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

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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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

Beautiful Sebring sunset wrapping up a successful 2 day test.

Beautiful Sebring sunset wrapping up a successful 2 day test.

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

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

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

Kyle Marcelli at speed entering Turn 1 at Sebring

Kyle Marcelli at speed entering Turn 1 at Sebring

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

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

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

 

ABOUT: MANTELLA AUTOSPORT

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

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

ABOUT: KYLE MARCELLI

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

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

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

 

ABOUT: CONTINENTAL TIRE SPORTSCAR CHALLENGE

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

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

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