ROAR RACING TEAMS WITH COMPASS360 Greenville, NC -- ROAR Racing's first season of Grand Am Cup competition has been full of surprises. It began when the new team showed up at Daytona's season-opener with three Mazda RX-8s and a full driver ...
ROAR RACING TEAMS WITH COMPASS360
Greenville, NC -- ROAR Racing's first season of Grand Am Cup competition has been full of surprises. It began when the new team showed up at Daytona's season-opener with three Mazda RX-8s and a full driver roster. The surprises continued throughout the year, with the team scaling back to two cars, and then making steady progress and moving up through the field at each event.
The latest surprise (and it's a good one) is today's announcement that Greenville, NC-based ROAR Racing and Toronto, Canada's Compass360 will be joining forces for the last two races of this season, with an eye to competing together in 2007.
"I'm excited to tell you that we've signed Billy Johnson and Karl Thomson to drive our lead Mazda RX-8 for the Miller and VIR events," said Rob Whitener, Team Principal at ROAR. "Billy's been working with the team over the past few months to get our cars to the front of the pack," continued Whitener, "and I think our sixth-place qualifying at Mid Ohio is a testament to their efforts."
In preparation for the coming year, ROAR Racing with Compass360 will be fielding two RX-8s at the upcoming Grand Am Cup race at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah, with plans to add a third car for the season-ending event at Virginia Internaional Raceway. Rob elaborates: "We'll have two other hot shoes in the second car at Miller, with the hope of solid finishes for both entries."
Thomson, who has two top-five finishes in just four starts this season, is equally enthusiastic. "The team at ROAR has made some big changes over the past few months, and I feel we'll have the capability for some very solid results," he said. "They've done a ton of development work and made huge improvements in the cars -- now we'll have a chance to see how they perform under race conditions."
"All the pieces have fallen into place," Thomson added, "perhaps the best of which is that I'll be competing with Billy Johnson as my co-driver." Thomson and Johnson have been team-mates a number of times over the past few years, and have led GA Cup races in cars as diverse as a BMW Z3 Coupe and an Acura RSX-S.
"These two guys really work well together, and with our team," remarked Whitener. "They both bring a lot more to the table than just being fast drivers, and I think we've got ourselves a really good fit."
Whitener's made some important changes to the structure of the team over the past month. Nick Gurrucharri, who had been managing the operation for the first part of the year, has moved on to pursue other opportunities, and Whitener has assumed an active role in running the team.
"Rob's experience as a successful entrepreneur gives him a good perspective on what works within the team," said Johnson. "Having his involvement with the day-to-day operations of the team really has moved our game forward."
In addition to the management change, ROAR has engaged Compass360 Design + Advertising to develop the team's marketing communications, including brand identity, car livery, crew apparel, branded merchandise, plus public and media relations. "We've had great experience helping Grand Am teams build strong, solid motorsports brands, first with our own Compass360/Racing team in 2004 and 2005, and then with Kensai Racing and Matt Connolly Motorsports in 2006," noted Thomson. "ROAR will benefit from our expertise in what is clearly becoming the premier road racing series in North America."
It looks like 2007 is shaping up to be a banner year for Grand Am Cup, and ROAR Racing with Compass360 plan to be right in the thick of it.