Jim Taggart and Tom Long will pilot the machine.
Cary, NC – The Local Motors Rally Fighter-branded Maserati GranTurismo MC will make its debut in the Maserati Trofeo 2014 Championship this weekend at VIR with Taggart Autosport drivers Jim Taggart and Tom Long behind the wheel.
Organized by Maserati, the Championship travels all over the world with a fleet of identical Italian-built supercars and international television coverage.
Taggart Autosport will make its one-off appearance coming off a twin podium in Pirelli World Challenge at Mid-Ohio earlier this month.
The Rally Fighter is a custom-built Baha 1000-ready machine, yet street legal with all of the comfort amenities of a new car. There is nothing else like it
With the car being shared, each driver will participate in each sprint race of the weekend, of which there are two, before Taggart and Long share the car for the one-hour endurance race on Sunday. The two last drove together at the Pirelli World Challenge Lime Rock event in 2013, with a pair of identical yellow Lotus Exiges.
Taggart and Long could prove spoilers at VIR as both have thousands of laps around the 17-turn track, an added advantage on a field of international driving talent heading into the race weekend.
“No doubt, this will be an incredible event. Almost all of the competitors in this series are from Europe, and top notch professional racers. However, with VIR being our home track I would expect our team to have the advantage. Clearly, with Tom Long at the wheel, at VIR, those others guys have a lot of learning to do to keep up with him,” said Taggart.
It will mark the first event with Taggart fielding primary sponsorship by Local Motors.
“Thanks go out to the awesome team at Local Motors, it’s great to have their support,” continued Taggart. “Their signature vehicle, the Rally Fighter, is a testament to what crowdsourcing and local talent can do to co-create a better product. The Rally Fighter is a custom-built Baha 1000-ready machine, yet street legal with all of the comfort amenities of a new car. There is nothing else like it.”
Added Patrick Morgan, Director of Anchor Product Sales for Local Motors: “We are proud to partner with Taggart Autosport in the only US-based Maserati Tropheo series race. Many road racers and their fans are attracted to the Rally Fighter because of the off-road styling paired with the on-road handling. Plus it’s one of the few ways a driver can experience building their own one-of-a-kind off- and on-road vehicle.”
All cars in the race are not only identical Maseratis with around 500 horsepower, but are fielded directly by the Maserati factory, with the drivers sharing the same set-up and engineering team for the weekend to make things as even as possible.
The four-day race-weekend starts on Thursday, August 21, with three practice sessions. Friday follows with a morning practice followed by a pair of qualifying sessions before two races on Saturday and Sunday's endurance event.