APR Motorsport Ready to Compete for the 2009 Koni Sports Car Challenge Championship Opelika, Alabama, January 16, 2009 - After completing a highly successful first year development program, APR Motorsport is ready to compete for the 2009 Koni ...
APR Motorsport Ready to Compete for the 2009 Koni Sports Car Challenge Championship
Opelika, Alabama, January 16, 2009 - After completing a highly successful first year development program, APR Motorsport is ready to compete for the 2009 Koni Sports Car Challenge Championship with a strong two-car effort. APR Motorsport completed the 2008 season with several fastest race laps, a pole position, 9 top ten finishes, a second place at Miller Motorsports Park, and at every race an APR VW lapped in the top ten.
The driver line-up has evolved for the 2009 schedule with the addition of some new faces and some that are already familiar to the team and fans alike. APR is pleased with the talent and level of professionalism in the new pairings. With the drivers in fast GTI's, the team looks to be a double threat for the 2009 title.
In #171, Ian Baas, of Indianapolis, will return to the team. Ian is a Grand-Am veteran since he has competed in Rolex and Koni events since 2006. Ian especially knows his way around Daytona, scoring a victory at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona (GT Class). Ian brings a strong background of experience to the 171 car. In a major coup for the team, the reigning SCCA VW Jetta TDI Cup Champion Josh Hurley, of Cooper City FL, has been signed to co drive. In 2008, Hurley drove his VW Jetta TDI to a championship in the inaugural season of the series. Josh's tremendous driving and tactical ability led to a win at Portland and a second place finish in the final race to seal the championship by a slim 5 points.
Hurley and Baas tested with APR Motorsport at Daytona in December. Both are confident they will be serious contenders for the Daytona race and the 2009 championship. Baas remarked, "Josh and I hit it off very well at our test in December. Josh was able to get up to speed very quickly. His feedback and input were terrific. I think we are in for a good year!" Hurley said, "I was amazed how well the APR prepared GTI's performed on the track. I can't wait to finally race at Daytona." APR Motorsport Crew Chief Jeff Mishtawy was thrilled with the success of the December test and impressed by the chemistry between Josh, Ian, and the team. "This is a dream. To have capable drivers and a team working selflessly together is going to bring great results. We also tested a number of development items for 2009 with flawless results."
Joining the APR Motorsport VW GTI #171 for 2009 will be Gunther VW, the largest VW dealer in the United States. Gunther VW, of Coconut Creek Florida, is proud to reflect the level of professionalism and communication displayed by drivers Baas and Hurley. The Gunther organization has long been a backer of Josh and is pleased to have been a part of Josh's early success with VW racing and continuing that partnership into the future. Visit www.gunthervw.net for more information.
Driving the APR Motorsport GTI #181 will be the pairing of Mike Sweeney and Patrick Barrett, both of San Luis Obispo, California. Sweeney, a driving instructor for Cory Kruseman Sprint Car School in Ventura, CA, competed in 4 races and several tests with APR Motorsport during the 2008 season. Mike is excited to be a part of the APR Motorsport for the full 2009 season. Sweeney said, "I am excited to get to drive a car as good as this with an outstanding driver like Pat, it really is a privilege on both counts."" Co-driver Patrick Barrett brings a wealth of knowledge that most racers would be proud to have attained by the end of their career, but at only 19 years old looks to be a perfect fit for the team. Patrick competed in the Rolex GT class during 2008 with season best finish at Miller Motorsports Park of fourth. Additionally, Patrick has been a successful racer for several years in F2000, Formula Palmer Audi in England, Skip Barber and Formula Russell. Along the way, Patrick impressively managed to collect two series championships in consecutive seasons.
Barrett, Sweeney, and Baas piloted an independently prepared VW GTI in the 2008 25 Hour at Thunderhill finishing 8th in class. From this experience of driving together, the drivers were able to see that there was potential for a strong future.