Looking to build on podium pace in second-ever outing for newest IMSA Prototype
Birmingham, Ala. (19 April 2017) – It is good to have time on your side, but when Kelly-Moss Road and Race (KMR) debuted the Norma M30 machine with driver Colin Thompson in the opening race of the Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda season, time was the last thing that KMR had.
The opening event of the year at Sebring International Raceway saw the team receive the car from France through customs with no time to spare. The squad unpacked and assembled the only Norma in existence right in the Sebring paddock to be ready to go for the opening race weekend.
That huge effort saw the Norma demonstrate a strong race weekend pace as Thomson overcame a race one mechanical setback to score second place in round two.
“The KMR guys did an amazing job at Sebring to even have the car ready to go for the first practice,” said Thompson, who has won a pair of championships with the team. “And when we lost the driveshaft in race one, they worked a miracle to have the car capable of taking a podium like we did in race two.”
Now, with the continued support of Ignite Payments, Mattoni Water, Brey Krause, Sherwin Williams, Ernst Benz and Edoardo Borrelli, as well as a few weeks of familiarity with the French-built machine as well as a recent productive test at Barber Motorsports Park, KMR is hoping to build on the promise of the Sebring weekend in its second outing with the Norma M30.
“We got the chance to test, so we have a much better idea of what the car likes going into the Barber weekend,” said Thompson. “At the same time, we’ve only just started to get to know the car so we expect to get stronger as the season goes on and as we keep improving the car. We also went through to make sure we wouldn’t have the same issue that we did in Sebring, and feel a lot better about the system adjustments we’ve made ahead of this weekend.”
Having opened the team’s 29th season of competition on a winning note at Sebring with the team’s IMSA Porsche GT3 by Yokohama effort, the ambitious dual program is looking to return to its winning ways again in Alabama.
“Our Sebring race was definitely a trial by fire with the Norma, but we came out of there with a podium and now with a test under our belt, we are in much better shape ahead of Barber,” said team owner Jeff Stone. “The Norma is very good, particularly with its aero package so even though Barber might not be the best track for the car, we know that we will learn a lot and should be able to be competitive again. It’s just great that I’m not having to check with customs every 10 minutes to see where the car is this time around!”
The Barber facility, which features an incredible motorcycle museum as well as an eclectic collection of art, has a 2.3-mile circuit that is made of a little bit of everything and is a frequent driver favorite.
“Barber is a great track—immaculate and very technical,” said Thompson. “There are also all the elevation changes so it is a really fun lap for the drivers. I love racing there—but I’ve had terrible luck there in the past! Hopefully we can turn that around this weekend with some solid results. Barber is a track that will probably be good for the Ligiers, but I think we should be right on the pace with our Norma. Our DNF in the first race at Sebring really hurt us, so we just want to focus on consistent, solid results to fight back into the championship.”
Barber Motorsports Park Schedule:
Thursday, April 20
2:00 – 2:30 p.m. (CDT) Practice
4:15 – 4:55 p.m. (CDT) Practice
Friday, April 21
9:20 – 9:40 a.m. (CDT) Qualifying
3:45 – 4:30 p.m. (CDT) Round 1 (45 minutes)
Saturday, April 22
12:00 -12:45 p.m. (CDT) Round 2 (45 minutes)
The first of the two 45-minute IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda races will take the green flag at 3:45 p.m. CDT on Friday, April 21, while race two takes place Saturday at 12:00 p.m. That race will stream live from 11:50 to 12:45 p.m. CDT on IMSA.TV.
Delayed television coverage of the IMSA Prototype Challenge races at Barber Motorsports Park will be provided on May 4, 2017 on FOX Sports 2 (FS2). The broadcast will also be available on YouTube 24 hours after it airs on television.
Kelly Moss Road and Race Barber International Notes:
2017 is the 29th season of competition for the Madison, Wisconsin-based team.
2016 Kelly Moss Championships:
IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Driver Championship
IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Team Championship
PCA Club Masters Championship
2017: Kelly-Moss’s Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama champion driver, Jesse Lazare, won the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona in his first-ever outing in the event, driving with Alegra Motorsports.
2016: Kelly-Moss Road and Race competed in three different Porsche series: IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA, and PCA Club Masters Championships. The team competed in 23 different race weekends, with four of those weekends featuring two different race series on two different tracks. In total, that’s over 70 days spent racing, not including the numerous private tests conducted by the group.
Kelly-Moss IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama history: Having raced in every single IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama event since the series-opener in 2005, Kelly-Moss Road and Race has made 706 starts with 71 victories, 129 podiums, and six championships in that series alone—some remarkable figures.