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8Star looks to break wins duck in Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIR

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Victory remains elusive for the ambitious 8Star Motorsports team, although it is hopeful of finally breaking its race wins duck in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Oak Tree Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) this weekend (23-24 August).

Based out of state-of-the-art facilities in Pompano Beach, Florida, 8Star Motorsports has had a mightily impressive season in the Prototype Challenge (PC) division of the newly-amalgamated TUDOR Championship.

Podium finishes have been well received by all concerned with the Enzo Potolicchio-led operation.However, 8Star’s will to win has only increased as fate has repeatedly conspired against it while on course for victory, and it heads to VIR – a 3.27mile white-knuckle ride near Danville, Virginia – with the sole aim of scaling the top step of the winners’ rostrum.

The weekend will consist of two 45-minute sprint races for Prototype Challenge runners and competitors from the entry-level Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship and, in a change to the format, points will be rewarded for both contests.

Sean Rayhall and the Takis-backed Luis Diaz will once again pilot 8Star’s PC machine, while Enzo Potolicchio, Christian Potolicchio and Lamont Harris front the team’s IMSA Lites charge.

Rayhall said: “8Star Motorsports is well and truly in the hunt and the fight is pretty close, so the objective will be to score good, solid points in both races at Virginia International Raceway. The car is improving all the time and we had really good pace at Road America, so we were unfortunate to lose out in the way we did. Nevertheless, I’m optimistic about our chances and believe the win will be well within reach once again. I like what IMSA has done with the format, awarding points for both races, and I think sharing the track with the Lites runners is guaranteed to make things more eventful.

“I’m pretty sure VIR’s new track surface will suit us and it’s a circuit I’m particularly fond of, having won a championship title there with a broken foot when I was 15. We don’t have many high-speed circuits in the US, but VIR is fast and all about rhythm. If you overdrive through one turn, you’ll mess up the next. It requires patience and mistakes can be very costly. The quick corners are where I excel and a lack of overtaking opportunities means I’m very hungry to get pole position and translate that into a race win.”

Diaz added: “Virginia International Raceway (VIR) is a track I enjoy quite a lot, as it’s very challenging, especially with traffic. It will be interesting to see how it works with the IMSA Lites cars this weekend. Last time we had this format it was a different experience, for sure. Sprint races make everyone more aggressive, so i think it’s going to be very exciting. Sean (Rayhall) and I have had a good year so far, achieving a lot of podiums, but I think we’re definitely due a race win. We’ve been very close this year and I have a very good feeling for VIR.”

Christian Potolicchio said: “My season started with a big crash at Sebring that made my race weekend tough and I didn’t get as many points as I expected on a track I really enjoy. Things have improved from there and the communication with my engineer is great, so I am much better at making changes to help my driving. This will be my first visit to Virginia International Raceway (VIR), but I should get more than enough mileage and build confidence during the promoter test day.

“I’m not really looking at anybody else and will be purely focused on finishing races in the best position possible. Consistency will bring championship results. I believe the pressure is not on me at all, I have a great team supporting my efforts and I have to thank them for all the hard work they do in providing me with such a good car.”

The first of two Prototype Challenge/IMSA Lites races will take place at 17.15 EDT on Saturday (23 August, with the second encounter scheduled for the following morning (Sunday 24 August) at 10.45 EDT. Both will be broadcast live on FOXSports1.

For more information on 8Star Motorsports and its racing activities, please visit thewww.8starmotorsports.com website, ‘like’ the team’s Facebook page or follow@8starmotor on Twitter.

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8Star set to add single-seaters to US racing portfolio for 2015

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Buoyed by the success of its sportscar programme in the United States and around the world, including class victories in the Le Mans 24 Hours and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), plus strong showings in this season’s inaugural Tudor United SportsCar and IMSA Prototype Lites Championships, 8Star Motorsports is set to announce a 2015 campaign in the revamped Indy Lights Series with the all-new Dallara IL-15.

Team Owner and successful racer Enzo Potilicchio has already established a “stairway of talent”, with young drivers such as Sean Rayhall learning their craft and moving up the ranks in the junior IMSA Lites sportscar category to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, in both the Daytona Prototype (DP) and Prototype Challenge (PC) classes.

