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Sean Rayhall finishes in sixth position in the Indy Lights Freedom 100

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Pompano Beach, FL, May 22, 2015 – Sean Rayhall and 8Star Motorsports finished in sixth position in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After an impressive performance at the Indy Lights Indianapolis GP, the expectations coming into the Freedom 100 event were very high even though it was Rayhall’s first oval race with 8Star.

For the first time in the Indy Lights 2015 season, Rayhall and the 8Star team were able to take advantage of the entire event schedule by taking part in the three tests, practice and qualifying. Rayhall, who qualified in third position and had the fastest lap in free practice three, dropped in the field to sixth position and engaged in several battles with Kaiser and championship leader Ed Jones. Sean was able to defend his sixth position before a yellow flag came out with only three laps until the end of the race.

“Really happy with the performance, Sean showed a lot of speed and did an amazing job for his first oval race. We marked the highest speed of the entire weekend and now we get back to working hard to make sure this partnership with Sean is extended for the other events,” said Team Owner Enzo Potolicchio.

“I am really happy with the performance overall this weekend as this was our first experience on ovals in the Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights,” said Sean Rayhall. “I really want to thank the team that worked really hard to have the car ready for this weekend. I also want to thank Bass Egg and everyone who supported my crowdfunding campaign.”

“Considering it is our first experience in the Indy Lights car on ovals and at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I am very happy with the performance overall. Having said that, both Sean (Rayhall) and the team gained valuable experience and next year where I believe we can compete for the win,” said Team Manager Gary Neal.

Overall it was a very good week in Indianapolis for Rayhall and the 8Star team to work together and keep getting acquainted with the Dallara IL-15. The young driver and the 8Star team now have gotten their first oval race out of the way and can get back to working toward the rest of the Indy Lights season.

For more information please visit our website at www.8starmotorsports.com and keep up to date via Twitter @8starmotor and Facebook at our 8Star Motorsports page.
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After a Victory in the Indianapolis GP, Sean Rayhall Returns with 8Star Motorsports for the Freedom 100

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Pompano Beach, FL, May 19, 2015 – Coming off a victory in race two of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires Indianapolis GP, Sean Rayhall returns to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy Lights Freedom 100. After a prolific first weekend in Indianapolis with two podium finishes, Rayhall will participate in his first oval race in the Dallara IL-15.

The inclusion of the young American driver in the upcoming event at the legendary Indy track was made possible through the support of several sponsors as well as a Crowdfunding campaign that proved to be a success. Sean Rayhall and the 8Star Motorsports team are hard at work preparing for the event coming up this weekend.

After the Monday morning tests, Team Owner Enzo Potolicchio said “We are happy to have Sean in the car for the Freedom 100 and trust that we have the experience necessary to make it a memorable event. Our partnership with Sean has been incredible and I’m glad we have been able to extend it for this legendary challenge. The GoFundMe campaign was a success, and I want to thank everyone who supported Sean for this event.”

“I am looking forward to the race and working very hard throughout the week to be ready on Friday. I’m happy that so many people supported us and gave me the opportunity to compete at such a legendary track for the Indy Lights Freedom 100,” the 20-year old Rayhall said.

Team Manager Gary Neal stated that, “We are very happy to work with Sean again, in his first ever oval experience with us. We came to Indy with basic info from Dallara but Sean quickly got up to speed. I’m glad we can make the test day today in preparation for the Freedom 100 as it is team engineer Yves Touron’s first time with this car in the oval.”

Sean Rayhall and 8Star Motorsports will be back in action at the Freedom 100 on Friday, May 22nd, with qualifying taking place on Thursday, May 21st. There will be live broadcasts on the Road to Indy app, IMS Radio Network on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, INDYCAR.com, and indycarradio.com. NBC Sports Network will also have a one hour race broadcast on Friday.

For more information please visit our website at www.8starmotorsports.com and keep up to date via Twitter @8starmotor and Facebook at our 8Star Motorsports page.
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Sean Rayhall and 8Star Motorsports back in Action for the Indy Lights Indianapolis GP

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Pompano Beach, FL, May 7, 2015 – 8Star Motorsports and promising young driver Sean Rayhall are getting ready to compete in this weekend’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Indianapolis Grand Prix. Rayhall and 8Star initiated this Indy Lights partnership at Barber Motorsports Park, where he achieved the fastest lap and track record after only being in the Dallara IL-15 a few times. The expectations for the upcoming races are high, especially now that Rayhall has had more time to get accustomed to the 8Star machine.

