Daytona Beach, Fla. (23 January 2014) – Talk about making an adjustment. After building his racing career with a regular shot at qualifying sessions that were nearly an hour long, Anthony Mantella faced the prospect of the shortest qualifying session of his career on Thursday as he prepared for his first IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge session. At just 15 minutes, Mantella knew that it was going to be go time when the green flag dropped.
But as fate would have it, instead of getting 15 minutes, he only got a couple of laps at speed as the session was cut even shorter for the Mantella Autosport team due to a red flag just before the completion of their first lap. The session resumed with less than three minutes remaining, but Mantella kept his composure and his foot in the throttle as he scored a spot on the 13th row for Friday’s BMW Performance 200.
While the ambition had been to start closer to the front, the team is not worried about their 26th and is instead looking forward to the race, excited and prepared to prove themselves.
“I was actually right behind the Turner car in P4 and was having no problem keeping up with him when the session went red,” said Anthony Mantella of his drive. “So I think a third place qualifying position could have been in the cards, but it just didn’t work out. I’m still testing the limits of the car, but I’m really excited for the race tomorrow. The car feels great and I’m excited to start from the back on fresh tires and drive our way up.”
Tomorrow’s premiere combined IMSA Continental Tire event also marks the first race for the Mantella Autosport team and they are looking forward to proving their power and capabilities.
“Anthony did a great job in qualifying, throwing down on the first lap,” said Andrew Wojteczko, Team Manager. “But the session went red before we had a chance to cross the start/finish line. So it came down to one lap for us to get it done and Anthony (Mantella) gave his all. I am stoked to see him pushing it and I know we will do great in the race and we will be moving up.”
The 2.5 hour race tomorrow provides ample opportunity for the team to move up and that is exactly what they plan to do. Following a quick 30-minute practice session tomorrow morning, the Mantella Autosport team is excited to showcase their sleek, black Powered by Spyder Aston Martin Vantage when the green flag drops at 1:45 PM (ET).
Photo Credit: Mantella Autosport