’s start. A hard fought race saw his XBow cross the line P5, a great run up the pack. “I love this car” said Anthony. “It does everything I ask of it, instills confidence, and allows me to race hard. The competition is extremely tight in the GTS class and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Sawmill Creative with the killler photos.

Sawmill Creative with the killler photos.

The team is currently preparing for the next round at Mid Ohio. A new circuit to both drivers, preliminary testing at the track has already paid dividends getting up to speed.

 

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Anthony Mantella leads Lawson Aschenbach in Race #2

Be sure to follow along at Mantellaautosport.com, on Facebook @mantellaautosport, on Instagram @mantellaautosport

What racing is all about

What racing is all about

Photo Credit: 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

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

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.

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.