Lone Star Racing Scores a Top-10 Finish in The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America
Dan Knox and Mike Skeen Co-Drive No. 80 ACS Manufacturing Dodge Viper GT3-R to Lead-Lap Result in Elkhart Lake
ELKHART LAKE, Wisconsin (August 8, 2016) – Dan Knox, co-driver Mike Skeen and Lone Star Racing earned a top-10 finish and gained a great deal of experience in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sunday racing the No. 80 ACS Manufacturing Dodge Viper GT3-R in the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America.
Making just the third career race start for the team in IMSA’s competitive GT Daytona (GTD) class, Lone Star Racing ran competitively all weekend at Road America while collecting volumes of information and in-race experience.
Knox drove the race-opening stint and ran as high as sixth as the GTD field cycled through first pit stops just under an hour into the two-hour and 40-minute race.
“I had my fastest lap time of the weekend in the race so that’s very positive,” Knox said. “It just comes down to more seat time and more practice. Everything went really well, so we’re going to take that away and build on it.”
Skeen took over the Viper during the first pit stop and stayed in for a final pair of stints to the finish. He took the checkered flag in 10th place, crossing the line just a dozen or so seconds behind Jeroen Bleekemolen in the race-winning Dodge Viper GT3-R.
“The guys put together a much more competitive car than we had at Laguna Seca, which lasted throughout entire stints,” Skeen said. “We’re still always learning, so I think we can improve the next time out, but we had a pretty good car and we’re running competitive times throughout my stints. Very happy to get a finish in the top 10 and hopefully move up some more at the next one.”
Sunday marked just the second time Knox and Skeen co-drove together after debuting as a duo at Laguna Seca.
“You can’t ask for a better co-driver than Mike Skeen,” Knox said. “Our crew did fantastic pit stops and we had a great setup on the car this time.”
Skeen in turn gave Knox high marks for his race-opening stint.
“Dan had a really strong start to the race,” Knox said. “We ran him full-stint distance and he did an awesome job, kept it on the lead lap and ran competitive times.”
After making its 2016 debut at Laguna Seca in May, Road America was Lone Star’s second of four scheduled IMSA races this season.
Lone Star is also 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.
The VIR race is less than two weeks away.
“I’ve got to improve my driving ability at VIR with a little practice and get better prepared,” Knox said. “If we start a little higher up at the beginning of the race I think our outcome will be much better.”
The Michelin GT Challenge at VIR can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, August 28.
– Some of the information and overall familiarity with the Viper in GTD configuration that Lone Star gathered at Road America may come in handy at VIR. “Road America does have some similarities to VIR,” Skeen said. “Obviously, high-speed corners and heavy braking zones, but the main thing is just general stuff that we can apply to make everything go more smoothly for the whole team. Like ways to get Dan more comfortable with the car to maximize his capabilities. For him, this is a part-time thing, so the more we can get him in the car and get him comfortable on the lead-up to qualifying and the race will bring us big gains.”
About Lone Star Racing: Based at Motorsport Ranch within the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area in Cresson, Texas, Lone Star Racing is in its third season campaigning the No. 80 ACS Manufacturing Dodge Viper GT3-R. The team is running a four-race IMSA GT Daytona (GTD) program in 2016 after debuting in the class with a seventh-place finish last year at Circuit of The Americas (COTA). Although Lone Star Racing is new to IMSA, its team members have won races across North America spanning sprint and endurance racing formats. The crew has worked together on many different teams and various types of cars, developing a strong bond and proven capability that gives them a competitive and winning advantage. The team races with the support of primary partner ACS Manufacturing, Inc. (www.acsmanufacturing.com). Look for Lone Star Racing and Dan Knox on Facebook and follow the team on Twitter @LSRTeam.
Photos: Halston Pitman