Johnson, Connolly to debut at VIR

Johnson and Connolly to Debut in GT Class at VIR Billy Johnson and Matt Connolly will share a Grand American Rolex seat for the first time this weekend. The duo, set to compete at Virginia International Raceway, will take on the Grand Touring...

Johnson and Connolly to Debut in GT Class at VIR

Billy Johnson and Matt Connolly will share a Grand American Rolex seat for the first time this weekend. The duo, set to compete at Virginia International Raceway, will take on the Grand Touring (GT) class in a BMW M3. Johnson and Connolly will be joining PTG on Sunday, October 9th for the Grand American Rolex race. Despite being new to the driver's seat of a PTG Grand Touring car both Johnson and Connolly have quite a history with the PTG team.

Johnson and PTG driver Tom Milner, Jr. have gone up through the ranks of sports car racing together. The two met while competing for BMW in Spain. Johnson and Milner, Jr. raced Formula BMW, and then went onto the Grand-Am Cup Sport Touring class. They now will be competing together as teammates.

Johnson will celebrate his 19th birthday the day after the VIR 400 but his focus remains on the race.

"I have tested at VIR before and have experience there in a PTG BMW M3. Last year's car was amazing and PTG builds some great handling cars. I can't wait to get in their car this time. It is a very technical course and I am really looking forward to the race," states Johnson.

Connolly has been busy working through the end of the 2005 season to fully immerse in the GT class. He and his crew chief have spent time with PTG owner Tom Milner to prepare for next season. Connolly's team, Matt Connolly Motorsports, will be making the jump from the Grand-Am Cup Sport Touring class to the Grand American Rolex Grand Touring class. Connolly, who recently tested a PTG M3, gives credit to the type of car that PTG produces.

"When it came down to choosing cars for the effort, the M3 was the obvious choice. Tom Milner, Sr. offered me two of their current cars including technical support and a complete spares package. This made the decision very simple," stated Connolly in mid-August.

Connolly is ready to jump in the Grand American Rolex Series in his first GT race at VIR. His enthusiasm is evident leading up to the final 2005 Grand American race on American soil.

"I am very excited to have a co-driver like Billy Johnson who has proven himself in open wheel and production based racing. I know PTG is going to give us an excellent car and I look forward to entering this next stage in my career as a race car driver," stated Connolly.

Johnson and Connolly will hit the track at VIR on Sunday, October 9th at 1:00 PM (EST). SPEED will broadcast live race coverage from the Virginia track, so please check your local listings. For more race information go to www.GrandAmerican.com.

-mcm-

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Matt Connolly , Billy Johnson