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Compass360 Racing (C360R) today released details on their third season-long driver pairing in GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. Both are newcomers to the Continental paddock but are seasoned racers who expect to make their mark in professional road racing.
C360R won all three GRAND-AM Street Tuner championships (Team, Driver and Manufacturer) in 2009, and the signing of a third full-season duo represent the commitment the team has in its championship defense.
San Francisco-based Gregory Liefooghe comes to the team after a break-out season competing in a various championships from formula cars, go karts and touring cars. Last year, Liefooghe won two races and finished third in the Jim Russell Championship, had several wins in Rotax and ICC races, finished on the podium in the Skip Barber Western series, and won the E1 class in the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
Jesse Combs, who hails from Woodlands, Texas, is no stranger to close-knit sports car racing, having competed in the Mazda MX-5 Cup series, finishing fifth in the championship in 2007.
The pair will drive Compass360’s #76 Honda Civic Si and bring a new marketing partner to the team in the form of Coolgas, one of the largest distributors of refrigerants in the United States.
“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to race with the championship team in my first year in GRAND-AM,” expained Liefooghe. “I learned a lot over the last few years and am looking forward to testing in Daytona next week.”
Combs was equally enthusiastic. “I know the team will give us a competitive package, and I’m excited to be able to share data with the other Compass360 cars. It will be great to take the next step into a pro series.”
Liefooghe and Combs join Lawson Aschenbach, Ryan Eversley, Zach Lutz and David Thilenius as team-mates in the iconic bright-orange C360R Honda Civic Si sedans.
“Jesse and Greg will make great team-mates in #76,” noted Team Principal Karl Thomson. “They’re both ready to move into pro racing and we’re looking forward to helping them develop at this level. A note of thanks to the folks at Exclusive Management Inc. who were instrumental in putting the program together with Greg and whom we’re looking forward to working closely with in the coming years.”
The team also announced the addition of a fourth car for the entire Continental Tire Street Tuner season. “We have a bunch of guys who have driven with us in the last few years who time-wise can’t commit to a full season, and the fourth car will be for them.” Brothers Benoit and Donald Theetge from Boischatel, Quebec, will pilot Compass360 Racing’s #77 Honda at Daytona.
GRAND-AM’s Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge starts its year early with Test Days at Daytona in early January. The series first race is on January 29th, as part of the Roar Before the 24 in support of the Rolex 24 Hours of Dayona, and will be televised, tape-delayed on SPEED TV.