Caddell Joins Jim Click Racing for KONI Challenge Daytona Debut; FR500S Champ looking forward to move up to FR500C Tooele, UT (19 December 2008) -- 2008 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Champion Andrew Caddell will make his Grand-Am KONI Sports...
Caddell Joins Jim Click Racing for KONI Challenge Daytona Debut; FR500S Champ looking forward to move up to FR500C
Tooele, UT (19 December 2008) -- 2008 Ford Racing Mustang Challenge Champion Andrew Caddell will make his Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge debut in the season-opening Fresh from Florida 200 at Daytona International Speedway on January 23rd as part of his championship earnings package. Ford Racing has confirmed Caddell to co-drive with fellow Mustang Challenge racer and KONI veteran Jim Click in a Hypersport-prepared Jim Click Racing Ford Mustang FR500C.
"We are really excited to see our first Champion get this opportunity to race in the next step in the Ford Mustang competition ladder," said Mustang Challenge Series Director Lynda Randall. "He had an amazing season with us and he's going to be a great ambassador for the series. That he's sharing a car with another one of our drivers in Jim (Click) makes it all the better and we can't wait to see how they do together."
The Ford Mustang FR500C that competes in the GS class of the KONI Sports Car Challenge features the 5.0-liter Cammer engine and represents the next step up in the Ford Mustang racing ladder from the FR500S utilized in Mustang Challenge competition.
The FR500C has a strong record of success on the 3.56-mile oval-based road course, having won in its debut KONI appearance at the track in 2005. The Ford Mustang went on to help David Empringham and his Multimatic team win the '05 Grand-Am Cup (now KONI Sports Car Challenge) Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championships. Showing that it has both speed and staying power, the FR500C once again locked up the trio of championships in 2008 as Hypersport drivers Joe Foster and Scott Maxwell scored the championship laurels for Ford.
The Caddell-Click pairing will see the two take on one of the largest fields in racing as the three-hour enduro combines both GS and ST class runners as two Mustang Challenge competitors become KONI teammates.
"I really think Andrew is one of the best up and coming racers in this country," said Click, who brings his Ford passion right to his own garage with a new Mustang GT500 KR. "It's great that Ford Racing has asked me to be a part of this as his co-driver. I don't think Andrew will have any problem making the move to the FR500S. This young man just so smooth and so good, he can drive anything. He did a great job this year taking the Championship, and so long as I can keep the car out of trouble and turn it over to him on the lead lap, we should be in great shape at Daytona!"
Caddell has been keeping busy in the offseason and has a keen eye towards making a big impression in January.
"I've been running Daytona on a simulator and I don't think that learning the track will be too big a deal," said Caddell. "It looks like a pretty straightforward place. The main thing will just be transitioning and learning a new car. Even though the FR500S and the FR500C are both Ford Mustangs, they are quite different when it comes to power, handling, and set-ups. So I'm going to have to learn as quickly as I can what the car likes and how I can get the most out of it."
That his new co-driver is a familiar face is a comforting fact for Caddell as he takes on this new challenge.
"I know Jim from racing him in the Mustang Challenge cars so I'm looking forward to having him as my teammate," said Caddell. "I really hope I can do something like we did last year where we only had the budget to do so much racing, but we made a good impression and we got to keep racing. So that's the biggest goal for the Daytona race is to do well enough to attract some interest in me. Winning the Mustang Challenge championship was a big addition to my resume, and I just want to keep building on that."
-credit: frmc y