Courtesy: Ford Racing
St. Petersburg, Fla. -- SCCA’s World Challenge begins its 2012 campaign in St. Petersburg, FL. The race will see seven Ford Mustangs take the green Flag, racing through the “concrete canyons” of the Florida street circuit. 2011 was a banner year for Ford in the series, winning the manufacturer’s title in the GTS class and Mustang Boss 302S drivers taking the top-two spots in the driver’s championship.
Last year’s champion, Paul Brown, returns in his Tiger Racing Mustang Boss 302S and has his sights on defending his championship; however that task will be made more difficult as Brown will miss the season’s first two rounds while he recovers from minor surgery. His car, however, will be on the grid with former 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Justin Bell driving in his place. Tiger Racing is also proud to announce a new sponsorship deal, which will see eBay Motors join the team for the 2012 season.
“I know people will be a bit surprised to see someone else behind the wheel of the #50 Boss car, but while I’m recovering from some minor, albeit unexpected, surgery, I couldn’t ask for a better substitute driver,” said Brown. “Justin grew up around racing, the same that I did, and brings knowledge and experience from both on and off the track.”
When asked about this opportunity, Justin Bell replied, “It is not often you get asked to step into a champion’s shoes for a few races, so I jumped at the chance to help eBay Motors, Tiger Racing and Paul Brown out on short notice. I am excited to get into the Mustang on these road courses as I love sprint racing, and judging from the team’s performance last year, I should have one of the best-prepared cars on the grid. Now it is just down to me!”
Brown added, “The team is fired up to defend our 2011 Championships, and Justin is part of our plan for the year.”
After a successful 2011 Pirelli World Challenge Season, finishing second in the GTS championship, Capaldi Racing is returning for the 2012 World Challenge season with an all-new car and team. GSP Racing and Capaldi Racing have teamed up with driver Alfonso Perri, Total Performance Engine Oil, and Dell’s Cherries to campaign the #26 Total/Dell’s Cherries 2013 Mustang Boss 302S in the GTS class.
“I can’t wait for the season to start,” said Perri. “Our test was the first time I drove the Boss, and I had a blast. I can’t thank Gino Lucci (President of GSP Racing) enough for the opportunity to race in the World Challenge this year. I’d also like to thank Total, Dell’s Cherries, Picture Cars Inc., GearUp Safety Equipment, Eurokart Racing, and GSP Racing for all their support. I’m really looking forward to working with Capaldi Racing. They are a great group of people who have had a lot of success in World Challenge. I’m going to do my best to give everyone a great year!”
“It’s great to be back in World Challenge this year,” said Leo Capaldi, team principal. “We had a lot of success in the older Mustang FR500S last year, so I can’t wait to see how things go with the all-new Boss 302S. Gino and Alfonso are fitting right in with the team, so we are going to have a great year. Like last year, we are going to be racing to build awareness for a great charity – the Carroll Shelby Foundation – and it’s an honor to help out.”
Finally, Rehagen Racing has teamed up with Roger Miller to field yet another Mustang Boss 302S in the SCCA World-Challenge with a limited schedule for the year.
Team principal Roger Miller will drive the No. 23 Ford Mustang Boss 302S, sponsored by the Larry H. Miller Dealerships along with Miller Motorsports Park and the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School, in the GTS class. The car will be prepared, maintained and crewed by Rehagen Racing of Livonia, Mich., which specializes in fielding Mustangs in various racing series.
Miller Racing will contest nine races at six events during the course of the 2012 season. After the opener in St. Petersburg, which consists of two races, the team will compete on the streets of Long Beach, Calif., April 13-15; Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, April 28-29 (with guest driver Dan McKeever, as Miller will have a scheduling conflict); on Detroit’s Belle Isle, June 2-3 (two races); Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, August 3-5 (two races); and Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., August 25-26.
“I’m so excited to be racing in the SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge Championship,” Miller said. “It’s a series with a lot of history, and the competition is as intense as any series in the world. Starting off with street races in St. Petersburg and Long Beach will be challenging, but with the help of Rehagen Racing, I think we’ll be very well prepared. We appreciate the support of the Larry H. Miller Dealerships, Miller Motorsports Park and the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School, and can’t wait to get the season started.”
There are multiple ways to tune into the action this weekend. The race will be streamed live online this Saturday at 5:45pm EST, and you can follow your favorite mustangs with World-Challenge’s Live Timing & Scoring. The race will also be broadcast on TV on April 8th at 4:30pm EST on the NBC Sports Network.