Potolicchio is keen to extend his young driver academy by bringing on more young, talented drivers who wish to pursue a career in single-seaters, saying: “It’s a natural step for 8Star Motorsports, which has the expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to extend its operation. And with the new Indy Lights cars coming for 2015, this is a perfect time for us to take up the challenge. We will be searching for young drivers focused on the road to the IndyCar Series and will be looking for drivers from both Europe and Asia who are wanting to build a career in the USA, as well as providing opportunities for North and South American racers to familiarize themselves with the Indy ladder. Of course, it goes without saying that 8Star will provide a completive package for talented drivers wherever the come from.”

8Star Motorsports Team Manager, Gary Neal, thinks the new Indy Lights car is a viable alternative to GP2 or World Series by Renault (WSR) for drivers moving up from Formula 3 or GP3, or those looking for a change of direction.

Neal said: “Formula 1 is such an unachievable dream for so many these days, whereas IndyCars is much more achievable in terms of budget and opportunity. The new Indy Lights program offers drivers a real shot at the big time and a sustainable career.”

With a cutting-edge facility in Pompano Beach, Florida and staff who boast a wealth of experience in F1 and IndyCars, 8Star Motorsports offers the perfect environment for driver development, as well as ample winter year-round testing opportunities in the agreeable Florida climate.

Interested parties can contact 8Star Motorsports at info@8starmotorsports.com

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8Star head to Road America in search of podiums

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Sean Rayhall and Luis Diaz are determined to take victory for 8 Star Motorsports in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship during the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America (8-10 August).

Located midway between Milwaukee and Green Bay in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Road America’s fast, flowing nature will expose any straight-line speed deficiencies, while the tight, twisty infield will require a near-perfect car balance.

The talented pair – Rayhall and Diaz – will look to put memories of what could have been at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway behind them as they reach for the top step of the podium at the Elkhart Lake-based track.

The Florida-based team was leading the PC class when a pit lane penalty put it a lap down in sixth position at the much-lauded circuit. Nevertheless, 8Star’s pace was undeniable and only hinted at what was achievable.

Once again, the race will run for 2h45m on Sunday (10 August) and both drivers will be taking an equal share of the driving duties during their bid to take the top honours.

“I’m very excited about going to Road America this weekend, it has always been one of my favourite tracks and I’ve achieved a lot of success there,” said Diaz. “There’s no doubt we are ready to win a race. Indianapolis was looking great, but unfortunately the pit penalty cost us the victory. But, as always, I know the 8Star Motorsports team will turn up with a fast car right out of the box and I’m looking forward to once again fighting for that win with Sean (Rayhall).”

The 8Star Motorsports team will hope to keep the podium positions coming in the next Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship Powered by Mazda race at Road America (8-10 August).

Having secured its first outright race victory last time out at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last month (12-13 July), 8Star’s Christian Potolicchio and Lamont Harris sit inside the top eight of the championship, and are looking to improve on their standings in the fourth round of the junior sportscar series.

“I am really happy to return to Road America again this year, as we are better prepared and I have a better knowledge of the car,” said Potolicchio. “I am really happy with my new engineer, Yves Touron, we know the track much better and we expect to be in the fastest cars once again.”

Teammate Harris added: “I’m really looking forward to this weekend. This will be my fourth time racing at Road America, which is a track that has a lot of slower to mid-speed corners, which have been my weakness as of late. But I’ve been working on improving that side of my driving technique in the past few weeks, so we should go well round there. Everyone in the team is in a really good place at the moment, which bodes well for this weekend, where I’m hoping I can not only get a podium in the Masters Class, but also outright.”

This weekend’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Continental Tire Road Race Showcase’ at Road of America will be televised live on FOX Sports 1, with qualifying on Saturday at 16:20 EDT and the race Sunday at 18:30 EDT.

For more information on 8Star Motorsports and its racing activities, please visit thewww.8starmotorsports.com website, ‘like’ the team’s Facebook page or follow@8starmotor on Twitter.

