AIM Autosport to Big League with Daytona Prototype June 14 2006, Woodbridge, Ontario: AIM Autosport will enter the premier division of the Rolex Sports Car Series later this month, having acquired a Daytona Prototype race car. AIM will kick off...
AIM Autosport to Big League with Daytona Prototype
June 14 2006, Woodbridge, Ontario: AIM Autosport will enter the premier division of the Rolex Sports Car Series later this month, having acquired a Daytona Prototype race car. AIM will kick off its campaign at Daytona International Speedway in two weeks with team alumni Mark Wilkins and James Hinchcliffe at the wheel. AIM Autosport is currently seeking sponsors for its Daytona Prototype campaign and is close to announcing a programme that combines conventional motorsports marketing with charitable donations.
With a Lexus-powered Riley Technologies chassis purchased from Target Chip Ganassi Racing, AIM intends to compete in three events this year, preparing for a full championship season in 2007. Following the June 29 debut at Daytona, Wilkins will go on to compete at Watkins Glen on August 11 and Infineon Raceway on August 26. AIM is speaking to several drivers about co-driving with Wilkins at these events.
Having spent many years successfully competing in junior open-wheel development series, promoting young drivers to professional ranks, AIM felt prototypes offered an opportunity for the team to take itself to the top level. The Rolex Series has grown in leaps and bounds and AIM is joining as growth continues. Given the current state of open-wheel racing in North America, young drivers are looking more and more toward sports cars as a viable choice for their futures. Adding Daytona Prototypes to the AIM stable, which includes Formula BMW and Formula Mazda, allows the team to take a driver out of kart racing all the way to a top-level North American professional championship.
"I am extremely pleased to be involved in taking AIM to the next level in professional motorsport," said AIM partner, Ian Willis, who manages the Formula Mazda team and has taken on management of the new program. "Having Mark and James teamed up for Daytona is really exciting as they work so well together and are both fast and mature drivers for their young ages."
"I'm absolutely thrilled that we have made it this far," said Wilkins who has risen through the ranks with AIM. "This will be my sixth season with AIM Autosport and I am thrilled to continue working with Ian, who has worked exceptionally hard to put this exciting program together. We understand there is a steep learning curve but we have the right people to make it happen and that is very exciting for me.
"James is a great driver," Wilkins added, "And I look forward to racing with him. I think we will be a competitive combination."
Each of the Rolex Series races AIM is entering will be carried live on Speed TV, and the Daytona and Watkins Glen races are part of NASCAR Nextel Cup events. In the meantime, AIM?s Daytona Prototype will be among the cars lapping Mosport tomorrow to help raise funds for the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame.
About AIM Autosport: Established in 1995 with a mandate to identify, train and manage emerging motorsport talent AIM operates multi-car teams competing in the Formula BMW USA Championship and the Star Mazda Championship. Among the drivers who have graduated from AIM Autosport are former series and rookie champions James Hinchcliffe, Andrew Ranger, Andrew Bordin, J.F.Veilleux, Jonathan Macri, L.P. Dumoulin, Anthony Simone and Dan Burchill. Other notable AIM graduates include Sam Hornish Jr., Billy Asaro, Mark Wilkins, Ashley Taws, Paul Dana, Tom Dyer, Josh Schreiber, Dan McMullen and Antoine Bessette.
About the Rolex Series: The Rolex Sports Car Series is leading a resurgence of major-league road racing in North America. At the foundation of this success is the exotic Daytona Prototype division that is the fastest growing auto racing class in the world. The 15-race schedule features a challenging mix of endurance and sprint races, including the famous season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, a pair of six-hour races and several 400k and 250-mile sprints.