Los Angeles-area Porsche race shop Competition Motorsports has entered next weekend's 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida in the GTC class with David Calvert-Jones, Sascha Maassen and Lawson Aschenbach set to co-drive the No. 99 Competition Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3.
It is the second consecutive American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón race for Competition Motorsports and Calvert-Jones – who goes by “CJ” – following last year's season-ending Petit Le Mans where Andrew Davis and Michael Avenatti completed the lineup.
The Sebring trio of race and championship-winning drivers, along with a typically strong Porsche GT3 from Competition Motorsports, should make the No. 99 entry a legitimate contender in the competitive GTC class.
“We are very happy to have put together such a solid effort at a relatively late date but there is nothing last minute about this operation,” Calvert-Jones said. “Competition Motorsports and Bob Faieta always come to the track prepared, our particular Porsche GT3 is a car we know well and to have a pair of teammates like Sascha and Lawson is absolutely fantastic.”
Calvert-Jones made his professional motorsports debut last year at Sebring with a pair of Gold Cup division podium finishes in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama. The second and third place results at the Sebring opener set the foundation for a season-long run of nine podium results in 12 series starts on his way to second in the final Gold Cup championship standings.
The solid rookie season gave him the confidence to step up to GTC at Petit, a great learning experience with teammates Davis and Avenatti and Competition Motorsports despite being taken out in the race by a prototype competitor. Next weekend at Sebring will certainly add to CJ's racing education with a pair of accomplished drivers like Maassen and Aschenbach on the squad.
“I have had some good teammates before but this duo ranks right up there with any other driver pairing in the race,” CJ said. “I look forward to working with and learning from them and keeping a pace within a reasonable touch of their lap times so we can challenge right up until the finish.”
Maassen has experience as a factory Porsche driver and is a four-time Sebring class winner, sweeping the GT class from 2001 through 2004. He also won back-to-back ALMS GT titles in 2002 and 2003 and has raced nothing but Porsches at Sebring.
“I am looking forward to racing with Competition Motorsports, David Calvert-Jones and Lawson Aschenbach,” Maassen said. “Even though I have raced many times in Sebring it is a new challenge every year. In GTC we are competing in a same car with all of the others. This is the fairest way of motorsport and every advantage you gain is because you worked better, either in preparation or on the track. I have raced in many cars at Sebring but all were Porsches so I am going to feel familiar in the GTC car as well. It is also not so different to the Grand-Am GT3 Cup car that I drove in Daytona a few weeks ago.”
Aschenbach also has plenty of Porsche experience on his accomplished resume. He most recently campaigned the premier Porsche in the top-level GT class in the 2012 Pirelli World Challenge Championships. He last raced in the 12 Hour in 2010 as part of a GTC Porsche team.
“First and foremost, I have to thank CJ and Bob for the opportunity,” Aschenbach said. “I think we are going to have a fantastic entry. Anytime you can put a Porsche factory guy and a very quick ‘Am' guy into a car you have a really good shot to win. Even though it is going to be our first week together, we don't really know each other and we haven't really raced together, I think we will jell pretty quickly and I know a lot of the guys on the team.”