8Star Motorsport expands in Grand-Am, enters ALMS in 2014 build-up
|By Gary Watkins||Tuesday, March 19th 2013, 15:45 GMT|
The 8Star Motorsports squad is gearing up for the arrival of the new United SportsCar Racing championship in 2014 with a move into the American Le Mans Series LMPC class and an expansion of its Grand-Am attack.
Florida-based 8Star, founded by Venezuelan amateur driver Enzo Potolicchio to compete in Grand-Am this season, will next month take delivery of a second Pratt & Miller-built Coyote-Chevrolet DP, which is due to start racing in the summer.
It has also ordered two new LMPC ORECA-Chevrolet FLM09s for an extensive test programme and possibly some appearances in end-of-season ALMS races.
Potolicchio, whose team also competes in the IMSA Lites feeder series on the ALMS bill, said: "It was always our goal to be a two-car Daytona Prototype team. We're looking at trying out some drivers this year on a race-to-race basis, with the goal of having a full-time line-up secured for the second car in 2014.
"With the class structure already known, it's important to get a jump start for 2014 and build up our organisation this year so we will be fully prepared for the first year of United SportsCar Racing.
"By offering rides in IMSA Lites, Prototype Challenge [the new name for LMPC in 2014] and DP, it opens up an opportunity for 8Star to develop new driver talent, as well as being a perfect fit for gentlemen drivers like myself."
Potolicchio is sharing the team's lead Coyote in Grand-Am with Toyota World Endurance Championship driver Stephane Sarrazin. Briton Tom Kimber-Smith is also scheduled to drive for the team later in the season.
8Star had planned to race in the WEC with the LMP2 HPD ARX-03b that took the team's title with the Starworks squad last year.
Potolicchio, who owned the car now being raced by Extreme Speed Motorsports, has instead linked up with the AF Corse squad for an attack on the GTE Am class with a Ferrari 458 Italia.