VIR: AIM Autosport preview

AIM Autosport anxious to get back on track at VIR Woodbridge, Ontario (2009.04.22) AIM Autosport is looking forward to racing in the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway this weekend for a couple of reasons. Mostly, because...

AIM Autosport anxious to get back on track at VIR

Woodbridge, Ontario (2009.04.22) AIM Autosport is looking forward to racing in the Bosch Engineering 250 at Virginia International Raceway this weekend for a couple of reasons. Mostly, because the Rolex Daytona Prototype team has had three months to ponder the results of the Rolex 24 at Daytona and is looking for some redemption but in truth, everyone is remembering last year's run at VIR and are really looking to get the podium that slipped away.

Coming to the 2009 Bosch Engineering 250, AIM Autosport is very confident after a strong finish overall in the 2008 Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal cask No. 16. Everyone on the team has put in some long hours since the Rolex 24 in preparation for round two which will have another Frisselle/Wilkins driver combination. This year Burt Frisselle will join Wilkins in the car for the race at VIR. Burt raced with the team in 2007 alternating with younger brother Brian throughout the season.

"Everyone on the crew knows what we are capable of achieving at VIR" commented AIM Autosport principal Ian Willis. "We had a very strong run going last year and know we have the setup to qualify and run up front. We also know where we fell off last year and have addressed those issues. The team looks at VIR this year as the start of what we hope will be a championship season."

AIM Autosport is also welcoming a new title sponsor for the event, CONSOL Energy.

"With seventeen coal mining complexes in six states, CONSOL Energy, the second largest coal producer in the country, is a very active company in Virginia and partnering with them for the race at VIR is a good fit for both our companies" said Willis. "CONSOL was developing a program focused on supporting the communities where they do business. CONSOL's Senior Vice President of External Affairs Tom Hoffman looked at the benefit of using the race team and events such as the Rolex Sports Car race at VIR to further benefit that program."

In the days leading up to this weekend's race, Mark Wilkins and the CONSOL Energy No. 61 Ford Riley have been on tour in West Virginia and Virginia in support of local area food banks. Dubbed "The Race to Stock the Shelves", CONSOL Energy volunteers joined Wilkins at the University Towne Centre Wal Mart in Morgantown to collect non-perishable food items and cash donations for the Mountaineer Food Bank. This was a very successful event for the food bank and was followed up two days later in Oakwood , VA to benefit COPE Food Pantry at Russell Prater, the Buchanan Community Food Pantry at Harman and the Knox Creek Community Food Pantry at Hurley. Mark spent time with the fans and many very excited kids got a chance to sit in the race car in exchange for their donations.

"This was just another example of how we can support our partners off the track" noted Willis. "Of course we'd like to bring them home a victory on the race track this weekend at VIR but we are already assured of having gained them a victory in the community."

AIM Autosport will be entertaining some CONSOL Energy guests this weekend and have the added opportunity to taste victory as the Canadian team's junior squad will be competeing in the Star Mazda series at VIR. AIM's junior driver development program trains drivers from around the globe in their quest to climb the motorsport ladder. This weekend, three drivers will be at the wheel of one of AIM's Formula Mazdas. They include Peter Dempsey of Ireland, Jorge Goncalvez of Venezualea and Canadian David Ostella.

-credit: aim

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Mark Wilkins , David Ostella , Jorge Goncalvez , Peter Dempsey