What is there not to love about APR Motorsport? They offer some of the best Audi and Volkswagen performance products money can buy, period. Now, APR Motorsport will field the largest VW / Audi racing program on our shores. 1 Audi S4, 2 VW GTIs, 2 VW Jettas and 1 badass Audi R8 Grand Am.
Augmenting the previously announced no. 41 APR Tuned Audi S4 for Ian Baas and Nelson Canache in the GS class, as well as the no. 171 APR Tuned VW GTI for Aleks Altberg and David Cheng, the team will add three additional VW’s in the ST class for the 2012 season, beginning with this Friday’s BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway. The team will add yet another car to the lineup beginning with the series’ second race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, bringing the team’s CTSCC total to six cars and making APR Motorsport, along with its entry in the Rolex Series, the largest team this season in GRAND-AM.
As part of the expansion, the team will roll out a pair of brand new Mk. 6 VW Jetta GLI’s for this week’s BMW Performance 200 at Daytona. The team shook down the first Jetta at the CTSCC’s January Test Days at Daytona International Speedway, where initial feedback from the drivers was overwhelmingly positive.
Rookies Hector Guerrero and Juan Pablo Sierra Lendle, from Puebla, Mexico, will steer the new no. 181 APR Tuned VW Jetta GLI. Lendle is no stranger to racing VWs, as he scored a win and numerous podiums in the VW TDI Cup USA in 2010, and has also competed in Mexico’s Formula 2000 powered by Volkswagen. He comes to APR after winning the 2011 Gran Turismo Turbo championship in Mexico, with two wins. Guerrero is a veteran of the Venezuelan GT class championship, and took the championship in 2008.
Fellow rookies Daniel LaRiva, from Anzoatequi, Venezuela and Christian Perez, from Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, will be driving the no. 191 APR Tuned VW Jetta GLI in their first season in the CTSCC. LaRiva scored two wins in 2011 in Venezuela’s Super Touring GT championship, while Perez finished third in the Venezuelan South Eastern GT championship.
Returning to APR for a full season in the ST class, Nate Norenberg, from Plymouth, Minnesota, will be joined by Juan Carlos Alvarez, from Maracay, Venezuela, in the no. 161 APR Tuned VW GTI. Norenberg finished second in his debut with APR last season at Watkins Glen after beginning his professional driving career in the VW TDI Cup, while Alvarez brings a long history of sportscar, endurance racing, and Seat Leon Supercup experience to his rookie season in GRAND-AM.
“It was, without a doubt, a massive undertaking for us to field this many cars in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge,” said Jeff Mishtawy, Director of Motorsports for APR. “There have been many long nights at the shop in preparation for Daytona, but it will be a very impressive sight with our cars lined up in the pits and together on track. Each of our cars will be capable of getting race wins and continuing APR’s competitive tradition in the CTSCC. We have won races and contended for the championship each season we have raced in the CTSCC, and our APR Tuned GTI’s and Jettas are more than capable of doing it again in 2012.”
APR’s winning record in the CTSCC is what has attracted a number of international drivers to the program in 2012. While the team has grown to accommodate the number of drivers, the staff at APR has also had to brush up on a new language to prepare for the new season.
“It is very exciting that we have attracted a large number of international drivers to our program,” said Mishtawy. “In testing, we’ve seen that they clearly have the speed and talent to drive at this level, and we will be working closely with them to develop them into winning endurance drivers. At the same time, our entire staff – and our North American drivers Nate, David, Aleks and Ian – is now learning Spanish!”
APR Motorsport’s five car CTSCC team will compete in the season-opening CTSCC race, the BMW Performance 200, this Friday at Daytona International Raceway. The race will be broadcast Saturday, February 4th, at 12:00 PM ET on SPEED Channel.