Rayhall has competed in Indianapolis before while wearing 8Star orange. Last year’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Indianapolis Grand Prix was one to be remembered in many regards. The main takeaway was that Rayhall and 8Star’s pace and strategy were second to none, and the young American tallied a series of fastest laps.

8Star Motorsports Team Manager Gary Neal has stated that “this is a good opportunity for Sean to digest what he learned from the car in Barber, and to further develop his understanding of the Dallara IL-15. Sean has driven the Indy GP circuit with 8Star before so the track is familiar to him. Given the speed we displayed at Barber I am optimistic for good results this weekend.”

The focused American driver was very straight forward when he stated that, “we rolled off with a car that seems better than ever and the main goal is to put out a strong effort this weekend and leave it all on the track. I want to thank Edvisors and Bass Egg as well for keeping this Indy Lights campaign alive, and I hope to make the most of it this weekend.”

Sean Rayhall and 8Star Motorsports will be out on the track for Races 1 & 2 this Friday and Saturday. The Indianapolis Grand Prix promises to be an exciting event and will officially be underway today for both practices. Qualifying will begin tomorrow at 12:00pm and race 1 will come around at 4:30pm. The weekend will be capped off on Saturday with Race 2 set to begin at 1:25pm.

For more information please visit our website at www.8starmotorsports.com and keep up to date via Twitter @8starmotor and Facebook at our 8Star Motorsports page.

 

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Sean Rayhall and 8Star Motorsports reunite for Indy Lights Championship

Dagys_ 2014_278569Pompano Beach, FL, April 21, 2015 – 8Star Motorsports is pleased to announced a partnership with Sean Rayhall for the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire championship races at Barber Motorsports Park. The 20-year old from Atlanta, GA will be making his debut in the Indy Lights championship with the new Mazda powered Dallara IL-15.

Rayhall, who is part of the 8Star Motorsports Driver Development Program, reunites with 8Star Motorsports after a successful 2014 season. Alongside 8Star Motorsports in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Sean was able to accomplish two wins and 5 podiums in the Prototype Challenge class. In 2013, Sean dominated the IMSA Cooper Tire Prototype Lites with six wins and 12 podiums to win the championship.

“I am so excited to have this chance to be back with 8Star Motorsports and to make my Indy Lights debut. I am very fortunate to have Bass Egg and Edvisors who believed in me to put together the funding for this event. I am beyond grateful for their efforts! ,” said Sean Rayhall. “I am really looking forward to get back on track at Barber where I have had experience before and get my first laps in the Dallara IL-15!”

“After a succesfull 2014 season with Sean, it is good to have him back, this time in the 8Star Motorsports Indy Lights. Even though we missed the Long beach race and lost a little room against the other teams, we are now back on track with Sean (Rayhall) and his effort to be at Barber,” said Team Manager Gary Neal. “Sean is very talented and we will work hard in the practices leading up to the race to make him as comfortable as possible in the car and have a good, clean race.”

You can follow rounds 4 and 5 of the Indy Lights championship this weekend by visiting http://www.indylights.com/results/live-timing and following @8starmotor and @Indylights on twitter for updates.

For more information please visit our website at www.8starmotorsports.com and keep up to date via Twitter @8starmotor and Facebook at our 8Star Motorsports page.

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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 Motorsports third at conclusion of fraught Petit Le Mans qualifying

2014_Petit_LeMans_TUSC_0913 (2)8Star Motorsports qualified third in the Prototype Challenge (PC) classification for the 2014 Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda – the critical final round of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup (NAEC) – at Road Atlanta on Friday (3 October).

Briton Tom Kimber-Smith will share driving duties with the Georgia-based Sean Rayhall and New York’s Eric Lux in the ten-hour title decider on Saturday (4 October).

Improvements were made during free practice on Thursday (2 October), with 8Star Motorsports – a contender for the TUDOR Championship Teams’ crown and the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup – consistently frequenting the top three positions.

