Stewart Motorsports looking forward to VIR in preparation for 2006 (28 September 2005)--Stewart Motorsports is looking forward to next weekend's VIR 200 in Grand-Am Cup ST class competition with Matt Plumb and Tom Stewart piloting the exciting...
Stewart Motorsports looking forward to VIR in preparation for 2006
(28 September 2005)--Stewart Motorsports is looking forward to next weekend's VIR 200 in Grand-Am Cup ST class competition with Matt Plumb and Tom Stewart piloting the exciting new Acura TSX sports sedan. The race is the sixth event of the season for Stewart Motorsports, which is utilizing the 2005 season to develop the new TSX for a two-car program in 2006.
Team owner and co-driver Stewart owns and operates Red Line Motors in Purcelville, Virginia, and has a wide scope of sportscar series competition under his belt. Stewart has been impressed by what he has seen in Grand-Am Cup and is looking to grow his team's effort in the category.
"I had always wanted to put together a quality team and find a competitive, affordable series to run in," said Stewart. "With a solid television package, large and growing fields, and very high level of competition, we feel that Grand-Am Cup is the perfect match for us and we are working to be in a competitive position right out of the box in 2006."
Having made the investment and commitment to develop the Acura TSX package, Stewart looked for a driver who would be able to contribute know-how and speed to the program, and found an ideal candidate in Matt Plumb. Plumb, who took the Acura badge to third as the highest-finishing front-wheel drive entry in Speed World Challenge competition last season with Realtime Racing, was an ideal partner for Stewart.
"My plan was to develop the car and the team in these last six races with the intent of running a full season next year with two cars," said Stewart. "At Barber, we hired Matt Plumb to co-drive with me and to help with the development of the TSX and he has been with us ever since. His speed and knowledge about this car has really ramped up our learning curve."
The team has been encouraged by their early results, with a top qualifying effort of fifth and a best result of sixth in the highly competitive fields, which often feature nearly seventy cars on the track. Plumb has extensive experience racing production-based cars, and quickly recognized the inherent potential of the TSX.
"Tom really knows how to build a car and the TSX has shown itself to be an ideal race car," said Plumb. "It has been mechanically flawless so far and has gotten better at each race. It has been fast right out of the box, and we've been able to identify areas where we need to improve. As the team and crew come together it is going to be an extremely competitive combination."
The team's second car will benefit from the developments made on the current car, and will be ready in time for the Daytona test days in advance of the opening round of the 2006 season.
"American Honda has expressed interest in this form of racing, and we are optimistic that they are considering growing their support in the category," said Stewart. "They know how strong this car can be with the potential that it has right off the showroom floor, so we hope to be able to contribute to getting this car to victory circle."
The VIR 200 Will get underway with a promoter test day on October 6th, with practice scheduled for the 7th, and both qualifying and the race slated to take place on October 8th. The race will be televised on a tape-delay basis on Speed Channel.