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8Star determined to break TUDOR Championship wins duck at ‘The Brickyard’

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Sean Rayhall and Luis Diaz hope to open 8Star Motorsports’ race wins account in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship ‘Brickyard Grand Prix’ at the world-famous and evocative Indianapolis Motor Speedway (24-25 July).

Rayhall shared the 8Star Motorsports-prepared ORECA FLM09 Prototype Challenge (PC) racer with Tom Kimber-Smith and Eric Lux in the preceding Sahlen’s 6 Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International approximately one month ago.

Victory was the chief objective for the Florida-based Venezuelan team, but simultaneous steering and engine troubles ultimately prevented it from converting a front-row starting position into a race win.

Nevertheless, 8Star’s pace was undeniable and only hinted at what was achievable, and Rayhall’s eternal optimism remains intact as he prepares to be re-joined by Mexico’s Luis Diaz for the Brickyard Grand Prix on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s hallowed asphalt (24-25 July).

The legendary circuit is gearing up for its headlining ‘Super Weekend at The Brickyard’, when the TUDOR Championship runs as part of an illustrious program of racing that includes the NASCAR Nationwide Series Brickyard 400.

Driving duties will be split between Rayhall and Diaz over the course of the 2h45m sprint race and the goal is to replicate the winning form 8Star has had in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship by scaling the top step of the winners’ rostrum following podium successes at Laguna Seca and Kansas Speedway.

Rayhall said: “I remember first visiting Indy when I was four years old to watch the Formula 1 US Grand Prix and I’m truly looking forward to racing at ‘The Brickyard’, as it’s a different kind of special. I have done a lot of simulator work and training and I’ll quickly figure out how to get around the circuit. I’m also looking forward to the atmosphere that will come with racing alongside my friends in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and I’d love nothing more than to break 8Star’s Prototype Challenge race wins duck there.

“The fact is, we’ve been unfortunate to miss out on victories this year. I was devastated to be denied the win at ‘The Glen’, but the guys did one hell of a job to get us back into the race, and achieving a win won’t just be redemption for me, but for the entire 8Star team. This is only our first year and we’re already competing at the front. 8Star Motorsports has done a superb job in every aspect, consistently providing us with a race-winning car and perfecting the engineering, and we’re learning things as drivers too, so it’s not anybody fault that we’ve fallen up short of victory.”

Diaz added: “I’m very excited about going to ‘The Brickyard’ for the first time this weekend. Indianapolis is a historic track and it’s going to be a special moment in my career when I drive over the start/finish line for the first time. So far we’ve had a great season, achieving two podiums in two races, but we haven’t had that first win yet. I’m very optimistic that this weekend we can get it, as Sean (Rayhall) and I make a great team and I always know 8Star Motorsports will give us a great racecar.”

This weekend’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship ‘Brickyard Grand Prix’ at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 at 17:30 EDT.

For more information on 8Star Motorsports and its racing activities, please visit thewww.8starmotorsports.com website, ‘like’ the team’s Facebook page or follow@8starmotor on Twitter.

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8Star Motorsports takes first IMSA Lites wins in landmark weekend

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The Florida-based 8Star Motorsports team enjoyed its first outright race wins in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship Powered by Mazda at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (12-13 July).

The victories were delivered by 8Star’s newest recruit and IMSA Lites debutant Remo Ruscitti, who was untouchable in a car he piloted for the first time during a pre-event test earlier in the week.

8Star regular Christian Potolicchio, meanwhile, achieved a great podium finish from seventh on the grid in race one and battled his way to fifth spot in treacherous conditions during the weekend’s second encounter to collect a strong points haul for himself and the team.

The results were then crowned by 8Star’s third driver, Lamont Harris spraying the champagne in celebration of another Masters class victory in the first of two races on the Ontario circuit for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s feeder series.

After a reasonable qualifying that saw Vancouver’s Ruscitti line up sixth, he demonstrated supreme racecraft on the formidable Canadian Tire Motorsport Park circuit, which has a reputation for rewarding bravery with an ultra-fast, undulating layout and close guard rails that leave little room for error.

