Utah: Autohaus Motorsports preview

Autohaus Motorsports Excited for Season Finale with O'Connell and Taylor DELRAY BEACH, Florida, Septemter 7, 2010 Autohaus Motorsports returns to the GRAND- AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 for the season finale...

Autohaus Motorsports Excited for Season Finale with O'Connell and Taylor

DELRAY BEACH, Florida, Septemter 7, 2010 Autohaus Motorsports returns to the GRAND- AM Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No.16 for the season finale at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah with the No.46 Autohaus Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT.R built by Pratt & Miller. The Autohaus Camaro was last on track for round nine at New Jersey Motorsports Park in July. This will be the team's third race with the new Chevy Camaro. They have been using the 2010 season to learn about the new racecar, and have had different driver combinations at each event.

This weekend sees the return of Championship winning Chevrolet factory driver Johnny O'Connell to the No.46 Autohaus Motorsports Camaro. O'Connell first drove for the team in New Jersey with co-driver Lawson Aschenbach. Record temperatures and an early weekend incident dashed the team's hopes for a podium finish, but gave the team valuable track time with the new car. "New Jersey was a challenging weekend for the team," explains technical director Marcus Haselgrove. "A crash in morning practice set us back quite a bit, although our crew worked incredibly hard to get the car ready for qualifying with some spare parts provided by Stevenson Motorsports. We would not have been back out there without their assistance. It's really great that the Chevrolet teams can count on each other."

The team has high hopes for the Utah race setting the standard for a competitive season in 2011. Joining O'Connell in the car this weekend will be a young star of GRAND-AM Series racing, Jordan Taylor. Taylor, the 19 year old son of sports car champion and owner of SunTrust Racing, Wayne Taylor, has competed this season in the No.30 Mazda. He has earned three pole positions, two podiums and seven top ten finishes in 10 races this season. Some difficulty with the No.30 car at the last race in Montreal meant there was a possibility that the team would not be able to enter the race at Miller. With Taylor's plans for the season finale up in the air, he was excited to find out that he would have an opportunity to join Autohaus Motorsports at Miller Motorsports Park on September 11th. "I am really looking forward to heading to Miller this weekend with Autohaus Motorsports and Johnny O'Connell," said Taylor. "After leaving Montreal, not knowing if I would be in a car for the finale, I have to thank the Autohaus team for this opportunity. I'm really excited to be working with Johnny. After watching him for years in the Corvette program it will be nice to have him as a teammate to learn from. I feel that we will be competitive throughout the weekend."

After a disappointing season ending injury for one of the team's drivers at round three in Barber, Autohaus Motorsports had to work hard to pull together any program for 2010. With a newly converted Camaro the team opted to enter a few races to learn about the car, and build a database for 2011. "The past few events for the team have been good. The support of GM has been instrumental in our return to the track for a few of the races this year," explains team owner Robert Kirland. "It's never easy to rebuild a program mid-season, but with their help it made sense for us to come to a few of the races to help build for 2011. I was especially pleased when they suggested that Johnny join us for NJ, and return again for Utah. His experience with GM and Pratt & Miller cars is invaluable to us. It was General Motors who suggested that Jordan might be available for the race at Miller and put us in touch. It was really great to see Chevrolet sweep the podium in Montreal, and Autohaus Motorsports is ready to help put up some more manufacturers' points for Chevy."

To help shorten the learning curve with the new Camaro the team has additional support this weekend from Katech Engines, as well as engineering support from Pratt & Miller. "Pratt & Miller is thrilled to have Autohaus back on the Grand American circuit in their newly converted Camaro," said Lynn Bishop from Pratt & Miller Engineering. "Autohaus has demonstrated throughout the years that they are a very professional team capable of winning races. We are proud they decided to convert their GXP.R to the new Camaro GT.R and we are confident they will contribute Chevrolet manufacturer points and compete for race wins."

-source: autohaus motorsports

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Series GRANDAM