Phoenixville, PA – Calvert Dynamics will expand its Pirelli World Challenge program for the season finale being held this weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a number of additions to the Phoenix Performance-prepared program.
Michael Lewis will race in GT in the No. 98 Porsche 911 GT3 R, and will also pair with Preston Calvert in SprintX GT. The big news, however, is the return of Andrew Aquilante in GTS, in a Ford Mustang Boss 302. In addition, 2015 GTS race winners Kurt Rezzetano and Aquilante will share driving duties in a GTS entry, also in a Mustang Boss 302.
Lewis has been moving up the time sheets ever since joining Calvert Dynamics mid-season- at Elkhart Lake’s Road America. He scored pole at Utah Motorsports Campus and has put together multiple top five efforts in GT, and is looking to return to victory lane this weekend in California.
Calvert will concentrate on SprintX with two rounds scheduled in the endurance division with hour-long races on the season-finale weekend. Calvert will again pair with Lewis in the No. 98, and the duo hopes to repeat their Utah performance, which saw them sweep the weekend with two race wins.
Andrew Aquilante will make his 2016 Pirelli World Challenge debut at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, campaigning a Mustang for the GTS sprint race. The six-time SCCA National Champion was last year’s GTS runner-up in the Championship, with a race win coming at Road America.
Rezzetano, coming off his second consecutive T2 SCCA National Championship, will also make his 2016 Pirelli World Challenge debut, and will run with Aquilante in both SprintX GTS endurance-format races. Rezzetano won at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in a Calvert Dynamics/Phoenix Performance Mustang Boss 302 in 2015.
“Going into the final race weekend of the PWC season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, our team hopes to maximize the results in the GT race for Michael Lewis. In addition, we hope to be competitive again in the SprintX GT races, with me pairing up with Michael Lewis again, as at Utah. I have decided to drive only the GT3 R at MRLS, parking the GT3 Cup car for the sprint race there, to focus my efforts only on the GT3 car for the weekend. I believe this will help me maximize my performance in the SprintX races with Michael Lewis.
We are bringing a Ford Mustang Boss 302 to MRLS, to be driven by Andrew Aquilante in the GTS race, and to be driven by the team of Andrew Aquilante and Kurt Rezzetano in the SprintX GTS races. Andrew and Kurt will return to the driver’s seat, having served the team up to this point as team chief and GT car crew chief, respectively, this season. This duo, along with myself, won the PWC GTS team championship in our Mustang Boss 302’s in 2015. Kurt and Andrew have experience in endurance racing with the Mustang Boss 302 in IMSA Continental series GS racing from 2013 and 2014, and we look forward to seeing them in the SprintX format driving together again.”
“Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is a very historic track, and it is always a pleasure to be able to drive there. When you drive into the circuit, by Turn 5, and you look to your left, you can still see the remains of the old track, which was incredibly fast. It’s crazy to think about how fast drivers would go on that previous track layout. Bringing it back to today, being able to race in the GT race and alongside Preston in the SprintX format will be quite fun, and let’s see what happens – that was our mentality last time and it worked out quite well! I look forward to spending our last race weekend of 2016 together as a team, and to share some more good times in the four days of track time that we get. Thank you to all who have followed along with our season and we hope to see you at the track in Laguna Seca!”
“I don’t really have any expectations going into the weekend. It is such a last minute decision without any test-time ahead of the event that we will just have to see how things shake out during the first official practice session. A lot has changed in GTS since last year both in cars and drivers, so it is hard to predict. All we can do is take a guess based on the results from last year to this year of cars and drivers that are the same.
“We got a taste of SprintX at Utah and saw how everything worked first hand from Preston and Michael running the Porsche. We know what needs to be addressed to be even better. We have plenty of experience doing driver changes with the Mustang from running in CTSC in 2014, and the crew has plenty of experience. I don’t think we can set any goals until practice either as these races can produce some unpredictable results. Plus with more than double the fields, cautions could play a part. The biggest challenge is the balance between the GTS cars and saving tires and the mixing with the GT cars.
“The good news is between Kurt and I and the practice time available we’ve got time to work on the setup and knock all the cobwebs out of the car since it has been sitting since Laguna Seca last year.”
“I’m really excited to be back in the car for a Pirelli World Challenge vent. Hopefully we can run up front and pick up where we left off last year. It’s going to be tough racing against such lighter, more agile cars. I’m confident that our Mustang will be competitive.”