Tri-Point Motorsports Announces Three Car MAZDA6 Effort for 2005 SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car Series January 15, 2005 (Phoenix, Arizona) - SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car series standout Tri-Point Motorsports announced a trio...
Tri-Point Motorsports Announces Three Car MAZDA6 Effort for 2005 SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car Series
January 15, 2005 (Phoenix, Arizona) - SCCA Speed World Challenge Touring Car series standout Tri-Point Motorsports announced a trio of sleek MAZDA6 racecars will tackle the 2005 World Challenge series competition. Tri-Point also announced their potent driver lineup that will including returning race winner Jeff Altenburg, road racing ace Randy Pobst, and 2004 Touring Car rookie of the year Dino Crescentini. The addition of a third car to the Tri-Point stable as well as a juggernaut driver lineup is intended to further solidify Tri-Point Motorsports as a front runner in the World Challenge series, and to help Mazda in their bid to earn a manufacturer's title in such a competitive and balanced arena.
Preparing for the Season
The decision to run a third car was not one taken lightly, as the work and logistics involved in a larger team can be daunting. Team principal Craig Nagler recounted some of his decision making process. "It is very important to us at Tri-Point to field competitive race cars of the best possible quality, and although moving to a three car team makes that more of a challenge, we also feel it is very important for us to give Mazda the best possible shot at a manufacturer's crown. With more cars out there, the potential for points earning increases. Of course none of this would have been possible without the continued support from Mazda and Mazdaspeed."
Tri-Point will use an all MAZDA6 lineup, trying to capitalize on the performance the car showed last year. "We all knew that the MAZDA6 had some good potential, and I think we showed some of that potential especially toward the end of the 2004 season," commented Nagler. "Now it is a matter of further refining that platform and increasing our reliability. The MAZDA6 is definitely the car to have, and we are hopeful that we can continue to showcase its abilities. Of course, the vehicles are only one part of the equation, and so we have also tried hard to establish a solid driver lineup, and with Jeff, Randy, and Dino, I think we have accomplished that."
Returning to the Tri-Point squad for a fourth season is 2004 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca race winner Jeff Altenburg of Ellicott City, Maryland. Altenburg was clearly encouraged by the performance of the MAZDA6 during the 2004 season, and is looking forward to further development of an already potent package.
"I was definitely happy with the speed of the MAZDA6 that we saw in '04," remarked Altenburg. "I think with the new transmission that has been tooled up for the car we should see an increase in reliability, and that should give us a shot at the manufacturer's and driver's titles. We've been doing our share of testing, and I think we're more prepared and have better equipment than ever before. I'm also very happy to have Randy (Pobst) joining the team. We have been friends for awhile and I know we'll work well together."
Road racing standout Randy Pobst is eager to get started with the team, and has an impressive racing resume well known to most in the paddock. Pobst knows the Tri-Point organization well, and in many ways considers his upcoming 2005 association with the team as a homecoming of sorts.
"I'm very excited to be renewing my relationship with Craig (Nagler)," commented Pobst. "I have great respect for him. We've been good friends for quite some time, and I know that he builds a great car. I also have to thank Jeff (Altenburg) for his help in arranging this ride with Mazda and Tri-Point."
Pobst comes off a year with the Champion Audi team in the GT category of the World Challenge series where he campaigned an all wheel drive RS6 for most of the season, and helped Audi to win the manufacturer's title. Despite his recent experience in rear wheel and all wheel drive platforms, Randy has little concern for readapting to the front wheel drive platform of the MAZDA6 however, and is confident that the MAZDA6 will be the proper choice for the 2005 season.
"I haven't driven a front drive in a pro series in many years," remarked Randy. "But I'm very comfortable with the front drive platform, and really I've probably done more racing in front drive cars than in anything else. The MAZDA6 is clearly an excellent choice, and this opportunity will allow me to continue a relationship with Mazda that dates back to my club racing days in a Miata in '92. It is gratifying to be able to continue long time threads in my racing career."
A relative newcomer to the World Challenge series, but hardly a newcomer to motorsport, Dino Crescentini, who made a big splash in the 2004 Touring Car schedule by capturing rookie of the year in a BMW, will round out the 2005 Tri-Point driver lineup.
"I'm really looking forward to getting some time in the new MAZDA6 and getting to know the Tri-Point crew," said Crescentini of Malibu, California. "From what I saw at the end of last year the MAZDA6 does very well, and I definitely think it's the car to be in for '05. Tri-Point is obviously one of the top teams in the Touring Car paddock, and I'm happy to be associated with them."
Tri-Point is happy to have maintained all of their sponsor relationships from 2004 and will continue those relationships through the 2005 season. For their continued support the entire Tri-Point squad wishes to recognize and thank the following companies.
Mazda, Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development, Racing Hart, Stop Tech, Recaro, Crocotile, Quarter Master, Ron Davis Racing, Hawk, Koni NA, and Pro Parts USA
Starting the Season
The 11 race 2005 Speed World Challenge Touring Car schedule is slated to open the weekend of March 16-18 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida, alongside the American Le Mans Series and the 53rd running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
For more information on Tri-Point Motorsports log on to www.tripointengineering.com. You can also find up to date race results as well as scheduling and broadcast information on the World Challenge series by surfing the web to www.world-challenge.com.