- Nate Norenberg qualifies APR’s no161 VW GTI sixth in CTSCC
- APR Motorsport’s Audi R8 Grand-Am penalized after qualifying at Barber
- Dominic Pettit enters APR Volkswagen Racing Cup grid
- Rolex Series gets back to work at Barber Motorsports Park
Posted: 30 Mar 2012 03:06 PM PDT
In the CTSCC qualifying session, Nate Norenberg led the way for the team’s contingent of five ST-class Volkswagens, putting the no. 161 APR VW GTI that he shares with Josh Hurley into sixth on grid.
“It’s great to get such a strong starting position here at Barber,” said Norenberg. “We we started the weekend with the car in pretty good shape, and Josh (Hurley) got the car where it needed to be. It has a happy tail, and I can wag it just enough. With all the traffic, I knew I had to get a quick lap early. It is nice to be up front where we can hopefully stay away from all of the carnage and get a good result for all of our friends and guests that are here supporting APR.”
In the no. 171 APR VW GTI, David Cheng will start the CTSCC race in 26th position, with Hector Guerrero (no. 181 APR VW Jetta GLI), Daniel LaRiva (no. 191 APR VW Jetta GLI) and Juan Alvarez (no. 131 APR Jetta GLI) close behind. Scheduled to co-drive with Alvarez is Alex Popow, who ordinarily competes in the Rolex Sports Car Series’ Daytona Prototype class and is fresh off a class win at the ALMS’ Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.
Nelson Canache, driving the no. 41 APR Audi S4 that he shares with Ian Baas, qualified 18th in the GS class for tomorrow’s CTSCC race.
Photo: © 2012 Corey Beaman
- APR Motorsport
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Posted: 30 Mar 2012 03:01 PM PDT
In the distinctive no. 51 APR Audi R8 Grand-Am, Dion von Moltke showed the car's improved form by qualifying in seventh in the Rolex Sports Car Series' GT-class – missing the pole setting time by a mere 0.4-sec in the car that he will share with Dr. Jim Norman. However, the car did not pass post-race technical inspection when the ride-height bar hit a bolt on the front spitter of the car. As a result, the car will start the race from the back of the GT field.
“I’m a little disappointed for the guys, because I think we had a car to be in the top three,” said von Moltke. “But, we have a good car for the race, and Dr. Jim has been really quick in practice so I am pretty confident for tomorrow. It’s APR’s home race and we want a big result for everyone who is coming out to support us.”
Photo: © 2012 Corey Beaman
- APR Motorsport
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Posted: 30 Mar 2012 10:31 AM PDT
Multiple sports car race winner Dominic Pettit is the latest addition to the burgeoning APR Volkswagen Racing Cup grid. The 21-year-old from Cambridgeshire will race a Jetta with backing from his local Volkswagen retailer Vindis Group.
Pettit's confirmation swells the grid for Easter Monday's (7 April) opening rounds to an anticipated 24, confirming the APR Volkswagen Racing Cup as the best-supported junior saloons series in the UK.
Dominic has been itching to get into the Volkswagen Racing Cup since his fairytale debut in the series at Brands Hatch in 2010, when he raced a rented Golf GTI to second place. Milton-based Pettit started competing as a 15-year-old in Ginetta Juniors, winning the sports car maker's Junior Festival in 2006; last year he won nine times from 10 starts in the Ginetta Challenge.
"I have always wanted to be in the Volkswagen Racing Cup but have never had the budget to be able to compete," said Dominic. "Now Vindis has stepped in to help me and I am so grateful – hopefully I can repay the company's faith in me with some good results."
Family-owned Vindis has retail outlets across the east of England representing Volkswagen and its sister brands. Vindis' operations director Jamie Vindis said: "We were keen to get involved and help Dominic. He lives in our area and is clearly a very accomplished driver – it's always good to support local talent and it felt like a very good fit for Vindis."
Pettit's Jetta is being race-prepared by Kevin Poole's KPM team – the biggest team in the championship, with eight cars this season. KPM will also field the new Sciroccos of former bike-racing champion Craig Milner and 2011 championship runner-up James Walker, as well as a host of Golfs.
