Frankie Montecalvo looks forward to another year of full-time US Racing in 2015 competing in the Pirelli World Challenge Series with DragonSpeed of Jupiter, Florida.
Highlands, NJ – Frankie Montecalvo will be part of a three-car effort in the #66 Bayshore Racing/DragonSpeed Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3.
After racing in the PC Class in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship in 2014 and abroad in the European Le Mans Series before that, Montecalvo, of Highlands, NJ, is ready to take on the challenge of a new series in a brand new car.
“This is my first year racing in the Pirelli World Challenge. The line-up is really strong with about 50+ cars per race weekend. The race format consists of all sprint races, so it’s a little different format than I’m accustomed to, but I’m really looking forward to it,” stated Montecalvo.
I’m just really ready to get back into racing. It feels like it’s been forever since Petit, which was the last race I’ve competed in.
“I’m really excited to be a part of DragonSpeed for the 2015 season. I’ve actually raced with team owner Elton Julian a few years ago, and our lead engineer and technical advisor is Mark Schomann, who I’ve worked with a lot over the past several years. So it’s always nice to work with people you know and are comfortable with.”
The Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) schedule will visit 12 different stops across the United States in 2015. Montecalvo has raced at most of the tracks on the schedule, but will encounter a few new courses and challenges.
“There will be a couple of new events that I’m not familiar with which are Sonoma, St. Petersburg and Detroit. I’ve been to Long Beach before, but it’s been several years ago. There are also a lot more street races on this calendar, so the biggest challenge will be getting back into the swing of things and getting used to street courses again because they are a lot less forgiving than normal fixed circuits. Some people love them and some people hate them. I’m a little on the fence about them, but I think it will be a great challenge, and it’s always fun to drive on a street course,” said Montecalvo.
“Each race weekend will also consist of two 45-minute sprint races. That’s something that will be a little bit different for me, but I think it will take me back to my racing roots from IMSA Lites where you had two chances to get on the podium in a weekend, so I think I am going to like that.”
The PWC season opener will be held in Austin, TX at the Circuit of the Americas on March 6-8. Montecalvo has raced at the world-class 3.4-mile circuit once before in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship in 2014 and saw a fourth place finish. However, after testing there a few weeks prior, he’s more than ready to get back to the track and down to business.
“I’m just really ready to get back into racing. It feels like it’s been forever since Petit, which was the last race I’ve competed in. And seeing the Daytona 24,with everybody out there racing and you’re on the sidelines, it’s kind of a bummer because you’re just so ready to get back in the car.
“I’m really excited about COTA (Circuit of the Americas). It’s a great track, but I’ve actually only raced there once before. We did some testing there a few weeks ago, but our time got cut short because of weather, so it just makes me that much more ready to get back out there.
“I always enjoy going to COTA. There will be at least 50 cars, so it’s going to be super busy. Passing zones at COTA are not that fast. There are only a couple of sections that you can pass in, and with 50 cars out there, it’s going to be really tough to get by some of these guys. Everyone is in the same class now, with the same top speed, so it’s going to be non-stop wheel-to-wheel racing. I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel and see what our Bayshore Racing Mercedes can do out there.”