A truly top-class driver line up for Britain’s Ram Racing has today been finalised with the announcement of the signing of North American driver, Frankie Montecalvo. The 22-year-old from New Jersey has been selected by the team to race with Gunnar Jeannette in one of its two Ferrari 458 Italias, and the duo from the USA will compete alongside Britain’s Johnny Mowlem and Ireland’s Matt Griffin in the LMGTE class of the 2013 European Le Mans Series.
It truly is a dream come true for me.
“The decision to sign with Frankie was quite an easy one really,” noted Shufflebottom, “once we had had time to evaluate him in testing. I was hugely impressed with how focused he was for someone so young. When he was in the car he was extremely consistent to the point you could almost predict his lap times through a run and this is exactly the kind of driver you need in GT racing. The relationship between team mates is also very important and he has a strong friendship with Gunnar that is evident in and out of the car, as well as having worked with our Race Engineer, Mark Schomann, in the past. I’m sure that together they are going to do a great job this year and have plenty of success.”
Frankie will be bringing valuable Ferrari 458 experience and the Bayshore Racing name to the team, having competed in the LMGTE-Am class of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship, including at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He was one of the stand-out rookies of the French endurance classic, reinforcing his 2011 ALMS season when he finished as runner-up in the LMPC Drivers’ classification and helped his team to the Championship title.
"I'm really looking forward to the season because this is one of the best teams I've ever been a part of and I'm very excited about it," Montecalvo said. "I only got one day of running at the first test in Jerez but I got a good lap time and was pretty consistent and showed everyone that I could make it happen.
“Doing a full season in the ELMS has certainly been a goal of mine, but to do it with a team like Ram is incredible. It may be a new team but it feels like everyone has been around for ever and it truly is a dream come true for me. To be able to work with Gunnar at Ram Racing is a great opportunity; everyone is so professional but we're also really enjoying it because we all get along so well.”
The five-round European Le Mans Series starts in the UK on 13th April, and Ram Racing’s Ferraris will be two of six in the LMGTE category which numbers 10 entries in total. After the British round, the series will visit some of the best circuits in Italy, Austria, Hungary and France. The compact format of the series allows Montecalvo to dovetail the ELMS with a programme in the Grand- Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge GS class in an Aston Martin Vantage V8.
When not advancing his racing career, Montecalvo takes full advantage of the waterfront life in New Jersey. He is an avid boater who enjoys jet skiing, wake-boarding, snowboarding, sky diving and restoring cars. Physical fitness, strength and health training are also amongst his hobbies.