Austin, Texas – Parker Chase, in his Pirelli World Challenge debut weekend, was fastest in the second and final GTS practice at the Nissan Grand Prix of Texas brought to you by VP Racing Fuels at the Circuit of the Americas on Friday.
Opening the session, Nate Stacy, driving the No. 14 Roush Performance Road Racing Ford Boss 302, went first on the time sheets with a lap of 2:19.559 over Martin Barkey in the No. 80 Mantella Autosport MBRP Sportlab Sawmill Creative KTM XBow GT4.
Minutes later, Parker Chase, driving the No. 19 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta GT4, continued his pace from the morning session, setting a quick lap of 2:18.276, which would stand as the fastest lap of the afternoon practice. Chase would eventually improve further to 2:18.211. Then Lawson Aschenbach, in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro, jumped to second with a lap of 2:18.298 ahead of Stacy, who had also lowered his time to 2:18.656.
At the halfway mark, it was still Chase and Aschenbach one-two, with Dore Chaponick Jr., in the No. 12 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4, third quick on the time sheets ahead of Stacy in fourth.
Brett Sandberg, in the No. 13 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4, was fifth fastest halfway through the second hour-long practice session for GTS on Friday at COTA.
Those results would remain until the end of the 60-minute session that ran without a stoppage.
GTS next takes to the track Saturday morning for Round 1 qualifying at 8 a.m. central time with live timing available on world-challenge.com.
Newly formed sports car racing team Performance Motorsports Group (PMG) has announced their plans for a busy season of racing, competing part time and full time in three separate sports car race series.
Started by motorsports career manager Stuart Robinson, PMG is dedicated to being one of the top professional teams in the sport. This year, the team will run five races in Pirelli World Challenge, a full season in the Red Bull Global Rallycross Lites, and five races in the Porsche GT3 Cup.
Partnered with Ginetta Cars, the Texas based team will kick off the race season with a two-car entry at Rounds 1 and 2 of the Pirelli World Challenge Championship at Circuit of the Americas, then Rounds 3 and 4 at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.
“I am truly excited about this partnership with Ginetta Cars,” said Team Principal Stuart Robinson. “With Factory Ginetta Support from Europe, we believe we couldn’t have formed a better partnership for 2016 in Pirelli World Challenge. I want to thank Greg Gill and Marcus Haselgrove of PWC for making the introduction to myself and Ginetta Cars. We are both excited about what the future holds.”
At age 15, Parker Chase will be one of the youngest drivers to compete in Pirelli World challenge, piloting the No. 19 Ginetta G55 in the GTS class at the March 3-6 season opener. The Texas native started his career in 2010 racing go karts, and was later named the Texas Prokart Challenge Champion in the highly competitive Rotax Mini-Max category. In 2015, Chase made the transition to race cars, competing in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series in 2015. That year, the young racer earned his SCCA and NASA licenses, fully prepared for the 2016 season. In addition to competing in the opening race of Pirelli World Challenge, this year Chase will also compete in the Red Bull Global Rally Cross Series and a partial season of the highly competitive IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Series.
“I’m honored and excited to run the Ginetta at the opening round of PWC at COTA,” said Chase. “The car is so much fun to drive. Running with Performance Motorsports Group I know we will have everything I need to bring home a solid podium result. Thank you to PWC, Ginetta and Stuart Robinson for making this come a reality.”
Nick Esayian completes the driver lineup, bringing with him an extensive career in motorsports. In 1993, Esayian won the SCCA Central Division Regional Championship. In 2002, he made his Pirelli World Challenge debut, racing an Acura Integra Type R with Rick Gilhart Racing, then in 2004 joined RealTime Racing. Over the years, Esayian has contributed to four Manufacturer’s Championships with RealTime Racing. In 2013, he finished 8th overall in GTS Drivers’ Championships with 10 top 10 finishes. Most recently, he ran a full season in 2015 in GTS with Cameron Racing, finishing 11th in the championship points. This year, Esayian will take the wheel of the No. 29 Ginetta G55, also in the GTS class.
“Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2016 season at Circuit of the Americas will mark my 151st and 152nd consecutive Pirelli World Challenge races,” said Esayian. "Bringing Ginetta to the United States with Stuart and PMG is a pretty exciting prospect. The car is fabulous and I’m hopeful we can deliver results. It’s exciting stuff.”
“I truly believe you are only as successful as the people you surround yourself with,” said Robinson. “This is why, when starting this team, I have brought on only the best on board to make a team like no other and provide the best result for the drivers and best experience for our partners.”
The first Pirelli World challenge event of the season at Circuit of the Americas will take place March 3-6. The event will feature two-one hour sprint races on the 3.4-mile, 20 turn track. Purpose built for Formula 1, the state of the art circuit will be an exciting venue at which to start the 2016 festivities.
Source. KBru Communications