THREE PODIUM FINISHES HAS VISIT FLORIDA RACING EYEING VICTORY AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA

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THREE CONSECUTIVE PODIUM FINISHES HAS VISIT FLORIDA RACING EYEING VICTORY AT MAZDA RACEWAY LAGUNA SECA
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Media Contact: Kyle Zimmerman, Hi-Rev Racing

KZimmerman@hi-revracing.com/(336)575-8725

www.sdr-motorsports.com

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 29, 2015) – After posting their third consecutive podium in as many races, Visit Florida Racing is looking for a victory at the famed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on May 3. The Daytona Beach based Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype team has put the rest of the competition on notice after their third place effort in the Tequila Patrón Sports Car Showcase in Long Beach.

The NO. 90 VISITFLORIDA.COM Corvette DP is the lone entry in the prototype class to have finished on the podium in each of the first three events of the 2015 IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. The team now sits second in the championship standings, trailing the Action Express Racing NO. 5 Corvette DP by only three points as the series makes the second and final stop on the west coast swing.

Michael Valiante made a daring pass on defending series champion Christian Fittipaldi on the opening lap of the Patrón Showcase, positioning the NO. 90 in third position on a track where passing is extremely difficult. Co-driver Richard Westbrook took the wheel just past halfway and turned lap times as fast, or faster than the leaders, and brought the car home on the podium.

While the team is in an excellent position to contend for the 2015 championship, driver Michael Valiante knows the team must stay on top of their game to continue the title march.

"We’ve had three solid runs," said Valiante. "Daytona and Sebring were not without their struggles, but the team was able to persevere and we came out on the podium each time. Long Beach went well, we were able to advance from our starting position which is something not many teams were able to do. We have to keep getting faster and keep fighting and the wins will come."

Valiante’s co-driver Richard Westbrook knows the team is in a much better position a this point in the season than they were one-year ago, however, he is always mindful that the competition will improve throughout the season, and his team must do the same.

"You can never sit back and be comfortable," said Westbrook. "We’re in a great position right now, but we have to continue improving and finding additional speed in our Chevrolet Corvette DP. The second we take our eyes off the challenge of getting better, the competition is going to blow past us.

"We all know the task at hand going to Laguna Seca. It’s a tough track but one that we qualified extremely well for last year and we hope to do the same again this year."

While Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca offers a few more passing opportunities than the streets of Long Beach, teams must still qualify well to consider themselves contenders for the victory.

"Track position is going to be important everywhere this season," said team owner Troy Flis. "The competition is so close, lap times are hundredths of a second apart throughout these races so getting a strong starting position is going to be vital for success. Our team is off to a strong start right now, and we want to maintain that momentum at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca."

The Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix will feature a new format this season. In 2014, there were two, two-hour events. This season, the race will feature all four classes of competition (GTD, PC, GTLM, P) on the track at the same time for one, two-hour and forty-minute race.

The IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship competitors are on track Friday, May 1 at 11:30 a.m. PT for the first of three practice sessions in preparation for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix. Qualifying for the prototype class will take place Saturday, May 2 at 5:30 p.m. PT.

# # #

DRIVER QUOTES NO. 90 VISITFLORIDA.COM CHEVROLET CORVETTE DP

RICHARD WESTBROOK


On racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca…
"Racing at Laguna Seca is great. The track has a rich history in all forms of racing, so it’s great to be able to compete there in our VISITFLORIDA.COM Chevrolet Corvette DP."

On the challenges of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca… "You have a lot of passing opportunities which is great, but it also means that you have opportunities to be passed, or sometimes people think they can get position on you and pass, but they really can’t. You have to stay alert, take advantage of opportunities to pass when they present themselves, and push the car hard for two hours and forty minutes."

On being second in the TUDOR Championship points… "It’s a great position to be in at this stage of the season. We would still like to find some additional speed with our Corvette DP, but we’ve had solid results and we’re the only team to be on the podium in each event. If we can continue that and find a little more speed we’ll be the team to beat for the championship."

MICHAEL VALIANTE

On racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca… "The racing is incredible no matter what series is competing at Laguna Seca. I’ve competed in a different classes and it’s just a track that really lends itself to the driver. It features quick speeds, fast corners, tight corners, blind spots, everything a road course should have, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca has." On the challenges of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca… "The track has a tendency to be really dusty. Guys will run off and add to that, so there is a huge premium on mechanical grip. Fortunately for us, our team has been getting better and better each race at finding ways to improve mechanical grip and keep the speed in our Chevrolet Corvette DP so we should be in a great position on Sunday afternoon."

On being second in the TUDOR Championship points… "Being in second, trailing the leaders by only three points is a great position to be in. At this point last year we were playing catch up, and we still finished third at seasons end. If we keep executing at the level we have been so far this year, keep scoring podiums and win a couple races, we will control our own destiny. Regardless, its been great this year having everyone on the same page and I think that comes from the familiarity of a second year with the entire team intact."

VISITFLORIDA.COM Racing

  • 2014 Winners of the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen
  • 2014 Third Place Finishers in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship
  • Four Daytona Prototype Class wins from 2012-2014
  • Sixteen total team wins including a class victory in the 2002 Rolex 24
  • Two team championships in 2000 and 2001
  • One driver championships 2001
www.sdr-motorsports.com
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