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Toronto, Canada -- Compass360 Racing announced the first of its 2011 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge driver line-ups today, with the news that 2010 Street Tuner Champion David Thilenius will share the team's #74 Honda Civic Si with Zach Lutz, who took third place in last season's year-end standings.
"Zach and Dave both delivered tremendous performances last season," noted Team Principal Karl Thomson. "With Dave winning the championship alongside Lawson (Aschenbach) and Zach coming home third, we felt that they'd be a strong pairing to defend our 2010 Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championships."
"I couldn't be happier to be back with the boys in orange," enthused Thilenius. "Getting my first professional championship was pretty special last year, and I'm hoping we can be in the fight for another one."
Lutz is part of the Compass360 driver development program, which prepares drivers for a career in racing, moving from regional- and national-level competition into the role of a paid professional. "I really appreciate the opportunity I've had to drive for this team," said Lutz. "To be able to drive with last year's champion and essentially fill Lawson's shoes is just huge. A big thank you to Ray and Karl for believing in me."
Thilenius and Lutz had great battles as the starting drivers in their respective cars in 2010, splitting best-qualifying honors pretty evenly (Thilenius had six, Lutz four). Thilenius ended up with the crown, while Lutz (and co-driver Ryan Eversley) put together a remarkable string of five consecutive podiums during the middle part of the season.
"We've got last year's champion paired with a guy that's hungry for the title after being so close last year," said Technical Director Ray Lee. "There will be fireworks for sure, some podiums too. We'll be in the hunt every race and go for the championship, as we always are."
The first race for the duo is only a few months away, in Daytona on January 27-28 in the lead-up to the Rolex 24 hour event. It will be televised on SPEED TV.