A reduced AMR headcount but great racing still to look forward to in Michelin Pilot Challenge (Updated)

Monday, January 18, 2021


Twenty-four GS class cars are expected from the Michelin Pilot Challenge paddock for the Roar before the Twenty-four official test around the 3.56 bank oval in infield section of the Daytona International Speedway this weekend

Amongst those we have just two Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT4’s listed as attending with one apiece from both Volt Racing with Archangel and one from local team, Automatic Racing.

Reading in-between the lines of just what has been said privately and what has been said publicly, ahead of the official entry list for the opening four hour race of the season at the circuit in two weekend’s time, we think that this IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship support race will face a net downturn in AMR runners but not in overall entries though compared with last year.

The bright yellow #7 Volt racing car of Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman returns for a full season crack at the Championship title this time around having learned just what their new for 2020 AMR Vantage GT4 is capable of.

They will be joined by the #09 Automatic Racing entry comprising of (presumably) Rob Ecklin Jnr seeing that it’s his Stoner Car Care Company that sponsors that car alongside an as yet unidentified No.2 driver although Brandon Kidd has already confirmed his attendance within the car at longer MPC rounds including the opening round at Daytona.

UPDATE - Ramin Abdolvahabi is again confirmed as the number two driver in the #09 alongside Ecklin Jr.

We understand that Automatic Racing’s second AMR GT4 – the Invisible Glass liveried car usually driven by Gary Ferrera and Kris Wilson will this season be absent due to the former’s prior work commitment.

We also understand that reigning MPC Championship winner Nate Stacey has only last ‘walked away’ from the Kohr Motorsport team, electing to seek his racing opportunities elsewhere and as a result of that, Kohr’s Race Program Manager Dean Martin has announced that he will be racing alongside Kyle Marcelli aboard one of their Ford Performance Mustangs in this season’s Michelin Pilot Challenge. The immediate future for the Stacey owned AMR GT4 remains unclear.

The non-compulsory test event begins on Friday for the MPC grid with both a 75 and 90 minute sessions, before two further 60 minutes sessions on Saturday and a final 75 minute session on Sunday. 

After that, all remaining teams not at the circuit but due to take part in the opening round the following weekend will be due – at present, we believe that to include the Notlad Racing AMR GT4 of Matt Dalton and Pat Gallagher.

Compared with last year’s entry list, that means there is a three car deficit with one missing Automatic, no Kohr Motorsport and no Cameron Racing (who’s car has since been purchased by Volt Racing) but that shouldn’t detract in any way with the quality of racing again this season.

Photo credits - MPC / CSJ / Volt / Stoner Car Care
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