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Rayhall returns to 8Star Motorsports for 2014 Tudor United SportsCar Championship

s1_1-2 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
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BAR1 Motorsports Finishes Their First Rolex 24 At Daytona

1535603_10202226062647046_2012898728_n   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.
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Roar Before the 24 BAR1 Motorsports

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BAR1 Motorsports Builds Momemtum at the Roar Before the 24

Daytona Beach, Florida (January 7, 2014) – Coming from a three win streak at the end of the 2013 season, BAR1 Motorsports’ strong performance last weekend at Daytona International Speedway for the Roar Before the 24 test showed they are ready for a promising 2014 season in the Tudor United Sports Car Championship.  Sean Rayhall set the fastest lap for the team, with a 1:43.226, and teammates E.J. Viso, Chapman Ducote, and Doug Bielefeld finished close behind. American driver, Sean Rayhall, climbed the charts at Daytona International Speedway finishing 4th fastest overall in the second practice session after leading numerous times during the test.  The 18-year-old captured the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship in 2013 and made his Prototype Challenge debut at Petit Le Mans where he finished 2nd with 8Star Motorsports.  He also holds 1st in the “Future Stars” category for drivers 21 and younger according to Driver Database.  Rayhall will compete with BAR1 Motorsports in the 2014 Tudor United Sports Car Championship. “I feel like the test went well for BAR1 Motorsports as a whole team,” said Rayhall.  “The engineers and I made a few good changes but the car was pretty fast out of the trailer.  From there, we just worked on the pace of the co-drivers.  I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of BAR1 Motorsports and I am looking forward to the 24 Hours, as well as, what the rest of the 2014 season has in store for us.”   After having a strong Roar Before the 24 test and coming from three-straight wins in 2013, Brian Alder, Team Owner, was very pleased with his drivers performances and is looking forward to the Rolex 24 at Daytona.   “I am very happy with the overall results at the Roar Before the 24 test,” said Alder.  “We had a great group of drivers testing with us and the crew did a great job of providing us with good cars.  The team has a lot of potential for the 2014 season and I am looking forward to not only the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but also the season as a whole.”   The Tudor United Sports Car Championship will compete at the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 25th and 26th.  For more information please visit bar1motorsports.com and imsa.com.

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2nd Place at Petit LeMans in PC Debut

IMG_0645Braselton, Ga. (Oct. 20, 2013) – 8Star Motorsports took the Prototype Challenge powered by Continental Tire field by storm with a breakout run in the 16th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda, leading the race overall at one point and dominating the PC class en route to a second place finish in its American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón debut.
The No. 25 ORECA FLM09 of Ozz Negri and Sean Rayhall, both newcomers to the competitive prototype class as well, drove a trouble-free race throughout the 1,000-mile marathon Saturday at Road Atlanta, which saw the Enzo Potolicchio-owned organization nearly pull off a stunning victory in one of North America’s most prestigious endurance races.
Showing the pace and consistency that’s needed to win races and titles, both sports car racing veteran Negri and Rayhall, the newly crowned Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Champion, never put a wheel wrong, while the Mark Scott and Brian Colangelo-led crew also having flawless pit stops over the course of the ALMS finale.
Eighteen year-old Rayhall had the honors of taking the car to the checkered flag, less than 12 seconds behind the class-winning No. 8 BAR1 car. What’s more, the 8Star entry finished an impressive sixth overall, showcasing the strength and reliability of the PC platform, which carries over to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship next year.
"I can't thank 8Star Motorsports enough,” said Rayhall. “That was a phenomenal car. Coming in for the first race and to get a podium right off the bat, at the Petit Le Mans of all races, that really just goes to show you how great the team and Ozz Negri are. I'm happy to be a part of the team as well and bring home a good podium and second place finish. I wish Enzo could have been here to celebrate with us.”
Team principal Potolicchio, who founded the Florida-based team less than 12 months ago, helped lead 8Star to a fourth place finish in Sunday’s rain-interrupted 6 Hours of Fuji FIA World Endurance Championship event in Japan. 8Star also battled challenging weather conditions in the Petit Le Mans race, which started on a semi-wet track and saw Negri take overall lead in the first hour.
With intermittent showers not subsiding until the afternoon, the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona champion and veteran GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype driver drove a brilliant stint on dry weather Continental tires, which helped the team open up a one-lap lead.
"That stint in the wet with slicks on, I think it was the hardest thing I've ever done,” Negri said. “The 40 laps felt like 3 days. I'm glad I led the Petit Le Mans overall with Continental tires. I have to thank 8Star Motorsports and Enzo for the opportunity. The guys put this deal together just one week ago. I had a lot of fun. We were competing with guys that had run the whole season and we had less than a week to prepare. I think that shows the strength of the 8Star team. The hard work pays off.”
With plans to expand into PC full-time in next year’s TUDOR Championship, 8Star has positioned itself as the leading option for drivers wanting to compete in one of the top levels of North American sports car racing.
"It was a great debut race for us,” said PC team manager Mark Scott. “We were able to keep a fairly reasonable gap and were on the same fuel strategy as the No. 8 car. Sean was giving it everything the car had at the end. Overall we're very pleased. It was a great team effort. We wanted to win it but you don't get to win them all. Both drivers did very well and the crew performed well. We had no penalties. Everyone worked as hard as they could."