Mid-Ohio: Team Sahlen preview

Andy Lally joins Team Sahlen in Mazda RX-8 for the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Andy Lally will be joining Team Sahlen at this weekend's EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car ...

Andy Lally joins Team Sahlen in Mazda RX-8 for the EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Andy Lally will be joining Team Sahlen at this weekend's EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.

This will be Andy's first opportunity to drive the Mazda RX-8 developed by SpeedSource Engineering. To date, the Mazda RX-8 has won 4 of the events so far and leads the GT Manufacturer Championship.

"I've been friends with Will and Wayne for many years and have had a lot of great races against them. It will be fun to actually race as teammates with them. There are a lot of great things coming together this weekend that I am very thankful for and right at the top of the list is the opportunity that Joe Sahlen and the team have given me to continue to race in the ROLEX Sports Car Series. I love Mid Ohio and it is a great fit that it is the team's home track. It will also be fun to try the Mazda for the first time. I know that Sylvain and the SpeedSource gang have put a lot of development and time into helping all of the Mazda teams accomplish their goals and it will be nice to see how all the teams work together this weekend." -- states Andy Lally

Andy is no stranger to driving Mazda race cars, having driving the Dyson Mazda LMP at the 2009 Sebring 12 Hours. In that event, Andy assisted Mazda in securing a fine 3rd place finish in the P2 category.

"We are very excited to have Andy as a part of Team Sahlen and MAZDASPEED at this weekend's EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. He has proven that he is one of the top drivers in the GT class, having won the Driver's Championship in the past, and having won 2 events this year already. Since the start of the season, Team Sahlen's goal has been to assist Mazda in winning the GT Class Manufacturer's Championship. With Andy added to our Driver Line Up for the weekend, we feel that we will take one step closer to achieving this goal." -- states Joe Sahlen

Andy will find himself in familiar surroundings at Team Sahlen. As far back as 1999, Andy co-drove in the ST class of what is now the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with Joe Nonnamaker. In addition Andy's Driver Web Site was originally created by the Nonnamaker family's Phoenix Promotions Web Site company.

Team Sahlen will be entering the #42 & #43 Mazda RX-8s for the event at Mid-Ohio. Driving alongside Andy in the event will be Joe, Wayne & Will Nonnamaker. The Mid-Ohio event is the "hometown race" for the Nonnamaker family. The Nonnamakers have made Ohio their home all their lives and currently reside in Canton, Ohio.

"Having Andy on board with us is very exciting. Andy is a great fit with our team. Andy is a tough, but fair competitor. The two of us raced a very close race against each other in 2004 at Mid-Ohio in the GT class where we finished 1-2 in the race. We know he is fully capable of delivering the results for Mazda this weekend." -- states Wayne Nonnamaker

Since a practice wreck at Watkins Glen, the crew has been working every day to try to put back together the damage on the #43 machine. The car first went to Riley and Scott to have pieces fabricated. From there the car spent three days in the SpeedSource shop getting put back together before coming home to have final install work done.

"I really want to thank the team at Riley and Scott and SpeedSource. The team at SpeedSource did a fantastic job putting together a lot of pieces and parts in a very short time. Without their help this car wouldn't be ready to go at Mid Ohio. Our crew has had a lot of long days and hopefully this weekend will be a great payback to their efforts," added Will Nonnamaker.

The EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will be televised live at 5 pm on June 19th on SPEED TV.

-source: team shalen

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Wayne Nonnamaker , Will Nonnamaker , Joe Nonnamaker , Andy Lally , Joe Sahlen
Teams Team Sahlen , SpeedSource