SCC: VIR: Jason Martinelli preview

Jason Martinelli Anxious to Return to Competition at VIR ALTON, Va. -- Jason Martinelli will be driving at Virginia International Raceway for the first time when he arrives for this weekend's Grand-Am Cup 250, but the optimistic young driver ...

Jason Martinelli Anxious to Return to Competition at VIR

ALTON, Va. -- Jason Martinelli will be driving at Virginia International Raceway for the first time when he arrives for this weekend's Grand-Am Cup 250, but the optimistic young driver is ready for the new challenge.

Martinelli will be driving the No. 08 Automatic Racing BMW M3 with Don St. John in the Grand Sports class. The pair is preparing to run a full Grand-Am Cup campaign in 2005.

"I'm excited about getting up to speed at a new track," enthused Martinelli. "This year is a learning year for the tracks where the Grand-Am Cup Series races. We're still competitive and still giving 100 percent, but it's really a reconnaissance year for us. Our primary goal is to learn the tracks and the series."

The race at VIR comes just two weeks after Martinelli traveled to Homestead for round eight of the Grand-Am Cup season. A mechanical problem kept the team from racing, so he is anxious to get back to competition.

Martinelli is undaunted by the challenging layout of VIR's 3.27-mile Full Course. "I adapt to new tracks pretty well. I think it's going to be a challenging track. My dad did a vintage race there and he really enjoyed it," said Martinelli, who inherited his love of racing from his father Frank. "I'm looking forward to seeing how the changes we made to the car at Homestead work."

In addition to racing sports cars, Martinelli is passionate about another four-wheeled sport -- ATV racing. Although he no longer races them competitively, Martinelli still uses the sport as the basis for his training regimen. He even built a dirt track behind his home in Roxbury, Connecticut to make his riding more convenient.

Martinelli attributes a lot of his success in sports car racing to his ATV racing in between Grand-Am Cup rounds, citing that it helps him stay in shape both physically and mentally. "It was really hot at Homestead, but I didn't suffer like a lot of the drivers did," commented the 28-year old Martinelli. "I'm in good shape because of the four-wheelers. I work my body as hard as I can during the week, and train harder than what I'll face in a race."

Martinelli will have a full day of practice on Friday, October 1 to learn VIR's layout. Qualifying for the Grand Sports class will be held on Saturday, October 2 from 11:35-11:50 AM, followed by the 250-mile race at 1:50 PM.

Martinelli is sponsored by JJ Snacks, Good Hill Mechanical Contractors, Inc., and the J.S. Karlton Real Estate Investment Corporation.

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Jason Martinelli
Teams Automatic Racing