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Mar 28, 2014 - 05:18 PM
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DragonSpeed Fired Up for PWC Season Opener at St Pete
Posted by: newsla on Mar 28, 2014 - 05:16 PM
Sports Cars
DragonSpeed Fired Up for PWC Season Opener at St Pete


The Florida-based DragonSpeed team kicks off its first seaon of Pirelli World Challenge competition at home with a street racing double-header supporting this weekend’s IndyCar Grand Prix of St Petersburg. The Elton Julian-helmed team will field a pair of Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 machines for Mike Hedlund in the GT class and Henrik Hedman in the GT-A class. Both are series rookies but seasoned Ferrari pilots, Hedlund having driven for Scott Sharp’s ESM squad in previous seasons and Hedman graduating from a successful Ferrari Challenge campaign last year.

 

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St Petersburg also sees the long-awaited introduction of the FIA GT3 class to North America, which has allowed the Pirelli World Challenge’s top class to attract first-time entries from Ferrari, BMW, Lamborghini, and McLaren alongside established participants Audi, Porsche, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan. Fans watching Sunday’s race will be treated to the spectacle of a standing start by no less than 52 cars.

Mike Hedlund: “After the long off-season I’m more than ready for a green flag. We’ve had some strong tests with the Ferrari and now it’s time to put it all to work. This is my first visit to St Pete, but with the DragonSpeed and ESM guys behind me we’re ready. Having Ryan Dalziel helping me over the weekend is a real bonus and will definitely keep the fun pedal to the floor!”

Henrik Hedman: “It’s finally time for the season opener, and I can’t wait. My Pirelli World Challenge program this year with DragonSpeed is an important move up the GT ladder for me, and it means a lot to be climbing it with Ferrari. Now let’s see what we can do on track.”

Elton Julian: “We arrive in St Pete with two great drivers who have shown awesome pace in testing, a superb crew anyone would be proud to race with, and the satisfaction of finally seeing GT3 racing in America. I’d also like to welcome super-sub Rick Mayer, who’s standing in this weekend for our regular race engineer Mark Schomann, who’s stuck in the south of France at the official pre-season test for the World Endurance Championship.”

DragonSpeed’s effort at St Pete will be bolstered by the addition of two new sponsors, Motegi Racing wheels and VSN Mobil radio communications. Both will supply their market-leading products to the team throughout the 2014 season.

The races will be webcast live at www.world-challenge.com at 3.00 pm EST this Saturday and 11.00 am EST Sunday, with broadcast television coverage on NBC Sports Network at 5.30 pm on Sunday 6 April.


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