GTWC America Acura NSX GT3 Evo
- Matt McMurry
- Rodrigo Sales
- Michael Di Meo
- Ashton Harrison
- Mario Farnbacher
Honda Factory Driver and ALMS Prototype Champion Tapped to Assist Championship Defence
(Monterey, CA) -- Compass360 Racing will welcome another top driver to their ranks this coming weekend at Laguna Seca, announcing today that ALMS LMP1 Prototype Champion Simon Pagenaud will co-drive the team's #75 Skunk2/HPD/Racing4Research Honda Civic Si with championship contender Ryan Eversley.
"We're really thrilled to add another great shoe to our driver roster," enthused Team Principal Karl Thomson. "Simon's a Honda Factory pilot and we know he'll be a great asset as we work to win a third straight Grand-Am championship. We owe a lot of thanks to Lee Niffenegger, Marc Sours all the folks at HPD for helping to make this happen."
Simon comes to the team with an impressive history in road racing, having won the ALMS top-class LMP1 championship with Highcroft Racing in 2009. He's been a member of Peugeot's LMP1 program as well in recent years, as well as being the current "Super-sub" in Indycar. In 2006 he was Formula Atlantic Champion, and was a member of the Honda Performance Development line-up for the 25 Hours of Thunderhill last season in a Honda Fit.
"There were a few races that we knew my regular co-driver, Keith Carrol, wouldn't be able to make," explained Eversley. "We've pulled out some good results with my subs so far (Thomson and Eversley finished first at Virginia International Raceway, while Bob Beede and Ryan were third at Lime Rock Park) so I'm hoping we can claw back some ground on the Kia." The Kia Racing #10 car currently leads Ryan's #75 by 15 points in the standings.
California-based David Thilenius and regular co-driver Zach Lutz will share the #74 Skunk2/HPD/JC Concrete Honda, hoping to land on the podium after a challenging season. "We've really struggled with the restrictor Grand-Am gave us before the season-opener at Daytona, and now that it's finally been removed, I think we'll see 74 back where it belongs," noted Thilenius.
After a strong run at Watkins Glen with co-driver John Kuitwaard, Alaskan Dan Rogers will share the team's #76 Skunk2/HPD/Racers Drive Civic with local shoe and coach Michael Browning. "We're looking forward to welcoming Mike to the team, as he brings a lot of local track knowledge to the Laguna event," said Crew Chief Steve Wheeler.
The team's #77 car will not take part in the California race, with repairs still being completed after a substantial shunt at Road America which injured team driver Andrew Novich. "Andrew's recovering well after breaking a few ribs at Elkhart Lake," explained Thomson. "But Andrew and 77 will be back and ready for action with Kuitwaard in New Jersey."
The team will be part of a big event for the Children's Tumor Foundation and their Racing4Research fundraising initiative at Laguna. All of the team's cars have proudly displayed the CTF logo on their flanks this season, and the iconic puzzle pieces make up the primary livery on the #75 car. "We're looking forward to entertaining a large number of CTF kids, their families and local sponsors at Laguna," exclaimed Eversley. "We're expecting great media response and welcome the opportunity to raise awareness about Neurofibromatosis. We've raised over $1.5 million so far this year and we're aiming high for the California race."
The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is part of a great day of racing at Laguna Seca, with the 2.5 hour race scheduled for 10:45am on Saturday, just prior to the Rolex race in the early afternoon. The race will be televised, tape-delayed on SPEED July 17th at 1:00pm.