Not that Ruscitti made any. Faultless displays in the dry in race one and a rain-soaked second race, where the 20-year old lapped the 3.95km track two seconds quicker than his nearest rivals, resulted in a brace of dominant IMSA Lites wins to compliment a superb victory in the Continental Tires Sportscar Challenge and cap off an unforgettable weekend for the Canadian hotshot.

“It has been a great weekend and to achieve three wins – two in IMSA Lites – is really unexpected, as I only tested the Lites car for the first time earlier in the week,” said Ruscitti. “Conditions were tricky today (Sunday 13 July), but I had a great opening lap and passed no fewer than 15 cars to take the lead. Other than one yellow-flag period, I had no issues and simply had to hold it together at the front.”

Potolicchio, satisfied with his third place finish, felt slightly disappointed not to follow it up with another podium in race two, saying: “I’m happy with the weekend and coming from seventh on the grid to third place in race one was good. The second race was very difficult, as I have only ever driven in wet conditions once before. I passed a couple of cars and was doing well until the rain intensified, making it was difficult to get to grips with the conditions. Taking everything into consideration, fifth place is a good finish.”

Rightly thrilled with his Masters class win, Harris was deflated as he left Canadian Tire Motorsport Park having failed to make the start of race two after problems on the out-lap sidelined him.

He said: “I was pleased to have taken the Masters win in the first race but I lost it and hit the wall on the out-lap, which is less than ideal. The conditions were really slippery and trying to get the tyres up to temperature caught me out.”

8Star Motorsports Team Manager, Gary Neal, said: “The race wins has been coming for a while now, but one thing or another has always happened to prevent the team from capitalizing on its position. This time around we put everything together, had a perfect car and delivered a perfect performance, with all of our drivers achieving some success this weekend.”

The Pompano Beach-based 8Star Motorsports outfit will return to the track for the Brickyard Grand Prix – the next round of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship – at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (24-25 July), while the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship will resume at Road America (9-10 August).

For more information on 8Star Motorsports and its racing activities, please visit thewww.8starmotorsports.com website, ‘like’ the team’s Facebook page or follow@8starmotor on Twitter.

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8Star readies itself for IMSA Lites podium push at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

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8Star Motorsports’ Lamont Harris and Christian Potolicchio will push for the podium places, as the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship readies itself for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix Presented by Hawk Performance at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario (11-13 July).

The 3.95km Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly known as Mosport International Raceway, is situated near Toronto and it is widely recognised as the Home of Canadian Motorsport, with an illustrious history stretching back to 1961 that includes Formula 1 and IndyCar, as well as an array of other sportscar, open-wheeled and motorcycle contests.

8Star Motorsports’ Harris heads north of the border into Canada off the back of a well-deserved Masters class victory in the most recent round of the IMSA-sanctioned Prototype Lites Championship at Watkins Glen International (27-29 June).

The 49-year old from Palm Beach, Florida finished in a remarkable fourth place overall at the end of an incident-packed race, punctuated by several incidents and a long, drawn-out yellow flag period, and his confidence is sky-high moving forwards to a circuit that he has an natural affinity for.

“I didn’t go as fast as I did in the pre-event test at The Glen as it took forever to get going, so finishing fourth overall and first in the Masters category was a great way to end what had been a frustrating weekend,” said Harris. “I was really happy with the result and I’m feeling great ahead of this weekend’s racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, which currently stands as my favourite circuit, with super-fast corners, good elevation changes and a short lap making for ultra-competitive racing.

“Free practice has been good so far, the car felt great and my teammate Christian (Potolicchio) is going quickly, even though the track hasn’t come in yet. All considered, I certainly feel I have the ability to replicate what I achieved at Watkins Glen, but the overall podium has to be my target this time.”

Potolicchio, on the other hand, vied for victory at The Glen two weeks ago, but became caught up in incidents to achieve a best seventh place result, but hopes to fulfill his full potential this time around at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, where he memorably broke his podium finishes duck in 2013.

“8Star comes into the weekend from a very good performance at Watkins Glen, where the car performed really well and we accomplished some good results in qualifying. We may have had some problems in the races, but Canadian Tire Motorsport Park brings back good memories for me, as it’s one of my favorite tracks of the championship where I got my first podium finish last year. I will be trying to repeat that this weekend, without a doubt!”

Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship free practice takes place from 9.45, while qualifying begins at 15.00 on Friday (11 July).

Race one will be held at 17.45 on Saturday (12 July), with race two the following morning from 9.40 (Sunday 13 July).

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Mechanical troubles impede 8Star’s bid for 6 Hours of The Glen victory

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8Star Motorsports finished tenth in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s 6 Hours of The Glen – the latest instalment in the Patron North American Endurance Cup – at Watkins Glen International, after mechanical problems impeded the team’s bid for victory.

Eric Lux, who started the #25 8Star Motorsports machine from second on the grid, was having a great run when the orange ORECA FLM09 Prototype Challenge (PC) racer simultaneously developed power steering and engine problems that made driving at speed impossible and forced the New Yorker into the pits.

A superb effort from the 8Star crew saw the car and Lux return to the fray with four and a half hours to run, albeit 28 laps down on the race leaders and with no hope of fighting for the top result Lux, Tom Kimber-Smith and Sean Rayhall had been threatening to achieve all weekend long.

Briton Kimber-Smith took over from Lux and his pace was indicative of what would have been achievable, as he recorded some incredible times to lap The Glen as the second fastest Prototype Challenge contender.

Rayhall ramped up the pace from one lap to the next, passing cars that were more than 20 laps ahead, and the 8Star team stubbornly continued on its way, showing true grit and determination by charging on to the very last and finishing tenth in the final PC classification.

“We came into this race in a good position and started from the front row after a great qualifying performance from Tom (Kimber-Smith),” said Lux. “We struggled a little with understeer and then the engine belt let go, which forced us back behind the wall. The team performed really well in stressful and time-critical situations to get the car back out on track to give us a chance of taking as many points as possible from the weekend.”

Kimber-Smith said: “It wasn’t our day today. The team did a fantastic job preparing the car and it shows that it doesn’t matter how much preparation you do, sometimes it just isn’t going to work out. The guys did a fantastic job putting the car back together.”

Rayhall added: “It’s a shame we had the power steering trouble, as the car was very good. 8Star’s crew, as well Tom (Kimber-Smith) and Eric (Lux), did a great job, but these problems took us out of contention for a decent result. The car was very strong and we proved that by running consistently at a pace that was more than good enough to finish in the top three in class. Still, it’s an honour for me to drive the Rembrandt Charms, Takis USA 8star Motorsports LMPC racer and I’m very proud of the guys.”

Enzo Potolicchio, concluded: “The car had been running great all weekend and Tom (Kimber-Smith), Eric (Lux) and Sean (Rayhall) had a great chance of getting a big result in the 6 Hours of The Glen, but a problem with the power steering and engine belt ended any hope of that. It really is a shame, as the whole 8Star Motorsport team had been working hard during the lead-up to this race.”

For more information on 8Star Motorsports and its racing activities, please visit thewww.8starmotorsports.com website, ‘like’ the team’s Facebook page or follow@8starmotor on Twitter.

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Front row start for 8Star after intense 6 Hours of The Glen qualifying battle

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Tom Kimber-Smith, Eric Lux and Sean Rayhall qualified 8Star Motorsports’ #25 Prototype Challenge (LMPC) racer in second position for the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s 6 Hours of The Glen – the next instalment in the Patron Endurance Cup – at Watkins Glen International (28 June).

Free practice two began with Rayhall’s first outing of the weekend in the striking orange-liveried LMPC machine. The Atlanta racer posted several fast lap times while negotiating a great deal of traffic, although Lux quickly got a feel for the car to improve on Rayhall’s best with a lap in the 1m42.2s, despite being impeded on a heavily congested track.

Practice three was Tom Kimber-Smith’s opportunity to get re-acquainted with 8Star’s LMPC contender and the Briton went second fastest as the red flags were waved to bring the session to a halt following an incident involving two of the team’s Prototype Challenge rivals.

Kimber-Smith closed free practice by recording the fastest lap of the weekend – 1m42.166s – and this boded well for qualifying, where there were further improvements during an intense battle for pole position.

