NASCAR sponsor adds sports cars to line-up

CONCORD, N.C. (March 28, 2000) - After recently joining the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit as primary sponsor of Roush Racing's No. 16 Ford Taurus, internet service provider announced a continued sponsorship of the Nygmatech...

CONCORD, N.C. (March 28, 2000) - After recently joining the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit as primary sponsor of Roush Racing's No. 16 Ford Taurus, internet service provider announced a continued sponsorship of the Nygmatech Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R for the inaugural Grand Prix of Charlotte at Lowe's Motor Speedway on April 1. provides family oriented Internet access by preventing objectionable material from reaching families through the most advanced proven multi-layered filtering technology on the market today. Tim Robertson, President and CEO of, first got involved in racing in the early 1990s as a sponsor of Jack Roush's NASCAR team with his previous venture, The Family Channel. "The Family Channel sponsorship through NASCAR boosted our awareness with consumers," explains Robertson, of Virginia Beach, Va., "and we're pursuing that same goal with As a corporation, racing is a good way to bond with consumers and I think sports car racing is ready to take off. We need to get a little more TV exposure and make drivers accessible to fans, and I know the ALMS folks are working on both of these. We're also starting to see more American manufacturers involved, especially in GT, and we'd like to see it happen all through the ranks." Robertson is a bit of a rarity in the corporate world of racing sponsorship, in that he also drives the Porsche when his schedule permits. He co-drove the car earlier this month at the 48th Annual Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring, where the car finished seventh in class, and 18th overall, passing nearly half the field as it climbed from its 42nd starting position. Joining Robertson behind the wheel were Portuguese driver João Barbosa and Briton Ian James. Barbosa and James will pilot the Porsche at Charlotte. Robertson first felt the urge to drive following Roush's annual sponsor appreciation day at Road Atlanta after the last event of the season. Sponsors were invited to a ride and drive where they got three days of instruction with Bob Bondurant and professional drivers like Tommy Kendall. "I thought it was the most fun I'd ever had, recalls Robertson, "so I got involved in racing as an enthusiast and competitor. I attended both Skip Barber and Bob Bondurant Schools. Then after another track event at Road Atlanta, where I got to drive a Ferrari Challenge car and ride with Didier Theys, I immediately placed an order for a Ferrari Challenge car, and now here I am in ALMS GT with Nygmatech Motorsports. And I still think it's the most fun I've ever had. Nygmatech Motorsports is a new team on the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) circuit, and is running the entire schedule in 2000, in the htly contested GT division. The group owns two new Porsche 911 GT3 Rs, and adds a third Porsche 911 RSR for selected events. All cars are prepared by Michael Colucci Racing (MCR) of Jupiter. Fla., and all run on Pirelli P Zero tires. At Sebring, the team fielded all three cars, adding the Roku Porsche and the GlobalCenter Porsche, which finished 9th and 12th in class, respectively, to the entry. Team owner Kurt Baumann hopes the momentum created by the fine run at Sebring will continue at Charlotte. "We had our fair share of problems, but everyone persevered and we came away with a decent showing and two top-10 finishes," says Baumann, of Great Falls, Va., who also co-drives in selected events. "It's not an easy job setting up a new team, and when you start the season with two of the most difficult races in the world (Daytona and Sebring) it's even more of a challenge. But we showed a lot of potential at Sebring, and that's very encouraging." While Robertson and Baumann may be available only for selected events due to business obligations, young hot shoes James and Barbosa are looking to make a name for themselves on the global ALMS sports car circuit. Barbosa is a former Portuguese karting champion who competed in the European Formula Ford ranks before turning to the Toyota Atlantic Series in 1997, where he was presented with the "Rising Star Award." He began competing in Europe's ISRS series in 1998, as well as the Super Sport Car Austria Euroseries and some USRRC GT events during 1999. Barbosa was also involved in Formula One testing before joining Nygmatech Motorsports. "Charlotte will be an exciting race for me because I have not had the opportunity to race at many superspeedways," observes Barbosa, 25, from Porto, Portugal. "The Motorsports team is a well-prepared team and the Porsche is an exciting car to drive. I'm ready for the challenge." Ian James also began his racing career in karting, often spending hours at a time driving in the rain to hone his skills behind the wheel. James has competed in a variety of series, making him one of the most dynamic young stars in racing. He moved through the Formula ranks in Europe, competing in the Formula Vauxhall, British/European Formula Renault, Formula 3 and Formula Palmer Audi. He then moved into the British GT Championship and competed in the U.S. last year in the USRRC. James will also compete in the Motorola Cup series this season, and captured the Super Touring class victory with teammate Dino Steiner in the season-opener at Sebring. "I am very excited to have this opportunity to drive for this weekend at Charlotte," comments James, 26, of Surrey, England. "Sebring was fun, but challenging. We had a problem early on, which changed our strategy and turned the 12-hour into a sprint race. We had to push the car to the limits and chase our way up the leader board. At Charlotte we'll be driving the newer water-cooled Porsche 911 GT3 R, instead of the air-cooled older 911 we drove at Sebring, which should make it even more fun." NBC will provide same-day television coverage of The American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Charlotte, Saturday, April 1, 4-6 p.m. EST. Live coverage will also be provided by Radio Le Mans on the ALMS web site.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Didier Theys , Bob Bondurant , Dino Steiner , Ian James , Joao Barbosa , Skip Barber , Jack Roush