Opelika, AL: APR Motorsport has had a promising start to the 2009 KONI Sports Car Challenge season with their VW GTI’s finishing in the top ten or on the podium of every race this year. The team currently has placed both the #171 and #181 cars in the top ten of the season championship and the team is focused on improving their positions in the upcoming race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Josh Hurley and Ian Baas, the drivers of the #171 APR/Gunther VW GTI, are currently 6th in season points. The duo fell from 4th place after running short on fuel at New Jersey just before the checkered flag resulting in their lowest finish of the season. “New Jersey was difficult for us,” remarked Baas, “we were looking at a top five finish and barely missed our fuel window.” Hurley echoed those sentiments, “The last race would have been a great opportunity to move forward in the points since a few of our competitors also had lower than normal finishes.” Nonetheless the pair is optimistic about the race at Mazda Raceway due to some development work by the APR Motorsport engineers. The team has been focusing on chassis development since Grand-Am officials mandated the use of an engine restrictor and are anxious to get the updated setups on the track.
In the #181 APR GTI, Mike Sweeney will be joined by Dion von Moltke for the remainder of the season. Dion is making his official return to the APR Motorsport team after co-driving the team car for the 2008 season. Dion said, “I was able to test with APR Motorsport a couple of weeks ago for the first time this year. Straight away I could feel the massive improvement in the cars from the last time I was in one. It was obvious that the team has been hard at work. This kind of dedication is precisely why I am so proud not only to be a part of the team but also to be close friends with everyone involved.” For co-driver and California resident Mike Sweeney this will be the first professional race he has driven at his home track. Mike lives in San Luis Obispo and has become very familiar with the famous circuit. Sweeney said, “Our GTI’s should be a potent platform for this track. I am unbelievably happy to be racing at home with this team and to have Dion back with us is fantastic!”
APR Motorsport is also hosting a VW Owner’s Corral at the track for this event. The team has worked very hard to organize these events for nearly every event this season. The Owner’s gatherings at the previous events this year were very successful as hundreds of VW owners came to the tracks for the first time. Keith Lucas, Director of Sales and Marketing for APR, llc stated “This is exactly why we chose to race VWs, to reintroduce VW owners to the motorsport heritage of the brand. We realized that many of our clients had never been to a race. The Owner’s Corrals are a great way to experience the day’s events and everyone has had a lot of fun cheering on the GTI’s. It’s great to see VW competitive in North American motorsports again thanks to the great cars, the efforts of APR Motorsport and the support of VW enthusiasts.” A website has been launched to support and promote the Owner’s Corrals . Check the website often for updated information about all of the upcoming events.
You can always find the latest APR Motorsport news at www.goapr.com. Live timing and scoring will be available for this weekend’s race and can be found at www.grand-am.com and will be televised on Speed TV, May 23 12:00pm Eastern.