TPN Racing/Blackforest Bringing Ford Mustang GT to 2011 Rolex Sports Car Series with Ford Racing Daytona Beach, FL (13 Octoer 2010)- Looking to build on an already impressive history of success with the Ford Mustang, TPN Racing/Blackforest will...
TPN Racing/Blackforest Bringing Ford Mustang GT to 2011 Rolex Sports Car Series with Ford Racing
Daytona Beach, FL (13 Octoer 2010)- Looking to build on an already impressive history of success with the Ford Mustang, TPN Racing/Blackforest will return to GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series competition as the team announced plans to campaign the Ford Mustang GT in the 2011 Rolex Series GT Class championship. The Rolex Series GT Class is widely expected to be the most competitive in series history, and the Ford Mustang GT will make an exciting new addition to the highly diverse category.
The entry marks a return to Rolex Sports Car Series competition for TPN Racing/Blackforest, which is now solely owned by Tom Nastasi following the retirement of long time team leader Brian Nott in 2009. But the Deland, Florida-based organization will sport some familiar faces heading into 2011, as Brian's son Christopher has been appointed to manage the program and continue building on the firms history of success.
The organization has one of the most enviable records of racing the Ford Mustang in GRAND-AM competition, as the team brought Ford a debut race victory with the Ford Mustang FR500C in Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge competition at Daytona International Speedway in 2005 and then played a critical role in securing the Manufacturer Championship for Ford to close out the year. Blackforest went on to open the 2007 season by taking three wins in a row with the Ford Mustang.
Before taking to the high banks of Daytona to kick off the full 2011 campaign in January, the GRAND-AM paddock will first see the Prep 2 machine in action during the Test Days at Virginia International Raceway, an appropriate setting for the debut given that Blackforest scored a season-ending win at the track to secure the 2005 Manufacturer Championship for Ford.
With versions of the Ford Mustang racing in everything from the NASCAR Nationwide Series to NHRA competition, the new Ford Mustang GT machine represents a shared philosophy between Ford Racing and TPN Racing/Blackforest as the iconic pony car enters a new category of competition.
"This project has been a long time in development, and I think that with the new Ford Mustang GT, we are on the same page with Ford Racing in terms of what the best package for the Rolex Series is," offered Nastasi, who will share the driving duties with long-time Blackforest Motorsports co-driver Ian James. "The GT Class is very competitive, and continues to get even more so with the diversity of cars coming into the series. We are very excited to be back in GRAND-AM with Ford Racing and we think that we are going to have a very competitive package."
The move to Rolex Series competition is not the first for Blackforest, having scored a run to the podium in GT competition in the series first visit to Montreal in 2007.
While the bloodlines are intact, the TPN Racing/Blackforest 2011 Ford Mustang GT marks a significant departure from the Ford Mustang GT Class entry that the team originally debuted in the 2007 Rolex 24 At Daytona, with the Ford V-8 powerplant one of the few items that were carried over as TPN/Blackforest built the machine with outside engineering help to work within the next generation Prep 2 regulations.
"We are very excited to see the Ford Mustang competing in the Rolex Sports Car Series GT Class," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports. "TPN Racing/Blackforest has a long and successful history racing the Ford Mustang and we are confident that the Mustang GT will only add to that tradition."