Rain hit Road Atlanta on Friday morning and, in a move to preserve its car ahead of qualifying, 8Star wisely decided not to partake in the weekend’s final free practice session.

Fortunately, the wet conditions dissipated in time for qualifying and the drivers were able to show their full potential on a dry track. Kimber-Smith was elected to qualify bright orange #25 PC machine, having been the fastest of 8Star’s trio for most of the weekend, and an intense tussle for pole position would rage on until the British ace wound up third with a 1m16.599s, just four tenths shy of the fastest time.

“Qualifying went pretty well for the 8Star Motorsports team,” said Kimber-Smith. “I made a couple of mistakes coming off of Turn 5 that ultimately cost us in the final result, but a third place isn’t bad and I’m very much looking forward to the race, as I believe we will not have these problems tomorrow.”

Lux added: “8Star Motorsports did an outstanding job, improving the car throughout free practice and qualifying. Tom (Kimber-Smith) did a great job to qualifying the car on the second row of the grid and I am really looking forward to tomorrow’s race. I am pleased that the work I have been doing since my last race at Watkins Glen has paid off and I am very optimistic going into tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, in the supporting IMSA-sanctioned Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship, Christian Potolicchio clinched third position in the final standings. The young 8Star Academy scholar finished the opening IMSA Lites encounter on the third step of the winners’ rostrum and recovered from an unfortunate collision to conclude a rain-affected second race in 12th.

8Star Team Owner Enzo Potolicchio, on the other hand, had a troubled outing in race one, but mastered the wet conditions on Friday morning (3 October) to scythe his way from the back of the grid to second place at the finish, delighted that 8Star was able to clinch the runner-up spot in the Teams’ Championship.

“It has been a great season for 8Star Motorsports,” said Enzo Potolicchio. “The team has achieved several podium finishes in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship and I’m delighted to have ended up second in the Teams’ standings with Christian (Potolicchio) third overall in the Drivers’ classification. Of course, we are still in the hunt for the Teams’ and NAEC titles in the TUDOR Championship and I’m really looking forward to achieving this by winning Petit Le Mans. But no matter what happens, I am really proud of the job the 8Star Motorsports team, including Yves Touron and Gary Neal, have done throughout the year.”

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 gunning for TUDOR Championship glory in Petit Le Mans finale

Dagys_ 2014_313778The leading 8Star Motorsports team heads to Road Atlanta for Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda (3-4 October), the highly-anticipated final round of the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, with the prospect of winning the Teams’ title and the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup (NAEC).

A frontrunner for the duration of the 2014 season, the fates conspired against 8Star during the early part of the year, only for the tenacious Pompano Beach-based team to turn its fortunes around and emerge as the one to beat.

It recently took consecutive Prototype Challenge (PC) race wins at Virginia International Raceway and Circuit of the Americas and, while several championship titles will be decided at Petit Le Mans, 8Star is in the running for the TUDOR Championship Teams’ crown, as well as the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup (NAEC).

With the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fuelled by Fresh From Florida and the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International behind it, 8Star Motorsports sits on 28 points, ten adrift of its CORE autosport rival, with points scored at the four and eight-hour marks, and the at finish after hour ten at Petit Le Mans.

This comes after the Floridian outfit reinforced its commitment to developing young talent, expanding its flourishing 8Star Academy to open-wheelers with an entry in the 2015 Indy Lights Series Presented by Cooper Tires – the final step on the ‘Road to Indy’.

The Enzo Potolicchio-led team has a long-held passion for nurturing young talent and Sean Rayhall is a product of its already flourishing sportscar program. The 18-year old entered the 8Star fold and won the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship at the foot of its ‘stairway of talent’, before achieving a second place after a superlative drive on his PC debut at Petit Le Mans in 2013.

The Georgia hotshot has continued to notch up additional podium finishes and race wins in 2014. He most recently achieved two consecutive TUDOR Championship victories in 8Star’s PC challenger alongside Mexican Luis Diaz and, with previous form at his home Road Atlanta circuit, is hopeful of continuing that winning trend at Petit Le Mans.

