Farnbacher Loles to feature strong effort in IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Farnbacher Loles Racing of Danbury, CT has entered a series leading 9 cars in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin. The new series kicks off at Road Atlanta on...
Farnbacher Loles to feature strong effort in IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge
Farnbacher Loles Racing of Danbury, CT has entered a series leading 9 cars in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin. The new series kicks off at Road Atlanta on April, 17th and features the Porsche 996 based GT3 Cup. Farnbacher Loles' diverse driver line-up includes 2005 Rolex 24 at Daytona winner Shawn Price, 2 time SCCA National Solo II Mike Piera, SCCA Formula Ford 2000 Division Champion Ricardo Imery, Road to Indy Oval Crown Champion Lawson Aschenbach, and Porsche club racers Keith Alexander, Paul Orwicz, Tom Pank, Russell Smith, and Gennady Soykher.
Venezuelan born Ricardo Imery began racing a dozen years ago when he was 17. In the traditional international training camp for racing, Ricardo started in go-karts and in 1997 he entered the Skip Barber racing series. He then began racing in Formula Ford 2000 and was the SCCA Nationals divisional champion in 2000, Ricardo later moved on to Formula Ford Zetec where he finished 8th in points in his first year stood on the podium at Mosport in 2002. From there Imery competed in the FranAm Winter Series in 2003 and Formula Renault in 2004 finishing 5th in the season championship. Ricardo is truly new to GT3 Cup cars, having never driven one prior to this week and has quickly adapted to this new type of racecar. Ricardo's family and the family company, Cavenas Elevators have generously supported his racing career. Ricardo resides in Miami with wife his Astrid.
Another talented newcomer to 996 Cup cars is Lawson Aschenbach. Lawson lives in Gaithersburg, MD and came up through open wheel cars. Having started racing at 8 in go-karts, Lawson went on to SCCA National Formula Ford, winning the Southeast series in 2001. During 2 years competing in the Formula Ford 2000 series, Lawson won the prestigious Road to Indy Oval Crown Championship in 2002. Last season, Lawson competed in Formula BMW and like Ricardo, had never driven a GT3 Cup car prior to this week. Lawson attends Vanderbilt University where he is currently a junior with a double major in Math and in Engineering Science. In addition, Lawson will also receive a minor in Management of Technology, which helps dramatically in his understanding the dynamics of race set-up and being able to communicate with team technicians.
Sportscar racer Keith Alexander lives in New York City, but is a Miami native. Keith began racing at 18 in autocross events in his 1971 Porsche 911S Carrera. After autocrossing for a few years, Keith took a break to focus on his career. In 1997, while living in London, Keith began racing with various local clubs in a 993 Porsche. He moved to the US in 1999 and bought his first Porsche Cup car, which he found to be well suited to his driving style. Since then, he has been competing in various events and "looks forward to competing in this exciting new series." Keith who is single, is a founding partner of CgV Capital Advisors, a firm specializing in buyouts of specialty automotive and motorsports companies.
Another veteran racer and probably the most diverse member of the team, Californian Shawn Price was a co-driver of the 2005 Rolex 24 at Daytona GT Class Champion Farnbacher Loles Racing Porsche. Price was teamed with Wolf Henzler, Dominik Farnbacher and Pierre Ehret and the team had a winning margin of 3 laps. Price, as the CEO of Savvion, a very successful software company, epitomizes the "gentleman racer." While Price is an amateur competitor, his racing experience and achievements are quite impressive. In addition to the Daytona win, Shawn has raced and finished the tortuous Dakar rally on a motorcycle and won the Baja 1000 as an amateur in 2002. Early in his career, he was also a world ranked wind surfer. Shawn lives in Hillsborough, CA with his wife Sarah and 3 daughters.
Mike Piera, a native of Danbury, CT began in autocross in the mid 80's. Mike proved to be a star in the art of car control. In both 1985 and 1990, he won the national championship in SCCA Solo II, while scoring 2 second place national finishes in between. Mike took some time off to start a family and began road racing in 1998 when he purchased a 73 Porsche 911 and converted it to Carrera RS specs. He has run with a variety of clubs including the SVRA vintage racing group, SCCA historic racing series, and national Porsche Club events. Mike began racing a 996 GT3 Cup car in Atlanta at the March Porsche Club event this year and found its performance so impressive, he decided to enter this series. Mike is the founder of Analog Man, a manufacturer of custom guitar effects pedals. Mike and his wife Ayako have a 12-year old daughter and reside Danbury, CT.
Paul Orwicz was born in NYC and now lives in New Canaan, CT with his wife Beth and 4 children ranging in age from 6 to 1. Paul's racing career started in 1998 at 30 years of age in a BMW M3 where he participated in club racing. In 2003, Paul purchased a Porsche GT3 Cup car for racing with the Porsche Club and since then has won 4 PCA events. In 2005 Paul lived out a dream by being one of 5 club racers, in an all amateur effort competing in the 2005 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Paul has raced consistently in Porsche club events and currently drives a Porsche 2005 996 GT3 Cup car. Paul is a portfolio manager for SAC Capital, a Stamford, CT based Investment firm. Said Orwicz, "The IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge is a very classy and professional environment and seems to be a very well run and organized series."
Russell Smith, a UK citizen living in Bermuda for the past 9 years, who with his "very understanding" wife Michelle, has a 2 years old son. While growing up as an F1 and World Rally fan, Russell came to racing later than most of his competitors having only first set foot in a racecar last year, when he tried a friend's Porsche 944 Turbo S at a DE event at Road Atlanta. He was instantly hooked and returned to Road Atlanta barely a month later for the Panoz racing school. Russell then bought a 2001 Cup car and began competing in DE events and entered his first club race September of 2004. With a background in re-insurance specializing in natural disasters, last year Russell began consulting for a chemical firm which helped lead to a sale of their major assets to Tasker Products. Russell's car is sponsored by "Close Call," an innovative new breath drink manufactured by Tasker Products. Said Russell, "I'm very excited to be here. My goal is to be able to compete with individuals with more experience which will help elevate my own driving."
Tom Pank of Walkersville, MD started racing in 2001 when he attended the Hawaii International Racing School with his wife Katrina, and then attended an SCCA driving school at Summit Point Raceway. Tom purchased a 993 Cup Car in October of 2001 and began racing in the SCCA MARRS series in 2002. Tom also began racing in Porsche Club and NASA events. In November of 2004 he purchased his current car, a 2005 996 Cup car. Tom's car is sponsored by his company Baysaver, which manufactures and markets a unique patented storm water treatment technology. Said Pank, "Porsche has created a great series to run this really awesome car." Tom has 3 sons who join him at the track whenever possible. He is being helped this season by his trusted nephew Dustin Pank.
Gennady Soykher who lives in Baltimore, MD is originally from the Ukraine. Gennady began racing in 1986 in a 1300cc Lada in his native land and came to the US in 1993. In 1995 he built a racing Alfa Romeo to compete in SCCA events. 1n 1997 he created a 993 race car out of street Porsche as his primary race vehicle. Gennady had multiple 1st place finishes and in 1998, 99 and 2000 he was the SCCA MARS series Champion in the ITE class. He has won many Porsche club events and in January he purchased his current car, a 2005 GT3 Cup. Gennady owns a Porsche race and street prep shop in Edgewood, MD, which caters to local Porsche club members. Gennady is married to Alla and has a son Igor who is also a racer and helps out his dad when not attending college. Gennady is happy to be working closely with and utilizing the deep experience and resources of the Farnbacher Loles Racing enterprise. Added Gennady, "This is a great series and should give everyone a good opportunity to win"