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8Star claims victory in inaugural Classic 24 Hour at Daytona

8Star-HSR-ClassicDaytona3crop8Star Motorsports and Enzo Potolicchio stood atop the winners’ rostrum at Daytona International Speedway after storming to class victory in the inaugural Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) Classic 24 Hour at Daytona (16 November).

The 24 Hours of Daytona has grown in stature since its inception in 1966 and is now a premier fixture on the international motorsport calendar, widely regarded as part of the informal ‘Triple Crown of Endurance Racing’ that encompasses three of the world’s most formidable races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 12 Hours of Sebring.

The inaugural Classic 24 Hour at Daytona celebrates a rich and illustrious history spanning almost half a century. Cars from the Historic Sportscar Racing and Trans Am Series resplendently return to Daytona International Speedway, the many functioning museum pieces from 1961 to the present day conveying the 24 Hours of Daytona’s story as they compete on the world-renowned circuit from 13.00 on Saturday (15 November) through to 13.00 on Sunday (16 November).

Over 130 cars spread over six era-defined classes took to the legendary 3.56mile circuit, which combines a large part of the renowned NASCAR tri-oval with a fast, sweeping infield road course.

8Star Motorsports entered the Class E battle with a sole 2013 Coyote Corvette Daytona Prototype for Enzo Potolicchio and, while the inaugural Classic 24 Hours of Daytona was designed to showcar and embrace sportscars of years gone by, a fight broke out during the four one-hour races.

Potolicchio made an immediate impact on the historical event and raced bumper-to-bumper with the Audi R8 LMP1 of Andy Wallace and Doug Smith – the only two competitors to finish on the lead lap – bringing his orange-liveried Corvette home first in class and second overall after 88 tours of the legendary Daytona circuit, much to the delight of both driver and team.

Delighted to have concluded 8Star Motorsport’s 2014 season with yet another piece of silverware, Potolicchio said: “Everything went as planned and, as this was our first Historic Sportscar Racing (HSR) event, it was really cool to be involved in the inaugural Classic 24 at Daytona,” said Potolicchio. “As always, the 8Star Motorsports team and the Coyote Corvette DP performed well and finishing second overall and first in class is just reward for a fantastic effort by all concerned.

“We experimented with setup changes for each race and felt really happy with the handling of the car, but I thoroughly enjoyed being back in the Corvette after almost a year out of the cockpit. It was nice to blow the cobwebs off and run against some other great classic racecars on what remains a legendary circuit – the Daytona International Speedway. I have to admit, the Classic 24 was more exhausting than the real Rolex 24 at Daytona and, as we found that a completely different strategy was required, we had a bit of learning to do. Adapting to the new strategies was the biggest challenge and we had to figure it out on the fly, but it all worked out.”

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’s Sarrazin achieves maiden international rally victory in Corsica

20141107232028-f90bacc08Star Motorsports’ Stéphane Sarrazin sealed his maiden international rally victory in the Giru di Corsica – Tour de Corse European Rally Championship (ERC) season-closer (6-8 November).

Sarrazin made an impeccable return to the rally stage in his native France when he took top honors in the Rallye Criterium des Cévennes – the penultimate round of the 2014 FFSA French Rally Championship (23-25 October) – at the wheel of his 8Star Motorsports-backed Ford Fiesta WRC.

The versatile Frenchman from Le Gard, a regular addition to the 8Star Motorsports fold, currently operates as a Toyota Racing factory driver in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and has accumulated no fewer than three pole positions and four podium finishes in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as three race wins at Petit Le Mans during a super-successful endurance racing career.

However, the 30-year old is famous for dovetailing his sportscar commitments with sporadic one-off rally appearances and has accrued several notable results, most recently adding to his trophy collection by winning the ERC-ending Giru di Corsica – Tour de Corse (6-8 November).

Victory in the ‘Rally of 10,000 Corners’ looked unlikely for Sarrazin on Friday (7 November), as 2013 Corsica winner Bryan Bouffier emerged as a more prominent threat following an earlier puncture, but the 8Star Motorsports-backed contender and co-driver Jacques-Julien Renucci would find an extra gear to complete the 11th and final stage with an 18.9s advantage over his chief rivals.

“It’s just a real joy to win the Tour of Corsica,” said Sarrazin. “Two weeks after the Rallye des Cévennes, which was quite important to me, we now clinch victory in one of the most legendary rally challenges. We really had to attack for that win. The first day was positive but we had to find the right compromise between risk-taking and pure performance. There were many tricky bits, we’ve managed to avoid them while taking our marks in Corsica. We knew that everything would depend on the second stage. Saturday morning we gave everything we had and really had to push. We had a fantastic car thanks to First Motorsport’s work and Jacques-Julien’s notes were just perfect. I felt confident, I managed to attack and I enjoyed myself very much, even if I was aware that something important was at stake. Those two stages marked my return to rally. In the end, I hadn’t driven that car lots in practice sessions, and actually never in competition before the Cévennes. Two wins with this two-rally program, which we had put up together with 8Star Motorsports and Oreca-Store.com, I couldn’t have hoped anything more than that!”

