Phoenix, Calvert to run Pirelli World Challenge in 2015
GT Cup and GTS efforts include Ford Mustangs, Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car.
Phoenix American Motorsports, a Phoenixville, PA-based sports car team, in collaboration with Calvert Dynamics, will enter the Pirelli World Challenge for 2015 with a multi-class, multi-car assault. SCCA five-time National Champion Andrew Aquilante will lead the team’s trio of GTS Boss 302 Mustangs, joined by Preston Calvert (Calvert Dynamics) and Kurt Rezzetano. In addition, Calvert will race a Porsche 991 GT3 Cup car in the new GT Cup class.
The team’s sprawling Pennsylvania headquarters is already busy preparing the GTS Mustangs and the recently-delivered GT Cup entry, along with its usual track and race prep services, coming off a double Runoffs victory in October for Aquilante.
Adding to over 30 SCCA Runoffs titles and Majors Championships, the team most recently competed in another professional sports car series in 2014, where a solid season saw a strong second place finish at Kansas, among other achievements.
“Pirelli World Challenge offers a compelling value for us when you add together its TV and media exposure and the shorter types of races. It is focused on sports cars. Its message is fairly tightly wound. It’s all sports cars that are identifiable,” said team principal Joe Aquilante. “Through our history we always preferred to race what we drive on the street, which is important to our marketing plan.”
“What’s there not to like about GTS?” Aquilante said. “There is one driver, one car, two races over the weekend, and it has its own TV time. One of our main goals is to help secure a manufacturers' title for Ford, and to see how close we can get to a drivers championship.”
Twin Runoffs wins
Andrew Aquilante is coming off twin Runoffs victories in 2014, having won his first Runoffs title in 2007 and at the same time, the prestigious SCCA President’s Award. The 27-year-old is no stranger to World Challenge, with five starts coming in 2009, including a GT race in a Phoenix-prepared Corvette.
Said Aquilante: “You have to look at the sprint races with a different mindset; with one driver and shorter races, you have a better chance of controlling your own destiny.”
Aquilante has plenty of experience in pro competition, with a number of years driving for Subaru’s factory North America road racing team in Grand Am, run by Phoenix Performance. He finished as runner up in the drivers point championship in 2009 and was a race winner in 2012.
Calvert is the elder-statesman of the team, having started his career just two years ago, but is showing steady development. Calvert won the SCCA Majors Touring 2 points championship in 2014 and had a strong Runoffs qualifying showing.
In addition he competed in 10 professional races in 2014, gaining valuable seat time in Mustangs. For 2015, he plans to run both GTS and GT Cup races in Pirelli World Challenge.
“2015 will be a busy year for me and the team,” Calvert noted, “we can’t wait for the first race in March 2015. Calvert Dynamics is enthusiastic to be the lead sponsor for PWC and I am excited about the prospects for the team!”
Finally, the 29-year-old Rezzetano has teamed with Aquilante in prior pro competition. He started road racing in 2012 and has progressed rapidly.
"I am really stoked about the sprint race format and looking forward to 2015," said Rezzetano.
Team partners include Calvert Dynamics, Ford Racing, Phoenix Performance, Ron Davis Racing Radiators and Hawk Brakes.
The Pirelli World Challenge season starts on March 6 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
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