"UMW Motorwerks Enters 2008 Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup" Steve Welk to drive for newly-restructured team GREENFIELD, Wisc. 25 FEB 2008 - UMW Motorwerks has announced that it will enter the 2008 Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship series. The team,...
"UMW Motorwerks Enters 2008 Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup"
Steve Welk to drive for newly-restructured team
GREENFIELD, Wisc. 25 FEB 2008 - UMW Motorwerks has announced that it will enter the 2008 Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Championship series. The team, formerly known as UEMSI Motorwerks, was renamed over the winter with the addition of new co-owner Gary Welk. UMW Motorwerks will join the MX-5 Cup after its most successful season of Spec Miata racing, which saw the two-car effort of Steve Welk and Jacques Dresang advance to the National Championship Runoffs. Steve Welk will campaign the one-car effort in this year's MX-5 series for UMW Motorwerks in the team's first venture into SCCA's Pro Racing ranks.
While UWM Motorwerks is new to pro racing, team driver Steve Welk is quite familiar with the medium. Welk spent two seasons in the FF2000 Pro Series in 2003 and 2004 as well as one-off appearances in the FF2000 in 2006 and the Star Mazda series in 2007. Welk hopes to use his prior experience to the team's advantage as UMW prepares for the new challenge.
"I am really excited about the opportunity that UMW Motorwerks has given me," Welk said. "As UEMSI Motorwerks we did some great things as a team and that will only continue as UMW Motorwerks. Rick (Dresang) and my dad (Gary Welk) are making sure we have all the pieces to make this team a success this year and into the future. The MX-5 field will be tough, but I think we have the right people in place to bring the fight to them."
The UMW Motorwerks squad will consist of some familiar faces as well as some new members for the 2008 season. Coming on board for the season is race engineer John Mullen. Mullen will head up all chassis and car development. The experienced race engineer and team driver Welk already have a solid working relationship. The duo scored two podium finishes together in 2006 in a one-off appearance in the FF2000 category at Road America. Team co-owner Gary Welk will be chief mechanic on race weekends, a role he had with UEMSI's Spec Miatas, with support from data engineer and second mechanic Garrick Hansen. Dan Olson and UMW co-owner Rick Dresang will head up the race shop taking care of the car between races. Former driver Jacques Dresang will handle the public relations and media duties of the new organization as he did the past two seasons with UEMSI Motorwerks.
"This is really exciting," Rick Dresang stated from the team's headquarters. "We were able to accomplish one of my lifelong goals last year when we entered the SCCA Runoffs with our two cars. Now we are going forward with this team and I am looking forward to our new endeavor in the MX-5 Championship."
UMW co-owner Gary Welk echoed his partner, "This is something I have wanted to do for a long time. We had a lot of fun and learned a lot in the last two years, but Pro Racing is something that I have been looking forward to. Having Rick as a partner only makes it more fun because of how well we work together. I think we can surprise a lot of people this year in the MX-5 Cup."
Currently the UMW Motorwerks MX-5 is being built for the 2008 season. The car is schedule to be on track in early April for the team's first test in preparation for the season opener at the Houston Grand Prix on April 28.