Aranha Completes Successful Test With APR Motorsport

HOUSTON, Dec. 28 - In a major step towards his goal of competing in the Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge's Street Tuner class in 2010, Houston-based driver Jason Aranha recently participated in a very successful test with APR Motorsport at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway in Munford, Ala.

Aranha completed 37 laps in one of the Opelika, Ala.-based team's VW GTI MK5s.

Although he'd never driven this particular car before and he was making his first laps on the 1.34-mile road course, Aranha quickly got up to speed and left no doubt that he could be competitive in the series.

"Jason was very impressive during our recent test. His speed, professionalism, and technical abilities were exceptional," said Jeff Mishtawy, APR's director of motorsport.

Professional race car drivers must be consistent as well as fast, and Aranha was both at the test. He posted a time of 1:06.93 on his seventh lap, and then consistently ran in the low 1:07s and high 1:06s during his first session behind the wheel. By the end of the day his fastest lap was timed in 1:06.20.

"The APR Motorsport VW GTI was simply amazing on the track; the preparation that went into the car was evident and it really showed how much this team has accomplished in just two years of competition," Aranha said. "The professionalism and synergy of the team are on par with, if not better than what I've seen at the highest levels of international motorsports, and I am certain that this team will have a very successful future.

"Having amassed most of my experience over the past few years in front-wheel drive cars developing the Diniz Design Mini Cooper S, I was thrilled to test the APR Motorsport GTI," he added. "With Daytona just around the corner, I hope that I can finalize the right marketing partnerships to run with the team in 2010."

The first race of the season is the Fresh From Florida 200 Jan. 29 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., which is part of the prestigious Rolex 24 program.

Aranha is searching for additional sponsors for the 2010 season to join Diniz Design, a Baton Rouge, La.-based company that manufactures products made from natural stone, and GoPro, a Northern California-based company whose HERO line of cameras is ideal for use during athletic activities and other demanding conditions.

In addition to his skills as a driver, Aranha brings a wealth of knowledge and mechanical and engineering experience to the table for his marketing partners and teams.

While attending Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., he formed its Kart Racing Club and worked as a mechanic for BGB Motorsport (Porsche 996) and Spirit of Daytona Racing (Daytona Prototype).

As a driver, Aranha's focus moved from karting to open-wheel Formula Fords in 2004. The following year he and co-driver Steve Diniz developed and campaigned a 2003 Mini Cooper S in National Auto Sport Association and BMW Club events.

Upon graduation from Embry-Riddle with a degree in aerospace engineering, Aranha moved to England to participate in a three-month internship with the Williams F1 team, where he did aerodynamic development work on the team's 2006, 2007 and 2008 cars. While at Williams he also served as a mechanic for its test team.

He moved to Houston, Texas in 2006 to work on the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He continues to work full-time at Lockheed Martin on NASA projects today.

-credit: restart communications