8Star locked horns with Colin Braun in the CORE autosport machine and Starworks Motorsport’s Renger van der Zande from the very beginning of qualifying on Saturday (28 June) and a 1m40.823s from Kimber-Smith resulted in a front row grid slot.

“Qualifying was pretty good and starting from second place and the front row in a six-hour race is great. Anything can happen. I think we have a good, solid racecar and, between Eric (Lux), Sean (Rayhall) and I, we have a strong line-up, so we are gunning for the win.”

Lux added: “The testing we did leading up to this 6 Hours of The Glen has definitely paid off. Hats off to 8Star’s engineer, Yves, and the rest of the team for providing us with a really good setup, and to Tom (Kimber-Smith) for doing such a great job in qualifying to ensure we start from the front row. The plan for tomorrow’s race is to stay up at the front, keep it clean, and avoid all the mayhem from the other classes. If we manage that, I think we will be good.”

Meanwhile, at the end of an incident-packed race for the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, Lamont Harris finished fourth overall to take a well-deserved win in the Masters category.

The second IMSA Lites contest of the weekend at Watkins Glen, held over 45 minutes, was punctuated by several incidents and a protracted yellow flag period, with Christian Potolicchio one of the victims and falling from fourth to 15th position overall, and father Enzo Potolicchio retiring from fifth position with mechanical problems.

“It was a great race and a very fun weekend at this great venue,” said Harris. “I am really happy with the performance of the car and the guys at 8Star did a fantastic job throughout. I wish all the races were 45 minutes long and not the usual 30 minutes as it takes me some time to find pace during these short races. It has been a great weekend overall.”

For more information on 8Star Motorsports and its racing activities, please visit thewww.8starmotorsports.com website, ‘like’ the team’s Facebook page or follow@8starmotor on Twitter.

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8Star begins 6 Hours of The Glen weekend with solid Prototype Lites performance

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8Star Motorsports’ weekend at Watkins Glen International began with a fourth place result for team boss Enzo Potolicchio following a superb drive from the back of the field in the opening Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship Powered by Mazda race on Friday (27 June).

Thursday’s first practice session saw 8Star’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship regular and Prototype Lites Champion Sean Rayhall make a triumphant return to the IMSA Lites fray alongside Christian Potolicchio and Lamont Harris.

Rayhall was the first to get into the groove at The Glen, going fastest in the #4 8Star machine, ahead of Christian and Harris who ended FP1 in eighth and 15th respectively, before improving on their best lap times in second practice.

Qualifying started with Rayhall leading 8Star’s charge, although Christian eventually eclipsed the former Champion by consecutively posting faster times that far surpassed his free practice pace, eventually going third fastest at the end of a truncated session that was red-flagged with 12 minutes left to run.

Harris also improved to qualify 11th and, while Rayhall posted the fourth fastest time, he would be replaced by 8Star team boss Enzo Potolicchio for Friday’s first race.

The star of opening 30-minute IMSA Lites race at Watkins Glen was Enzo, as the Venezuelan pulled off a superb drive from the tail end of the field to finish second in the Masters class and fourth overall, ahead of son Christian in seventh and Harris tenth.

Christian, who started third, initially took the lead and fought valiantly in the top three with Andrew Novich, until a spin with 12 minutes to go left him trailing down in ninth place.

A collision for Novich gifted the young Venezuelan seventh before the end of the race, which came to a premature conclusion under yellow-flag conditions, while Harris climbed one position to break into the top ten.

Enzo Potolicchio said: “It was a last minute decision to race in place of Sean (Rayhall) and it was quite satisfying to be able to get in the car for the first time this weekend and come back from dead last to finish second in Masters and fourth overall. It was a great run, I had a lot of fun and almost reached the podium. Also, having the opportunity to race with my son Christian was a great experience. We are really proud of him as he has been doing better and better this year.”

Having taken significant strides forward this weekend, Christian Potolicchio added: “I’m really happy, as this has been the best qualifying result of the year and I felt we had a good car for race one. I was able to improve lap-by-lap compared to Thursday’s free practice sessions and I felt a podium was possible in the race.”

