Lone Star Racing Returns to IMSA WeatherTech Competition at Road America in ACS Manufacturing Dodge Viper GT3-R
Dan Knox and Mike Skeen Set to Co-Drive in Sunday’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge; Second Fastest in Friday Afternoon Practice
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 5, 2016) – Dan Knox and Lone Star Racing return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this weekend at Road America where Knox and Mike Skeen will co-drive the No. 80 ACS Manufacturing Dodge Viper GT3-in the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase.
Round 8 of 11 races on the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona (GTD) class schedule, the weekend’s featured Continental Tire Road Race Showcase can be seen live this Sunday, August 7, on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) at 4 p.m. EDT.
Road America will be just the third career IMSA GTD race start for Lone Star Racing, and the first since their 2016 debut in early May at Laguna Seca.
“Being gone for such an extended period of time was kind of nerve wracking but we are excited to be back,” Knox. “We have Mike with us again, you can’t ask for a better co-driver, and we are looking forward to seeing what we can do here at Road America. We have had good success here in the past and we are looking forward to what we can do this weekend.”
Knox and Skeen will co-drove together for just the second time at Road America after making their first start as a duo at Laguna Seca.
“I have had a lot of success at Road America and have been looking forward to coming back,” Skeen said. “It feels like a long break since we were last at Laguna Seca, but the team has been working hard back at the shop, tweaking on the car and trying to make the most of it.”
The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase began today with a pair of one-hour practice sessions that saw Skeen post the second fastest lap time of 2:07.118 in the afternoon session.
Lone Star also ran competitively at Laguna Seca but didn’t quite hit on the ideal long-run setup on the No. 80 Viper, finishing 14th in the GTD class.
“Laguna Seca was our first full race this year with our team as a standalone, having all the guys together, and I was very pleased with how well and smooth the pit stops went,” Knox said. “It was just a good weekend at Laguna but we wished we had had a little better outcome in the race. We missed the setup a little bit I believe, but we were pretty close.”
After first racing in IMSA GTD last year at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), Lone Star is contesting a limited schedule of four races this season.
“It was good to be able to run our first event with all of our own equipment at Laguna Seca and then be able to fine-tune everything for the next string of events,” said AJ Petersen, Lone Star Racing Team Manager and Lead Engineer. “It was hard watching everyone else going racing but good to be able to methodically build our program.”
In addition to Laguna Seca and Road America, Lone Star is competing in the Michelin GT Challenge at VIR (Virginia International Raceway), August 26 – 28, and the Lone Star Le Mans at COTA (Circuit of The Americas), September 15 – 17, in a planned schedule of four 2016 races.
Skeen has recent and winning experience at Road America.
“I have raced at Road America several years in World Challenge,” Skeen said. “Most notably was the first year for GT3 cars and in an Audi in 2014 we won both races on the weekend at Road America. I really enjoy the GT3 cars especially around Road America. The aerodynamics work really well in the brake zones and through the high-speed corners.”
Saturday’s Road America schedule begins with a third and final one-hour practice at 9:25 a.m. CDT to set the stage for GTD qualifying that afternoon at 2:50 p.m. CDT.
Race-day Sunday kicks-off with a 20-minute warm-up at 9:40 a.m. CDT before the featured Continental Tire Road Race Showcase main event goes green at 3:05 p.m. CDT.
– As they did at Laguna Seca, top personnel from Riley Motorsports, which also builds the Viper GT3-R through Riley Technologies, are working with Lone Star Racing’s main team members at Road America.
– Petersen and the team have kept busy since Laguna Seca rebuilding the Viper and doing much more. “We were able to host an arrive-and-drive event at our local track,” Petersen said. “We hosted a local group of track enthusiasts from The Man’s Shop and Cadillac of Arlington in Texas to demo some V-series street cars. We also continue to build up our 1989 325ix BMW ChumpCar, and we plan to debut that hot rod at the end of the IMSA season. Of course, it has been all work with the Viper program too as we are still a small team.”