Amidst Excitement of Merger, APR Motorsport Heads to Laguna Seca
Norman and von Moltke Aim for Strong run in the California Sun in no. 51 APR Audi R8
September 7, 2012 (Opelika, Ala.) – Two weeks ago, Dr. Jim Norman and Dion von Moltke recorded the first top-ten for the no. 51 APR Audi R8 at the Montreal 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. A lot has changed since then – including a complete shift in the sports car racing landscape with the announcement of the merger between the American Le Mans Series and GRAND-AM for the 2014 season.
With the excitement of that announcement and the momentum from Montreal, Norman and von Moltke are looking forward to this weekend’s Continental Tire Sports Car Festival, on the legendary 2.2-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. While for the first time an Audi R8 will descend the legendary Corkscrew, both Norman and von Moltke are very familiar with the Northern California track and will put that experience to work in dialing in their no. 51 APR Audi R8.
“I have had some great memories at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – I won my first ever car
race there in the Skip Barber Series, winning two out of two the first time I raced at this track,” said von Moltke. “I cannot wait to drive the Audi R8 around Laguna. Our team has been hard at work this entire season and our car is really starting to come alive. We have had a few weeks to look over data and consider setup options for Laguna to get us closer to the front. APR Motorsport, Jim and I will also have a lot of support this weekend from a large group of PRNewswire clients, and an incredibly large and enthusiastic showing from the Audi Club Golden Gate Chapter, the largest in the country. I know having everyone there will keep us completely focused at the task at hand this weekend.”
“I’m really looking forward to going for a ride down the Corkscrew in our amazing Audi R8 Grand-Am,” said Norman. “Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is one of my favorite tracks and I’ve had some success there in the past. I’m sure the pictures of our beautiful car cresting that hill will become iconic within days.”
APR Motorsport’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge team is returning to action for the first time since July’s Brickyard Sports Car Challenge. Five cars strong, APR Motorsport has scored wins in each year it has competed in the CTSCC, a streak it continued this year when Aleks Altberg and David Cheng took a narrow victory at the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Road America in June. The duo scored another top-ten at Indianapolis.
Looking for their first win of the year will be Josh Hurley and Nate Norenberg in the no. 161 APR VW GTI, who had a strong run going at Indianapolis before a mechanical failure sidelined the car. Daniel LaRiva and Christian Perez, in the no. 191 APR VW Jetta GLI, as well as Juan Pablo Sierra and Juan Alvarez in the no. 181 APR VW Jetta GLIs, are looking for their first top-ten of the year. Hector Guerrero and Daytona Prototype driver Alex Popow will partner again in the GS-class no. 41 APR Audi S4.
“Aleks and I have been really happy with how strong we’ve run since Road America,” said Cheng. “We got caught out by that red flag at Indianapolis but still pulled off an eighth place, and now we are going to a track that we both know really well. We’re looking forward to running strong at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.”
The Continental Tire Sports Car Festival’s Rolex Series race will be shown live on SPEED Channel on Sunday, September 9 at 3 PM ET. The CTSCC race will be shown live on SPEED2.com on Saturday, September 8 at 5:30 PM ET, and will be televised on Sunday, September 16, at 1:30 PM ET on SPEED Channel.
Statements from APR Motorsports about Wednesday’s announcement of the 2014 merger between GRAND-AM and the American Le Mans Series.
Stephen Hooks, APR Motorsport President and CEO
“The merger announcement is a great moment for sports car racing and one that we are excited about at APR Motorsport. A single, strong series will be great for the health of the sport and good for the teams and sponsors, but most importantly, for the fans and spectators of sports car racing. The powers that be still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but the new series will have the best of what both current series have to offer – exciting cars, great racing, and great tracks.”
Jeff Mishtawy, APR Director of Motorsport
“The merger has the potential to be the best thing that’s happened to sports car racing in North America. This will lead big fields of racing, a strong schedule with the best tracks and events currently available, and a new technical framework for the GT classes which we are excited about. We have devoted a lot of time and resources to developing the Audi R8 for the Rolex Series GT class and are looking forward to continuing with this car in the new series. This will be a great thing for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series, which offers the best value and some of the best racing currently in North America.”
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