With double champion Steve Chaplin seeking fresh motorsport challenges, the way looks clear for the driver of a Scirocco to take the crown for the first time, although there is a gaggle of Golf GTI drivers on the grid looking to repeat Tony Gilham's 2007 championship win, the last for a Golf driver.
Heading the Golf brigade is AWM Motorsport's Aaron Mason, a four-time race winner in 2011 on his way to championship third. There are Mk V GTIs also for former motocross champion Stewart Lines, last year's top rookie, Tom Wilson, and the championship's two disabled pilots, Simon Andrews and Philip Morris. Returning 2001 title winner Mike Neuhoff will race the latest Mk VI Golf GTI, and there will be Mk Vs for returnees Richard Morgan and Cameron Thompson and series newcomers David Fairbrother, Paul Dehadray and Simon Tomlinson.
Tony Gilham is not planning on racing at Oulton Park himself, but the BTCC ace's new team will be there, and will be fielding GTIs this season for Andy Wilmot and Richard Kingsnorth.
The Scirocco contingent doubles from two to four for 2012, with last year's Brands Hatch race winner Kieran Griffin returning in the Addison Lee-backed car, and newcomer Jonathan Wilson – father of Tom – joining the fray with the ex-Mike Kurton Scirocco.
The 2008 and '09 Champion, Joe Fulbrook, is to return with the Bora he has raced in the series every season since his motorsporting debut in 2005, and there will be a bevy of Beetles on track also, in the hands of Tony Harberman, Robin Riley and diesel-powered Andrew Smith. The youngest driver on the grid, 16-year-old novice Nikhil Chopra, will pilot the only four-wheel-drive R32 Golf in the field, with SEAT boss Peter Wyhinny completing the diversity of the grid with his Leon Cupra.
Sam Roach of Volkswagen Racing UK says the grid is an impressive and healthy one: "It is an early start to the season this year so it is gratifying that so many drivers have made the effort to get their programmes rolling in time. There are new cars and many new faces, so it all bodes well for a fantastic season of competition."
The Volkswagen Racing Cup – whose new title backer for 2012 is US Volkswagen group tuning giant APR – features 14 rounds over seven meetings, one of them at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. The series enjoys additional support from Ceva, ECM, Eibach, Hankook, Milltek Sport and Paragon.
APR Volkswagen Racing Cup – provisional entries
Simon Andrews - Golf GTI Mk V Nikhil Chopra - Golf R32 / Prestige Performance Paul Dehadray - Golf GTI Mk 5 / Slidesports David Fairbrother - Golf GTI Mk V / KPM Joe Fulbrook - Bora Kieran Griffin - Scirocco R / Slidesports Tony Harberman - Beetle RSI Richard Kingsnorth - Golf GTI Mk V / Tony Gilham Racing With Hard Stewart Lines - Golf GTI Mk V Aaron Mason - Golf GTI Mk V / Awm Craig Milner - Scirocco R / KPM Richard Morgan - Golf GTI Mk V Philip Morris - Golf GTI Mk V / KPM Mike Neuhoff - Golf GTI Mk Vi / KPM Dominic Pettit - Jetta Sport / KPM Robin Riley - Beetle RSI Andrew Smith - Beetle TDI / Vis-Tuning Cameron Thompson - Golf GTI Mk V / KPM Simon Tomlinson - Golf GTI Mk V / AWM James Walker - Scirocco R / KPM Andy Wilmot - Golf GTI Mk V / Tony Gilham Racing With Hard Jonathan Wilson - Scirocco R / Complete Racing Thomas Wilson - Golf GTI Mk V / Complete Racing Peter Wyhinny - Seat Leon Cupra / KPM
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Posted: 30 Mar 2012 06:34 AM PDT
This will be the first test for the next-generation Daytona Prototypes in a sprint race, and there are a number of pressing questions begging to be answered:
Can the Riley DPG3s continue the momentum from the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, where the new cars swept the podium? Rolex 24 winner Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian will have Ozz Negri celebrating his century race with John Pew in the No. 60 Liveon.com Ford/Riley, while Daytona runners-up Ryan Dalziel and Enzo Potolicchio share the No. 8 Starworks Motorsport Ford/Riley.
