Two of the team's Vantages occupied the top two spots on the time sheets – with three in the top 10 - when the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge’s portion of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test was complete last Sunday.
Aston Martin and Multimatic Motorsports are off and running in 2013, and how.
Two of the team’s Vantages occupied the top two spots on the time sheets – with three in the top 10 - when the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge’s portion of the Roar Before the Rolex 24 test was complete last Sunday.
“We put nine drivers through two cars in basically two days because Friday was wet and nothing really could be learned,” said Multimatic team principal and Vice President of Engineering Larry Holt. “No crashes and all drivers were competitive.
Very impressive indeed.
Multimatic is no newcomer to Continental Tire Challenge. The Canadian team’s participation dates to 2002 winning eight races and two Grand Sport championships. The organization – which scored a fourth place overall in its Daytona Prototype debut in the 2003 Rolex 24 – had campaigned Ford Mustangs before switching to the Aston Martin in 2012.
Last year’s results were mixed – three podium finishes including a second at Barber Motorsports Park by Joe Foster and Scott Maxwell in Multimatic’s No. 55 Vantage.
“This should be a strong season for us,” said Holt. “We think we are on top of the issues we encountered (last season).”
The team has taken delivery of new equipment and additional personnel have been added to undertake a four-car operation. English engineers and mechanics will come from Aston Martin’s facilities in the UK.
Multimatic will also work with TRG, which is set to debut a Rolex Series GT car in the season’s second event at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Tex.
“The synergy will be positive and there will be cooperation and sharing between the organizations,” said Holt.
Maxwell returns in the No. 55 and will be paired with Jade Buford. Tonis Kasemets and Michael Marsal will co-drive the No. 71 with John Farano and David Empringham aboard the No. 15. Nick Mancuso and Frank Montecalvo fill out the roster in the No. 16. Farano and Empringham had the top Roar lap with Buford and Maxwell second.
“I’m very impressed with the new guys that have come in,” said Holt. “This is the strongest lineup Multimatic has ever had.”
“Getting used to this new car has not been as challenging as I thought it might be,” said Marsal of the switch to the Aston Martin from the BMW he drove last season. “It’s really been a smooth transition. It’s definitely a different driving style, but after we did the tests at Road Atlanta and Circuit of the Americas - which is a fantastic track - I came up to speed pretty quickly.”
Holt, however, isn’t ready to start any premature GRAND-AM 200 trophy celebrations.
“We expect a lot of the other guys to go faster,” he said. “The series looks as strong as it has ever been.”