GTWC America Acura NSX GT3 Evo
- Matt McMurry
- Rodrigo Sales
- Michael Di Meo
- Ashton Harrison
- Mario Farnbacher
KANSAS, KS — After a successful outing at Lime Rock Park two weeks ago in which Compass360 Racing’s sharply-liveried Subaru WRX STi took its first podium of the season at the hands of Ryan Eversley and Kyle Gimple, the car will return to battle at Kansas Speedway this coming weekend, this time being driven by long-time C360R pilot Ray Mason and team newcomer Pierre Kleinubing.
Local artist Jeff Hanson — who was commissioned to create the piece of original art that adorns the GS-class #76 Subaru, as well as the team’s ST-class #75 Honda Civic Si helmed by Gimple and Eversley — will be celebrated at the event, along with an entourage of family, friends and other local-area NF Heroes.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Jeff and his family to the IMSA paddock at his home event,” remarked C360R Team Principal Karl Thomson. “I had the pleasure of meeting him at Daytona this year, when he launched the first CTF Art Car with Mike Vess and Park Place’s Porsche for the 24 Hour TUDOR race, and we’ve been honoured to extend that program into the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.”
Hanson is visually impaired from an optic nerve tumor related to neurofibromatosis – known simply as NF – that is a common yet under-recognized genetic disorder that can cause tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. NF affects one in every 3,000 people, more than cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and Huntington’s disease combined. The Children’s Tumor Foundation actively supports research into treatments and a cure for NF by bringing academics, scientists, clinicians, and companies together to work in collaboration towards an end to neurofibromatosis.
“It’s going to be fun being in an Art Car this weekend,” noted Mason, who is trading his usual black-and-orange Subaru for the more vibrantly-liveried one. “I’m also really looking forward to driving with Pierre for the first time. We’re hoping to build on the momentum this program has and bring home another podium.”
Gimple and Eversley will look to repeat or better last year's third-place finish at Kansas in their Honda to get their championship run back on track. “We haven’t had the start to the season we wanted,” said Gimple, who has seen three frustrating race outings through the opening four events. “We still have a shot at the championship, but everything has to go to plan from here on out. We can’t have any more mulligans so hopefully we already got all of the bad luck out of the way and we’ll just get back to the same consistency that we had last season.”
Likewise, James Vance and Jon Miller — driving the #74 Bionic Environments / Expo Systems Honda — expect to build on their recent finish as the top Honda and front-wheel-drive car at Lime Rock. Vance is currently the top-placed C360R driver, and a good run at Kansas will put him firmly in the championship hunt. “Jon and I have really gelled since I signed with Compass360 two races ago, and the result at Lime Rock (where they finished eighth) is the proof,” said Vance. “We know the Civics should be strong at Kansas, as long as we can keep the tires under us and we get the strategy spot-on."
The CTSCC Kansas event features a two-and-a-half hour “racing into the darkness, with the green flag falling at 6:15pm on Saturday. Details are available here.
Developed by the Children’s Tumor Foundation, the Racing4Research™ (R4R) program utilizes competitive, professional auto racing as a vehicle to increase awareness of neurofibromatosis (NF) and to raise funds for research through corporate sponsorship, personal donations, and individual fundraising by NF Heroes - children and adults from around the country who live with neurofibromatosis. The Racing4Research program offers families living with the disorder a uniquely empowering weekend, and has raised more than $3 million dollars since 2008.
Photographs courtesy of Sideline Sports Photography.