SCC: Daytona 24: Villaconn Motorsports preview

Team Champions Return Huntingdon Valley, PA, January 27, 2002: Villaconn Motorsports, the 2001 Grand Am Cup Sport Touring Team Champions, have announced today their plans to defend their series title beginning next week at Daytona International...

Team Champions Return

Huntingdon Valley, PA, January 27, 2002: Villaconn Motorsports, the 2001 Grand Am Cup Sport Touring Team Champions, have announced today their plans to defend their series title beginning next week at Daytona International Speedway. The 2002 Grand Am Cup Championship for Street Stock racers gets underway Thursday with practice and qualifying scheduled followed Friday by a two-hour race around the famed road course. The event not only kicks off the 2002 Grand Am Cup season but is the opening act for the 40th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

Villaconn competes in the Sport Touring I category for showroom stock race cars. The class consists mainly of Acura Integra Type-Rs, BMW Coupes and sedans, Porsche Boxsters and various Lexus, Mercedes and Audi models. Of all the Grand Am Cup classes, Sport Touring offers the closest of competition - a true test of teams and drivers.

The driver line up has a new look for Villaconn in 2002. Joining the team will be ex-Ferrari Challenge racer, Neal Heffron. The Brookline, Massachusetts resident looks forward to the move up to the Sport Touring I Class after having helped Planet Earth Motorsports develop their Acura GSR for the Compact Class. Heffron is sponsored by ELI.com for the 2002 campaign. Heffron will be joined on occasion in the number 38 BMW by team owners Al Villamil and Matt Connolly.

Series newcomer Beau Buisson will be partnered with BMW stalwart and Speedvision World Challenge driver Ken Dobson. The pair will share the number 34 Villaconn Z3 Coupe.

Another Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car ace, Don Salama, joins the team for 2002. "I chose to drive for Villaconn because I believe they have all the elements to not only win a team championship again but also a driver's championship," offers Salama. With 2 podiums, 4 top five finishes and seven top ten finishes to his name in 2001, Don brings a wealth of BMW knowledge to the crew. Paired with Villaconn's top scoring driver of 2001 Bransen Patch, the squad should see their fair share of podiums.

What hasn't changed is the strong team supporting the drivers in their quest for Grand Am endurance racing glory. Gerald McNeely returns as General Manager supporting the efforts of the Villaconn crew. Team members Ricky Marrero, Bert Plaza, Joe Stover, Gregory and Adam White, Izi Colon, Howard Allen, Dylan Johnson, Cindy Adams, Laura Poncharik and Mary White all look forward to doing their part in helping the team retain the championship.

You can follow along as the team progresses through the season by logging on to www.Villaconn.com. For event information and tickets, point your web browser to www.Grand-Am.com.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am , PWC
Drivers Ken Dobson , Beau Buisson , Bransen Patch , Don Salama , Matt Connolly , Neal Heffron