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 sets out rallying ambitions after Sarrazin’s French rally renaissance

AUTO - RALLYE CRITERIUM DES CEVENNES 2014 8Star Motorsports has ambitions to branch out into the world of rallying and Rallycross, after Stéphane Sarrazin made a flawless return to the rally stage in his native France last week (23-25 October).

At the wheel of an 8Star Motorsports-backed Ford Fiesta WRC, 30-year old Sarrazin took top honors in the Rallye Criterium des Cévennes – the penultimate round of the 2014 FFSA French Rally Championship.

Sarrazin took command of the event in his home region of France and recorded the quickest times on no fewer than ten special stages to take the outright victory, more than five minutes ahead of his nearest opponents.

The multi-faceted Frenchman from Le Gard currently operates as a Toyota Racing factory driver in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and has featured as part of 8Star Motorsports’ driver line-up on several previous occasions.

His ultra-lucrative endurance racing career encompasses three pole positions and four podium finishes in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as three race wins at Petit Le Mans, but Sarrazin has also seen a great deal of success in rallying and enjoys keeping his hand in with sporadic one-off appearances on some of the world’s most demanding special stages.

As a result, 8Star Motorsports Team Boss, Enzo Potolicchio, is searching for likeminded partners wishing to increase brand awareness in rallying, saying: “I speak on behalf of everybody at 8Star Motorsports when I say how delighted we are to have been part of Stéphane’s (Sarrazin) victory in the 2014 Rallye Criterium des Cévennes. We have a team with a vast amount of experience in the world of rallying and Rally Cross, and we are looking for sponsors to eventually participate in this type of racing. With the experience of Stéphane and his co-driver Jacques-Julien Renucci, we truly believe we can be competitive in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and Rallycross.”

Sarrazin – the 2004 French Champion of Rally – officially represented Subaru during the 2005 and 2006 World Rally Championship (WRC) seasons and notably reached the podium places in the 2009 Rallye Monte-Carlo, won the Limosusin and Mont-Blanc rallies in 2012 and came third in last year’s Tour de Corse.

And with plans to take his 8Star and Oreca-Store.com-supported Ford Fiesta to the 2014 Tour de Corse (6-8 November) – the much-anticipated final round of the European Rally Championship (ERC) – Sarrazin can only hope to emulate the sort of results he notched up on his previous attempt in 2013.

“I am very happy about this success,” said Sarrazin. “My very first aim was to enjoy the rally and that was absolutely the case, with some great special stages that were sometimes very narrow and difficult to negotiate. I had to familiarise myself with the Ford Fiesta WRC, find a pace that is appropriate and a style that suits rally driving, but I had good feelings quite early on. We kept on attacking throughout the entire event and we did a great job. Jacques-Julien Renucci and I got on perfectly well and, as always, First Motorsport did a fantastic job. We managed to refine the setup whenever possible@ it was important for us to do so because we have the Tour de Corse in mind.

“Overall, every single special stage was an opportunity for us to improve. The Rallye des Cévennes was a real dream for me when I was a child, so I am really happy to have won it for the first time. It’s quite a special victory for me, in fact. I had a fantastic weekend and I would like to thank 8Star Motorsports and Oreca-Store.com for making it possible. Corsica will be another type of challenge, as I will face the best European drivers.”

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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Day of promise at Petit Le Mans comes to bitter end for 8Star Motorsports

Dagys_ 2014_321776What promised to be a day of celebration and elation for 8Star Motorsports ended on a disastrous note, as a potential race victory was cruelly swiped from the team’s grasp at Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda – the final round of the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup on Saturday (4 October).

With only 18 minutes of the ten-hour endurance feature race remaining, Sean Rayhall was leading the Prototype Challenge (PC) battle after a great comeback, when he was rear-ended into the wall.

Thankfully, the Georgia-based 18-year old emerged from the terminally damaged #25 PC machine unscathed after a tense moment of uncertainty, but was evidently frustrated.

After a tough start, Eric Lux gradually eased up towards the frontrunning pace and negotiated some traffic before being spun out ten minutes into the race. Beached on a curb, the New Yorker lost three laps to the leaders, although yellow-flag caution periods, strong speed and consecutive fastest laps allowed Lux and teammates Rayhall and Tom Kimber-Smith to claw their way back into contention.

By the halfway point of the race, 8Star was tantalizingly close to the lead lap and, with Rayhall in the car and just over three hours to run, the Pompano Beach-based team overcame Frankie Montecalvo for the lead.