“Coming off the back of two race wins and two pole positions, I’m pretty confident that 8Star Motorsports has a good shot of victory at Petit Le Mans, an event that holds fond memories for me,” said Rayhall. “The team has been working hard to give us drivers a good car all year and I know it will provide us with race-winning machinery again at Road Atlanta. Of course, this being an endurance race, the key will be to go the distance and it’s critical that we stay out of trouble – the race will be won or lost easily, particularly with so many cars on track. This is my home circuit and it has a real hometown feel about it for me, so I’m really excited about the weekend. Petit Le Mans is by far my favourite race and, having achieved second place on my PC debut last year, I have great memories of it.”

Briton Tom Kimber-Smith returns to the cockpit of 8Star’s PC machine for the first time since the Six Hours of The Glen in June and is also anticipating a strong end to the season: “I’m excited to be back driving the PC car with 8Star Motorsports after a few months away. 8Star has been the dominant team in the field and the bad luck we suffered at the beginning of the year appears to be a thing of the past. If we do our jobs as drivers, there’s a good chance of ending the weekend with at least one title. As Sean (Rayhall) and Luis (Diaz) have done such an incredible job of late, there is a little pressure, but I’m just interested to see what the event is like this year as part of the TUDOR Championship. The atmosphere has always been good, the circuit is fun to drive and the weather could throw another variable into the mix, making for an interesting weekend.”

Eric Lux also makes a welcome comeback to 8Star’s driver line-up and says he couldn’t be more excited ahead of the pivotal TUDOR Championship finale: “I could not be more excited to race with 8Star Motorsports at Petit Le Mans! Road Atlanta is a terrific circuit and Petit Le Mans has always been an outstanding event for fans and competitors. I am confident that the team will deliver a car capable of winning and match the effort with top-caliber work from the pits. Tom (Kimber-Smith) and Sean (Rayhall) have been excellent teammates this season. Our objective will be to protect the car and bring it to the front of the pack. I have finished on the podium twice at Petit Le Mans; ending this season with a win would be outstanding for Enzo (Potolichio) and 8Star Motorsports.”

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 seeks back-to-back TUDOR victories at Circuit of the Americas

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8Star Motorsports will be hoping to take the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship initiative during this weekend’s Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas (19-20 September). 

Built in 2012, Circuit of the Americas has hosted several prestigious motorsport events, including Formula 1 and Moto GP, and encompasses many fast, sweeping corners, as well as the steep climb to the tight apex of Turn 1.

Based out of state-of-the-art facilities in Pompano Beach, Florida, 8Star Motorsports broke its race wins duck last time out at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) and the Enzo Potolicchio-led operation will be hoping to replicate that success at the penultimate round of the season at Circuit of the Americas.

Currently second in the Prototype Challenge Teams’ standings, 8Star Motorsports has gone from strength-to-strength this season and heads to Austin focused on taking the title initiative from rivals, CORE autosport.

This weekend’s 2h45m endurance feature race will once again se Sean Rayhall and the Takis-backed Luis Diaz in the cockpit of 8Star’s PC machine, hoping to carry their winning momentum forwards in order to stand atop the winners’ rostrum once again.

“We are definitely carrying a lot of momentum into Austin and I’m very confident that we’ll have a good car right out of the box and everybody in the team is coming in with only one goal in mind and that’s to win,” said Diaz. “We’ve had a great season so far; we’ve been a threat for the win at every event, and every time we are out on track we get stronger as a team. Of course, you always want to win, but I’m happy with what we’ve done.

“I’m very excited about finally doing my first race at CotA. I don’t really have much experience there, but I got a chance to do a few laps and it is a great track; very technical and very fun. For me it will be a sort of home race since it’s the closest event we have to Mexico, and one where we will have many guests from Takis, Extreme Networks, Bojanini and our other sponsors. We’ll just do what we always do, go out there during practice and work on the setup of the car, and just focus on the race. It will be tricky with traffic, but my goal is to push very hard to get one more win for the team.”

Qualifying for Round 9 of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Lone Star Le Mans is scheduled to begin at 17.30 EDT on Friday (19 September) with the endurance feature race at 12.30 EDT on Saturday (20 September), which will be broadcast on FOX Sports 2.

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 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.