0 A jubilant 8Star Motorsports broke its Prototype Challenge (PC) race wins duck in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Oak Tree Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on Saturday (23 August), Sean Rayhall never looking back from pole position and dominating from start to finish. A sensational time of 1m41.447s took Rayhall to the top of the times in qualifying for the first time this year, the Cornelius, North Carolina-based racer sealing pole position for the first of two races with a full second in hand over second-placed Frankie Montecalvo. Rayhall shot away from pole position in Saturday’s 45-minute Prototype Challenge (PC)/Cooper Tires Prototype Lites race, posting fastest lap after fastest lap to build a gap of almost seven seconds over nearest rival Duncan Ende as he encountered lapped traffic. Unfortunately, a yellow flag negated Rayhall’s advantage, although the 18-year old Atlanta racer kept the initiative at the restart and gapped the chasing pack by six seconds during the final eight minutes to take the #25 8Star Motorsports-prepared PC challenger to victory at the fast, technical VIR. Rayhall said: “I’m very excited to bring home a win for the 8Star Motorsports Takis crew. This is overdue and it’s well deserved, but it was a relatively straightforward day and I’m just really thankful to my guys for giving me such a great car; hats off to them. Hopefully, Luis (Diaz) will have a great day tomorrow (Sunday 24 August) and can bring home another win for the 8Star Motorsports guys.”
0 8Star Motorsports and their #25 orange FLM-009 Oreca PC driven by Luis Diaz and Sean Rayhall finished in second position at the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship (10 August). Diaz started the race in the #25 8Star Prototype Challenge and quickly started pushing when a big crash involving one of the RSR cars in front created a yellow flag and promoted “Chaplin” Diaz into second position. After the green flag came out, Diaz, who was the fastest in the PC class, overcame the other RSR entry for first place. With another yellow out on track with 1h40m to go, Diaz jumped out of the car and handed the reigns over tot Rayhall to close the race. Rayhall’s stint was repeatedly interrupted by yellow flags, but he maintained the lead. With just under an hour to go and with another full course yellow, 8star and Rayhall lost the lead after a little scramble leaving the pits. Rayhall, who had the fastest lap time of 2m00.984s, kept pushing hard but was not able to overtake the #8 PC car for first place, finishing in second position. “It was a complicated day as we expected to get a win here at Road America, as the team and Sean (Rayhall) were great,” said Diaz. “I believe we didn’t make any errors, but we have to work on some improvements in the pits, which was where the race was lost. It was really close, during this time of the championship anyone can win and the field is really good. We have to learn from these opportunities and go on and get our win soon.” Rayhall added: “It was a bittersweet day for the Takis 8Star Motorsports crew as they did a great job during the whole race for us to run second. We found out what happened in the pits, but now we can fix it for the next race. It’s bitter that we lost it there, but the guys really did a great job. It was fun to drive again here in Road America and congrats to the Starworks guys. We are going to work really hard for VIR and hopefully have redemption there.” For more information on 8Star Motorsports and its racing activities, please visit the www.8starmotorsports.com website, ‘like’ the team’s Facebook page or follow @8starmotor on Twitter.
0 After starting the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season with BAR1 Motorsports, Sean Rayhall has made the switch back to 8Star Motorsports, beginning with next weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The 2013 IMSA Prototype Lites champion will team with Tom Kimber-Smith, Michael Marsal and Eric Lux in a newly re-liveried No. 25 Oreca FLM09 for the second round of the season, as well as six additional sprint races this year. Rayhall made his Prototype Challenge debut with the Enzo Potolicchio-owned squad at last year’s Petit Le Mans, finishing second in class with sports car racing veteran Ozz Negri. 8Star has yet to finish off the podium in PC competition, having recorded a runner-up result at the Rolex 24 in January after also leading for much of the race. Kimber-Smith, Marsal and Lux are contracted for the four-round Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races only, meaning the 18-year-old rising star will be teamed with a to-be-announced co-driver for the sprint races. In addition to its PC effort, 8Star will field four cars in Prototype Lites, which kicks off its season at Sebring next weekend. Cred-SportsCar 365
0 After having a strong Roar Before the 24 test and coming from three-straight wins in 2013, Brian Alder, Team Owner, was looking for a better result at the Rolex 24 at Daytona but is happy with the finish. “To finish a 24 hour race in itself is a victory,” said Alder. “The crew has worked non-stop for the last month, preparing for this race, with the goal of finishing, and hopefully a 4th victory in a row. Although luck wasn’t on our side this race, we gave 100%, and pushed till the checkered flag fell and that’s something to be proud of. The team could have easily called it a day after our crash at the halfway mark of the race, but they kept their heads up and continued to work, getting the car back on track after over four hours of repairs to complete the final third of the race without any issues. Our heads are held high as we now prepare for the 12 hours of Sebring, looking to improve from our 2nd place finish in 2013.” American driver, Sean Rayhall, qualified the #87 Snowball Express PC car 6th for the Rolex 24 at Daytona and put the car in the lead during the 24 hour endurance race. “Things may not have gone as planned,” said Rayhall, “but there were many positives about the Rolex 24. The BAR1 Motorsports Snowball Express machine led at one point during the prestige endurance race and was quick all week. I am proud of my crew and co drivers for working so hard under the circumstances we dealt with in the night. I am looking forward to getting back in the car for Sebring!” The Tudor United Sports Car Championship will compete in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 15th. For more information please visit bar1motorsports.com and imsa.com.