8Star Motorsports continued to hold the initiative and Rayhall was the one chosen to finish the 2014-running of Petit Le Mans.

Unfortunately, with 18 minutes to go, the young Georgia hotshot was involved in a crash that ended the day for the 8Star Motorsports car and a highly frustrated Rayhall said: “I’m very disappointed with the end result, after a fantastic year for me and the 8Star Motorsports crew. Today we came back from three laps down and the car felt really good but, as we were closing in on the checkered flag, I was hit up the rear, ending our race. I feel really bad for Tom (Kimber-Smith), Eric (Lux) and the guys at 8Star Motorsports, as we had a great race and a great season together. Luckily I was able to walk away from the crash.”

Kimber-Smith added: “It was a very disappointing end to the race after everyone put in so much work during the build-up and having had such a strong car. I think that today’s race was a prime example that we have to look at driving standards. This season has been marred by incidents and it really is not acceptable; in qualifying and the races, there is just no consistency in penalties and I hope changes will be made for 2015. I am totally gutted and want to say a big thank you to Enzo (Potolicchio) and everyone at 8Star Motorsports, as well as Sean (Rayhall) and Eric (Lux).”

Lux continued: “8Star Motorsports gave us a great car and in each session we were able to get more and more time. I didn’t get the best start and, unfortunately, Renger Van der Zande spun me out at Turn 7. I was stuck on the curb and it put us three laps behind the leaders. Everybody in the team did an amazing job to get us back up to the front and Sean (Rayhall) and Tom (Kimber-Smith) did an amazing job, setting incredibly fast laps. We were able to lead a significant amount of the race and, with 18 minutes to go, a Ferrari sent Sean into the wall, ending our race abruptly. Fortunately, Sean is in good condition and we can focus on fixing the car in the off-season. This 8Star Motorsports team did not deserve to end the year in this way, as it had been working hard all season and even fighting for the championship up to the last round.”

8Star Motorsports Team Owner and driver, Enzo Potolicchio, concluded: “This isn’t the best way to finish the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, but we are really happy that Sean (Rayhall) came out fine after that horrible crash. It is a shame we were taken out of the race with 18 minutes to go, as we were cruising to the checkered flag after Eric (Lux), Tom (Kimber-Smith) and Sean brought the car back into the lead. The most important thing to me is that Sean is ok and that the 8Star Motorsports team is a force to be reckoned with in the TUDOR Championship, becoming one of the leading teams for drivers and sponsors.”

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 records second consecutive win from dramatic TUDOR Championship race in Texas

Dagys_ 2014_3140478Star Motorsports led from the front, sensationally converting pole position into victory in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Lone Star Le Mans feature race at Circuit of the Americas (20 September).

An incredible qualifying effort by Sean Rayhall was followed by a determined and resolute charge to victory lane for the second consecutive race by the Georgia-based racer and Mexican teammate Luis ‘Chapulin’ Diaz.

Saturday’s 20-minute morning warm-up was positive for the 8Star driver pairing, as they continued to lap the Austin circuit quickly to keep a tight grip on the top of the Prototype Challenge (PC) rankings, with a dominant one second advantage over the chasing pack.

A false start to the race was followed by a strong getaway for Chapulin, who stamped his authority by consistently improving his lap times to build a dominant lead.

Diaz, backed by Takis, stayed strong and led the PC class for the entirety of his stint, before handing the #25 entry to Rayhall with little under 1h40m to go.

Rayhall was quickly out of the pits and landed in second place behind CORE autosport’s #54 PC challenger in the hands of Colin Braun.

The pairing locked horns in the fight for the PC initiative and an attempt to pass at Turn 1 ended with the orange 8Star Motorsports machine spinning down to fourth position. Braun was penalized as a result and, from third, Rayhall began hunting down the top two in a determined bid to reclaim the lead.

With an hour to go, Rayhall was still in third place and pushing hard, but moved back to the top of the leaderboard when his rivals had problems entering the pit lane.

Following a remarkable recovery, the 18-year old concentrated on conserving his fuel to maintain first position during the run to the flag and clinch the second consecutive race win for the 8Star Motorsports team.

“What a day for 8Star Motorsports,” said Rayhall. “To get spun out and drop to fourth and get back to first position and finish there for the second time is amazing! I am thankful to be driving for this Takis 8Star Motorsports team and I really feel blessed to be one of Enzo Potolicchio’s drivers. Yves (Touron) and the crew did an excellent job, the car was amazing and we were able to get our second victory in a row.”

Diaz said: “I am extremely happy for the Takis 8Star Motorsports team, as the guys did an excellent job. Sean drove brilliantly to close the race, and the strategy worked out great for us. This is my last race with 8Star Motorsports and I can’t thank them enough for this amazing season. Being able to close it with two wins in a row and leaving the team in a position to battle for the championship at Petit Le Mans is just great.”

