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May 28, 2014 - 07:11 AM
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GB Autosport Ready For Motor City Debut
Posted by: newsla on May 28, 2014 - 07:07 AM
Sports Cars
GB Autosport Ready For Motor City Debut


After a promising race weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, GB Autosport arrives in Detroit for the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic this weekend looking to break through for a big result in their first-ever appearance at the track.

 

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The weekend is full of firsts for the team, which came together ahead of the 2014 IMSA season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The visit to Detroit’s Belle Isle circuit is the first for GB Autosport, and will not only mark the first time that Damien Faulkner will take laps on the track, it will also be the first-ever visit to the United States for his co-driver this weekend as Ben Barker is set for his IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar debut.

Barker, who calls Cambridge, England home, has extensive European experience behind the wheel of Porsche SuperCup machinery, and has been drafted in to substitute for Michael Avenatti in the No. 81 Tully’s Porsche 911 GT America as a business commitment has created a scheduling conflict for Avenatti.

For the Tully’s powered team, the 2.35-mile temporary street circuit on Belle Isle presents both unique challenges and opportunities.

The condensed weekend schedule will provide the team just two short practice sessions before qualifying sets the grid on Friday. But the GB crew is up for the challenge after proving both at Daytona and in Sebring that they are fully capable of adapting and making quick changes to get the most out of the Porsche GT America.

Racing the 100-minute sprint event along with the Prototype Class field, GB Autosport is hoping to convert the promise shown in the last outing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca into a strong result. The West coast swing was preceded by a productive test that the team will look to continue to extract performance with the data and knowledge generated by the test.

While results have yet to show the hard work the new team has been putting in since the season began, the organization has maintained a positive attitude, confident that they have all of the ingredients for success.

“We’ve really overcome a lot this year but I think that the test helped us turn a bit of a corner and even though we weren’t able to leave Laguna with the points we wanted, I think it was another uptick in how this whole team was able to perform-- as a group,” said team manager Cole Scrogham. “We’ve got Ben (Barker) joining us this weekend and we anticipate that he’ll be able to get in the car and get down to business quickly. He’s coming to Detroit straight from the streets of Monaco in SuperCup, so I think he should be able to make the quick transition!”

Similarly, Faulkner is no stranger to what it takes to win in a Porsche with countless laps in his 20-year racing career, including back-to-back championships in the Porsche Carrera GB Cup in 2005 and 2006. He has a strong record of success on temporary street courses – picking up a win in Long Beach and a third place result in Baltimore while competing in the ALMS in 2012.

“It think it is going to be exciting to be back on a street circuit,” said Faulkner. “It’s seemed like a long wait after Laguna because the team has been coming together well and when that happens, you just want to go out and race and keep making that chemistry pay off. It is a shame that Michael (Avenatti) can’t make it this weekend but I am looking forward to teaming with Ben and putting this car in the thick of the battle in Detroit.”

The quick race weekend will see the team participate in two practice sessions ahead of qualifying which takes place from 5:25 PM-5:40 PM (ET) on Friday May 30th, which will be streamed live on imsa.com.

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