In TUDOR Championship free practice for the Sahlen’s 6 Hours of The Glen (27 June), Tom Kimber-Smith, Eric Lux, and Rayhall took the #25 8Star Motorsports machine to the top of the timing screens with a 1m42.555s and will look to continue stamping their authority during the build-up to Sunday’s headlining six-hour endurance race (29 June).

For more information on 8Star Motorsports and its racing activities, please visit thewww.8starmotorsports.com website, ‘like’ the team’s Facebook page or follow@8starmotor on Twitter.

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Victory sole objective for 8Star Motorsports in 6 Hours of The Glen

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Victory is the sole objective for the leading 8Star Motorsports team in the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Sahlen’s 6 Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International in New York (27-29 June).

The Venezuelan team, based out of state-of-the-art facilities in Pompano Beach, Florida, stood atop the LMPC podium in the most recent round of the TUDOR Championship, Sean Rayhall and Mexican Luis Diaz taking command of the Grand Prix of Kansas sprint races with 8Star’s ORECA FLM09 prototype.

Rayhall returns to the cockpit of the arresting orange-liveried #25 machine for this weekend’s highly-anticipated 6 Hours of The Glen alongside Briton Tom Kimber-Smith and New Yorker Eric Lux, who return to the 8Star fold for the first time since the 12 Hours of Sebring in March.

This being Lux’s home race, there’s a heightened desire to perform and, following a super-productive, high-intensity test at ‘The Glen’ four weeks ago, the Williamsville-based racer is brimming with optimism about 8Star’s chances of victory.

“I completed over 250 miles during a single day of testing at ‘The Glen’ and it went very well,” said Lux. “The team and its engineers learnt a decent amount in varying conditions, all of which was very useful for me. While it’s my home track, I haven’t been to Watkins Glen since 2009 and the test proved to be a re-familiarisation with the circuit and a car that I haven’t raced since Sebring.

“As a result, I think the goal is to go for the win this weekend. The circuit is going to be an equaliser and with such a strong driver line-up and crew, we go into the race at a good level. The most valuable part of testing is getting so many clean miles because, with the format of the new TUDOR Championship, running is limited and the sessions are often littered with red flags. Seat time is drastically down compared to everything I’ve experienced before.”

Rayhall echoed Lux’s sentiments and felt just as positive about 8Star’s rate of progression with its LMPC racer since the start of the season, but particularly after the Watkins Glen pre-event test.

“I’m feeling good about a podium effort, as we tested extensively at The Glen and 8Star’s engineer, Yves, made some fantastic breakthroughs with the car’s setup that leave us all full of confidence going into this weekend’s endurance race,” said Rayhall. “I completed over 200 miles of running that was essential for getting a feel and finding improvements. Our performance is better overall and the ORECA is head-to-toe and different car to what we’ve been driving.

“8Star’s rate of progression with the car is impressive and I’m really happy with the pace. However, the 6 Hours of The Glen is about survival and everything falling into place, it isn’t a race where you can dominate straight out of the blocks. I think we have the car to win and, if we’re smart, we can come out with a good result. Good points to strengthen our championship position are essential here, but it all depends how well things shake out on the day.”

Enzo Potolicchio and his 8Star Motorsports squad are committed to the development of young and talented drivers from across the globe and formed a comprehensive multi-step ‘stairway of talent’ to provide prospective sportscar racers with an unbroken route to the uppermost echelons of international motorsport.

Christian Potolicchio and Lamont Harris both currently stand on the first rung of 8Star’s ladder of progression in the IMSA-sanctioned Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship, which holds a prestigious and high-profile position on the support bill for the TUDOR Championship.

Both Potolicchio and Harris will vie for victory at Watkins Glen this weekend as they attempt to stamp their authority in the 2014 Prototype Lites title race and establish themselves as Champions of the future in sportscar racing.

Potolicchio said: “I am very excited, as this is my first time at Watkins Glen, which is a track with so much history. The team has been working hard on the car and had the opportunity to work with my teammate Lamont (Harris) at The Glen during a couple of test days quite recently, so I’m confident the car will be in good shape after solving the problems we had at Kansas Speedway.”

For more information on 8Star Motorsports and its racing activities, please visit thewww.8starmotorsports.com website, ‘like’ the team’s Facebook page or follow@8starmotor on Twitter.