|Photo Credit: Audi AG|
This weekend, another major auto racing series receives the green flag for 2016. The Pirelli World Challenge season commences on a 3.41-mile Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas where seven categories of production-based race cars will be put through their paces by some talented sports car drivers. Presented by Nissan, the 2016 season opening rounds at the Circuit of the Americas will feature the first battles of a highly-competitive GT class. In the category where the Porsche GT3, Cadillac ATS-V.R and McLaren 650S compete door-to-door, one of Canada’s young sports car racing talents will make his debut.
Barrie, Ontario’s Kyle Marcelli is the new addition to the CRP Racing organization. Making a rookie appearance in the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge, Marcelli will wheel a #2 Audi R8 LMS sponsored by DeVilbiss in the GT class. Describing his new ride as an exciting team to be part of, the 26-year-old-year Canadian driver stated, "Competing in Pirelli World Challenge has been a goal of mine for a while, and with the level of competition growing each season, I am glad to have my first run in PWC with a winning team like CRP Racing and a competitive car like the Audi R8 LMS.”
CRP Racing is a Harrisburg, North Carolina motorsport organization was founded in 2001 by an experienced and longtime auto racing backer Nick Short. Part of Pirelli World Challenge since 2008, CRP Racing has won 10 times in class and collected 14 podium results. In 2014, the team finished in the runner-up spot in the championship with driver Mike Skeen. One member of the race organization’s alumni is legendary Canadian auto racing driver Ron Fellows (a motorsport athlete Kyle Marcelli greatly looks up to). "Obviously, Kyle is an extremely talented driver and I am looking forward to seeing him drive our DeVilbiss / CRP Racing Audi R8 LMS.”, said owner of CRP Racing Nick Short. Short added, “We have enjoyed quite a bit of success in Pirelli World Challenge, and with Kyle on board now we are looking forward to building on that success in this new season. And with the first race just a few days away, we get to start on that very quickly!"
Kyle Marcelli has been best known for his lightning fast speed on-track during American Le Mans Series and IMSA sports car competition when he participated in the LMPC class. Establishing a name in the spec vehicle series starting in 2010, the Canadian competed alongside several teammates including fellow Canadian Chris Cummings and former Formula 1 driver Stefan Johansson. Among several LMPC class victories for Marcelli was the 2013 Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta. For 2015, Kyle Marcelli’s effort was centered within the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge piloting a Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R for Mantella Autosport. He also drove races in the Trans Am Series and the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill last season.
Kyle Marcelli and the #2 CRP Racing/DeVilbiss Audi R8 LMS will race on Saturday and Sunday afternoon for the opening two GT class rounds. The group’s opportunity to race at Marcelli’s home track of Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge weekend will come between May 19th and 22nd.