For Immediate Release March 7, 1997 Robinson Racing To Field Two Car Team at Sebring: Hot Wheels Signs on as Sponsor Houston, Texas - Robinson Racing announced today that it will follow up its...
For Immediate Release March 7, 1997
Robinson Racing To Field Two Car Team at Sebring: Hot Wheels Signs on as Sponsor
Houston, Texas - Robinson Racing announced today that it will follow up its one-car effort at last month's International Motor Sports Association's (IMSA) Rolex 24 at Daytona by running two Oldsmobile Auroras at the prestigious SUPERFLO 12 Hours of Sebring Presented by Chrysler on Saturday, March 15th.
"Everyone had such a great time at Daytona, despite our disappointing results," said team owner George Robinson of Houston, Texas, "that we decided to double our fun at Sebring and field the second Brix Aurora, the car that finished second in the GTS-1 Championship last year. Given the collected expertise and success of all of the drivers not to mention the crew and the cars, I expect a strong effort from both Auroras at the race."
Robinson Racing's Aurora was forced out of the Rolex 24 at Daytona just past the 14-hour mark due to engine failure. The team had been running as high as third in GTS-1 and 12th overall after qualifying second in class.
Robinson Racing also announced that Hot Wheels by Mattel has joined the team as a sponsor of the team's #11 Aurora. The car, which ran at Daytona as the #75 Robinson Racing/74 Hunting Ranch Aurora, will be known as "The Hot Wheels Aurora" and will be driven by three-quarters of the Daytona team: Robinson, Irv Hoerr of Sebring, Florida, and Jack Baldwin of Georgia. Hot Wheels will also sponsor the team at IMSA's Watkins Glen race on June 1st.
Baldwin and Hot Wheels have enjoyed a long, successful relationship in road racing, having teamed up to win the 1992 Trans-Am Championship. Now, a sponsor of Kyle Petty's NASCAR Winston Cup team, Hot Wheels support of Baldwin and the Robinson Racing Team at Sebring - on the 45th running of this historic race - provides the company with an international racing platform. Mattel will produce a limited edition collector car of the #11 Hot Wheels Aurora to be available through the collectors network in the fall, complementing the previous Hot Wheels and Jack Baldwin 1992 Trans-Am Camaro collector car.
"It's great to have the continued support of Hot Wheels," said Baldwin. "We've made a lot of friends and fans in road racing from our Trans-Am days and we're looking forward to renewing acquaintances with them again at Sebring, though I'm sure many have grown a few inches since 1992. I really do feel fortunate to have been asked by George to co-drive the Aurora at Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen and am pleased that I am able to contribute to the team through the support of Mattel and Hot Wheels."
Robinson Racing's second car, the 74 Hunting Ranch Aurora, will bear the number 75 and will be co-driven by the fourth Robinson Racing teammate from Daytona, Victor Sifton, owner of Canaska Racing of Toronto, Ontario, as well as Joe Pezza of New York and Jon Gooding of Florida. Pezza and Gooding are more than familiar with the Aurora, having teamed with Hoerr in 1996 to steer the car to victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Pezza also co-drove the Aurora to its second place finish at last year's SUPERFLO 12 Hours of Sebring.
All six of the drivers bring a wealth of experience and success in IMSA racing to the Robinson Racing Team, as well as familiarity among themselves: Hoerr is the twice defending Exxon Supreme GTS-1 Champion having won the series in 1995 and 1996 and is currently third overall in IMSA victories with 47; Baldwin won the GTU championship in 1984 and 1985 and boasts a total of 21 IMSA victories; Robinson won the 1995 Ferrari Challenge Championship and is a two-time class winner at the 12 Hours of Sebring with wins in GTS-1 in 1992 and GTU in 1989; Pezza, currently competing in the NASCAR Busch Grand National North Series, won the 1994 GTO Championship and the 1990 Firestone Firehawk Sports Class Championship; Gooding, currently competing a Ford Mustang Cobra in the SCCA Trans-Am Series, is coming off a career-best second place finish at St. Petersburg, Florida; Sifton, who earned many top five finishes in World Challenge racing, co-drove the Viper GTS-R to its first-ever podium finish at last year's Chrysler Mosport 500 and to a sixth place GTS-1 finish at the 1996 Sebring race, in only the Viper's second race.
"I think both Auroras have a great chance at Sebring," said Hoerr. "Sebring is really a handling track and that's the Aurora's advantage. Additionally, we've got a terrific crew and a fantastic combination of drivers who not only know how to win but also know each other really well. Either car is really capable of winning the race."
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For more information on the Robinson Racing Team's Sebring effort, please contact:
Carol Starr Tel: (416) 923-1501 Cell: (416) 930-5306 email: firstname.lastname@example.org