VICI Racing expanding to two cars
VICI Racing is wasting little time expanding its American Le Mans Series program. The Miami-based team will roll out a second Porsche 911 GT3 RSR for this weekend’s Larry H. Miller Dealerships presented by the Grand and Little America Hotels at Miller Motorsports Park in the highly competitive GT2 class.
Nathan Swartzbaugh and Craig Stanton will pilot VICI’s No. 5 Porsche, the entry with which the team started the 2008 season at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The Utah round sees the introduction of Nicky and Francisco Pastorelli (the former a past European F3000 champion and Champ Car pilot) in the No. 18 entry with Ruben Carrapasoto, who has been with the team since St. Petersburg.
“After two street races we will be on a much faster track where aerodynamics will play a much more important part; this is an area I will have a close focus on,” said VICI’s Roland Wall, Technical Director & Chief Engineer. “I’m looking forward to having the second car, this will give us much more scope to gather data and broaden our approach. It’s also a two-and-three-quarter hour-long race so strategy will play a much bigger part.”
VICI started the season with a strong showing at Sebring, a sixth-place GT2 finish that saw Swartzbaugh, Stanton and Uwe Alzen run in podium contention throughout. A crash in practice at St. Petersburg wiped out that race and the team had to reconstruct the chassis in time to get to Long Beach. An eighth-place finish was a solid reward.
“It’s been a really busy month for the whole team,” said team manager Tim Bumps. “After the rush to get the No. 5 car repaired, sorted and ready for Long Beach we have spent much time since fully preparing it for Utah. Now we have the new car in the equation as well. We now have an expanded personnel lineup as we will be running two cars so we have been very busy gearing up and integrating the team to manage two cars. Everyone has been simply excellent in their application and I hope the week will go smoothly and, importantly, that we load up two undamaged cars on Sunday evening.”
The Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix presented by The Grand and Little America Hotels is set for Sunday, May 18 from Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. The green flag is scheduled for 1 p.m. MT with live television coverage on SPEED. Live radio coverage will be available on XM Satellite Radio Channel 144 and American Le Mans Radio at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA’s Live Timing & Scoring.