APR Motorsport to bid for 2008 Koni Challenge – Grand American Sport Touring Championship
APR, LLC, the world’s leading Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche performance engineering firm, is entering professional racing with the formation of APR Motorsport, LLC. APR Motorsport is excited to announce that it will campaign three Volkswagen GTI race cars in the Koni Challenge Sport Touring class of Grand Am in 2008.
Pulling off what might be the coup of the year in racing, APR Motorsport has signed ten-time national series champion Randy Pobst to drive for the team. Pobst, fresh off his third World Challenge Speed GT Championship in six years, narrowly missed the famed “double,” coming close to winning both the Speed Touring Car and GT Championship in the same year. Pobst narrowly missed out on this yet to be accomplished feat, only after being punted off the track in the final laps of the final Touring Car race of the season. In hiring Pobst, APR Motorsport brings one of America’s top talents back to the Grand American series, where Pobst has won two Daytona 24 Hour championships and has 9 Grand Am race wins.
Pobst said about the move, “I have worked with the guys at APR for years in development and testing, and as soon as I heard they were founding a race team, I wanted in.” He went on to say, “I started my professional racing career in 1985, racing a VW Golf in the Volkswagen Cup. Before that, I won a handful of autocross national and pro titles in a 1983 Rabbit, so this opportunity brings me full circle and gives me the chance to relive a lot of great memories.”
Pobst additionally noted, “with APR’s technology, professionalism and work ethic, I expect us to challenge for the championship. My co-drivers, Ian Baas and Mark White bring vast experience to the team and I am totally comfortable with these guys as I have raced with each in the past years. Our team chemistry is simply unmatchable.”
The second major signing for APR Motorsport is Ian Baas, who has raced with Pobst in 2006 in Grand Am’s Rolex GT series in a Porsche GT3R as well as a Porsche GT3RSR in the American Le Mans series in 2005. Their most notable achievement together was piloting their Porsche to win the 2006 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Besides racing in Rolex in 2006, Baas spent the full season in Porsche’s Carrera Cup in Germany, as well as racing select Porsche SuperCup races
Baas reviewed his recent hiring by APR Motorsport by simply stating, “I cannot tell you how excited I am to work with APR and be back on a team with Randy. On top of all this, APR just signed Mark White, with whom I spent many races in Rolex GT in 2007. Mark is fast, consistent and both physically and mentally tough. I am just so happy to be involved with such a great team that has shown its’ seriousness in signing such top notch co-drivers as Pobst and White.”
Mark White, who garnered a staggering record of 10 podiums in 12 starts, set multiple records en route to a second place finish in the ALMS IMSA Lites Prototype Series. White was one of many drivers evaluated by APR to join this ambitious first year effort. The team selected White over many other top racers due to the direct recommendations of Pobst and Baas. White has raced in five series in multiple countries, and brings his clean, fast driving style and his infamous mental and physical toughness to a team already stacked with both talent and fitness.
White noted, “I cannot thank the guys at APR Motorsport enough, along with my co-drivers, Pobst and Baas, who recommended me for this ride. The chemistry assembled on this team is tremendous and I am thrilled to be part of it! APR’s tuning prowess is unsurpassed and Randy and Ian are both at the top of their game. Mix in these factors with an awesome platform like the Volkswagen GTI and we should have a potent combination right out of the gate.”
APR, LLC, the parent company of APR Motorsport, LLC, is based in Auburn/Opelika, Alabama. APR is currently in the process of moving into a new corporate headquarters, which is expected to be completed this winter. The new 12-acre facility features 38,000 square feet of office, design, fabrication and warehouse space. The facility, which is complete with Pro-e CAD design, two chassis dynos, engine dyno, CNC milling, CNC lathe, stereolithography machine, as well as other state of the art equipment, features a race shop for the exclusive use of the team as well as a nearly one mile test track for car development.
APR has over 180 distributors in 21 countries and employs over 40 full time employees.
APR Motorsport’s race team will be run by Crew Chief Jeff Mishtawy, who came to APR from the successful Team Cobalt California Koni Challenge Team.
Mishtawy has extensive race and Koni Challenge Sport Touring background, and expects the team’s VW GTI’s to be front runners right from the start. Mishtawy said, “the VW GTI, in street form, is so sound and well engineered; it has been fantastic to build a race car on such a platform. Development has gone very well and working with drivers such as Pobst and Baas, with all their set up experience, should give us an edge on the competition.”
APR Motorsport is currently reviewing a handful of drivers for the single remaining, pro-level position, as well as two strong and experienced drivers to fill their third car for the 2008 season.
Driver, sponsor or media inquires should be directed to APR Motorsport’s Public Relations Director, Michael Stahlschmidt ([email protected]).