Autohaus Motorsports Excited for 2011 Rolex 24 and Beyond
DELRAY BEACH, Florida, January 25, 2011 With only days left until the green flag flies for the 49th running of the GRAND-AM Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona the entire team at Autohaus Motorsports is brimming with excitement. The team will be fielding the No.88 Autohaus Motorsports / GM Racing / Flex-Box / Pratt & Miller Chevrolet Camaro GT.R with season drivers Jordan Taylor and Bill Lester joined by Johnny O'Connell and Matthew Marsh for the twice around the clock endurance classic.
Since first entering the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 in 2008, Autohaus Motorsports has worked steadily to build a strong, competitive team. Their determination and commitment have paid off, as this year they have secured a key partnership with General Motors Racing for the 2011 season.
"It is really an honor to have earned the support and confidence of GM," explains team owner Robert Kirland. "We have all worked extremely hard to get to this point, and their support will make a huge difference this season. We have already seen the incredible talents of Jordan Taylor, our GM Factory driver during the preseason testing, and the addition of Charlie Ping from Pratt & Miller and Kevin Pranger from Katech Engines to our engineering team has proven itself as well. When we were able to sign Bill Lester for the season, our program was complete."
The new partnership with GM Racing brings invaluable support to the team. The partnership adds an engineer from Katech, GM's engine builder for the Chevrolet Camaro racing program, as well as one from Pratt & Miller, the engineering genius behind the Camaro chassis. The partnership also brings the strength of GM Factory driver, Jordan Taylor. Jordan, the 19 year-old son of GRAND- AM Championship Driver Wayne Taylor, is a rising star of GRAND-AM racing. In 2010 he captured the attention of General Motors and joins their driver roster and Autohaus Motorsports for 2011.
"I am really excited to get the season started this weekend," says Jordan. "I am looking forward to running the full season with Autohaus Motorsports in their Chevy Camaro GT.R. The Rolex 24 is traditionally an incredibly difficult race, so our goal is to try and stay out of trouble and not focus on being the quickest car. If we leave this race with some good points, we will be in a strong position for the rest of the year. We have a great group of guys on the team with lots of experience in endurance racing, plus a solid driver lineup, so we feel we can have a strong event."
Jordan's co-driver for the season is former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Driver, and GRAND- AM Daytona Prototype Driver Bill Lester. "I'm looking forward with great excitement to the 2011racing season," shares Bill. "Not only is the Rolex 24 at Daytona right around the corner, but I'm enthusiastic about racing the No.88 Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro this entire season. In the short time I've spent with the team, I've enjoyed a warm but professional atmosphere from Autohaus Motorsports as well as terrific technical support from GM Racing and Pratt & Miller Engineering. Driving the Rolex GT class Chevy Camaro is quite a departure from the Daytona Prototypes I've raced for the last 4 years but I'm getting a better feel for it with each and every outing. For the Rolex 24, I firmly believe we have a car and a team that will factor into deciding the race victory."
This is a significant statement since this will be his ninth Rolex 24. "For the season, I am equally bullish about our race outcomes especially considering the skill of my team mate, Jordan Taylor, who I already consider to be an exceptional young driving talent," continues Lester. "With Autohaus Motorsports bringing competent, experienced crew with the right attitude to the track and with Pratt & Miller having already demonstrated the knowledge and expertise to engineer race wins, I can't wait for the season to start."
Joining Taylor and Lester for the Rolex 24 is Championship winning JoGeneral Motors factory driver hnny O'Connell, and professional driver Joand media personality from Hong Kong, Matthew Marsh.
Johnny O'Connell has set multiple racing records and won 2 ALMS Championships with the Corvette Racing program since joining the factory effort in 2001. This will be his third race in the Autohaus Motorsports No.88 Chevrolet Camaro, and marks the 10th anniversary of his drive with Team Corvette when they captured the historic overall victory in the Rolex 24 in 2001. O'Connell will be shifting gears for the 2011 season when he joins GM Racing teammate Andy Pilgrim in the pair of Cadillac CTS-V coupes for the SCCA World Challenge racing season this March.
Matthew Marsh, one of Asia's best known motor racing personalities completes the driver line-up for the Rolex 24 and brings with him a wealth of experience in endurance racing with class wins at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring and the Bathurst 24 Hours. A resident of Hong Kong and accredited journalist, Marsh is frequently called upon in Asia as a guest commentator for TV racing coverage.
-source: autohaus motorsports