How will the Corvette Daytona Prototypes fare in their second outing? David Donohue and Darren Law led the Bow Tie Brigade at Daytona with a fifth-place finish in the No. 5 Action Express Vette. They will be joined in similar Coyote-chassied Corvettes by teammates Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller and JC France in the No. 9 entry, while Spirit of Daytona looks to continue his series of strong showings at Barber with Antonio Garcia and Richard Westbrook in the No. 90.
What about the championship contenders who struggled at Daytona? While Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas had a strong run in the opener – the No. 01 TELMEX BMW/Riley led 96 laps – late-race gearbox problems resulted in a sixth-place finish, ending a run that saw the No. 01 team finish either first (three times) or second in the five prior runnings of the Rolex 24. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates also is running the Riley DPG3.
Two other perennial contenders – GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing and SunTrust Racing – both finished well down the running order at Daytona. Alex Gurney and Jon Fogarty followed up their 2007 and 2009 Barber victories by winning the DP title. This year, they have a new Red Dragon No. 99 Corvette that debuted 89 laps behind the winner in the Rolex 24. The new No. 10 SunTrust Corvette is even farther behind in the standings, finishing last at Daytona after experiencing engine problems in the early going. Max Angelelli returns with Ricky Taylor – who never even got to drive in the Rolex 24.
Can an older DP pull off an upset? Alex Popow and Lucas Luhr – who shared the second-place car in the Rolex 24 – run the No. 2 Starworks Ford/Riley DPG2 for a final time at Barber. Car owner Peter Baron plans to upgrade to DPG3 specs for Homestead in April. Popow is on a hot streak, coming off a victory in the most recent Ferrari Challenge race at St. Petersburg after winning his class in the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Returning Stars, New Cars Pace GT Field
The GT field has 19 solid entries, including defending Barber winners Bill Auberlen and Paul Dalla Lana in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW M3, Rolex 24 class winners John Potter and Andy Lally in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche GT3, and 2011 GT champs Leh Keen and Andrew Davis in the No. 59 Brumos Porsche GT3.
Robin Liddell returns in the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, with Ronnie Bremer sitting in for John Edwards – coming off surgery following a skiing accident. Liddell and Bremer co-drove to victory in the last two races of 2011. Another strong Camaro is the No. 88 Autohaus Motorsport entry of Jordan Taylor and 2007 Barber winner Paul Edwards.
The GT field also includes a new Ferrari 458 Italia Grand Am – the No. 69 AIM Autosport Team FXDD of Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato – plus a pair of new Audi R8 GRAND-AMs, the No. 51 APR Motorsport entry of Dion von Moltke and Dr. Jim Norman, and the No. 74 Oryx Racing car for Humaid Al Masaood and Steven Kane.
TRG has a pair of Porsche GT3s, the No. 66 of Rolex 24 runners-up Steve Bertheau and Spencer Pumpelly, plus the late-entered No. 68 of Emilio Di Guida and Jeroen Bleekemolen – who ran a fast lap late in Wednesday's unofficial test day at the circuit.
Marsh Racing runs the No. 31 Corvette of Boris Said and Eric Curran for the first time in 2012, Horton Autosport makes its season debut in the No. 73 Porsche of Patrick Lindsey and Eric Foss, while Jeffrey Earnhardt makes his Barber debut with Chris Cook in the No. 14 POYNT Ford Mustang.
Mazda has a solid six-car entry, including two-time Barber winners SpeedSource with Sylvain Tremblay and Jonathan Bomarito in the No. 70 RX-8; two cars for Dempsey Racing, the No. 40 for Joe Foster and Patrick Dempsey, plus the No. 41 of Charles Espenlaub and Charles Putman; and three for Team Sahlen, with Joe Sahlen and Dane Cameron teamed with Joe, Will and Wayne Nonnamaker.
Photo: © 2012 Corey Beaman
You're reading Rolex Series gets back to work at Barber Motorsports Park originally posted on oneighturbo.com. If you've enjoyed this article, be sure and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube.
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