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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Euphoria as 8Star takes second win from momentous Oak Tree Grand Prix weekend

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8Star Motorsports capped off a momentous weekend with Luis ‘Chapulin’ Diaz sealing the team’s second consecutive Prototype Challenge (PC) race win in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Oak Tree Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on Sunday (24 August).

The Pompano Beach, Florida-based outfit took a clean sweep of victories at the ultra-high-speed VIR, bringing to an end a lengthy winless streak and keeping it in the hunt for the TUDOR Championship PC class title.

A superb qualifying effort by young Atlanta charger Sean Rayhall ensured 8Star Motorsports of pole position for the weekend’s two 45-minute PC contests, and Mexico City’s Diaz used this advantage to great effect by leading RSR Racing’s Bruno Junqueira from lights-to-flag in a cool, calm display.

As Junqueira encountered problems, CORE autosports’ Colin Braun and Starworks Motorsport’s Renger van der Zande emerged as 8Star’s chief threats, but Diaz kept his head down and held the initiative until a full-course caution shortened the race with seven minutes to run.

Diaz was undoubtedly the happiest man in the VIR paddock on Sunday afernoon and his celebrations were far from muted as he emerged from the cockpit of the race-winning #25 PC racer.

Diaz said: “I’m really happy and this win is an incredible feat for the Takis-backed 8Star Motorsports team. The guys gave me a great car and this gave me an edge over our rivals to achieve this incredible, well-deserved victory. Sean (Rayhall) deserves a lot of the credit, as he did a great job in qualifying and yesterday’s (Saturday 23 August) race. This win gives us an opportunity to continue fighting for the championship for our great sponsor, Takis, and the team.”

A euphoric Enzo Potolicchio, added: “I’m delighted for Luis (Diaz) and every one of our guys in the 8Star Motorsports crew, as I know how hard thye have worked this season to accomplish these victories. Sean (Rayhall) also did a great job yesterday to put Luis and the team in a position to win. Overall, it has been a great weekend and now we go to Circuit of the Americas (COTA), where we will have another chance to continue adding points towards the championship with more wins.

In the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship, which shared the VIR circuit with the faster PC runners, Christian Potolicchio finished fourth to add yet more crucial points to his ever-expanding total, while Lamont Harris overcame early problems to finish in a creditable eighth position and Enzo Potolicchio was forced to abandon his race 15 minutes from the end.

The TUDOR United SportsCar Championship’s next port of call is the state-of-the-art Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, which hosts the Lone Star Le Mans event (19-20 September).

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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Jubilant 8Star Motorsports team breaks Prototype Challenge race wins duck at VIR

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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 Winston, Georgia-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.”

In the supporting IMSA-sanctioned Prototype Lites Championship, Christian Potolicchio continued his recent run of form by qualifying in fifth position, beating father Enzo Potolicchio in sixth and Lamont Harris, who emerged from a tough session in 12th position.

With PC and IMSA Lites runners sharing the high-speed circuit, Christian, Enzo and Harris all faced a stern challenge, having to focus on their own battles while trying not to impede the quicker PC contingent.

Nevertheless, Enzo finished fifth overall and took first place in the Masters category, with Harris utilizing a determined run to surge from his 12th-place grid slot to eighth at the flag and Christian coming to grief in the latter stages and taking ninth after battling for P4 for the most part.

Enzo Potolicchio said: “It has been a really good day for 8Star Motorsports, as the team achieved a long overdue win in the PC class. In Prototype Lites, we didn’t have our best race, even though I won in the Masters class. We are going to try to improve the cars for tomorrow’s race and hopefully have a better result. We have made a lot of progress over the course of the year and we will continue to work to have the edge that other teams have managed to find. Hopefully Luis Diaz has a great day tomorrow and gets another win for the hard working 8Star Motorsports team.”

The final Prototype Challenge/IMSA Lites race will take place at 10.45 EDT on Sunday (24 August) and 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 leave Road America with silverware

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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 race two of the Cooper Tire Prototype Lites powered by Mazda at Road America, Christian Potolicchio finished in third place for his second podium of the weekend and third straight podium. Enzo Potolicchio, who had an incident in race one and couldn’t finish, was not able to finish this race again after overcoming almost all the field before getting involved in a crash in the end of the race. Lamont Harris also had a tough outing in this race two finishing in 12th position.

“This was a really good weekend at Road America, as we finished on the podium both times,” said Christian. “My communication with my engineer has gotten better and better and it has allowed me to fight for the first positions. These results have given me the opportunity to jump to second place in the championship and this is a demonstration that hard work pays off.”

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.

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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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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.