The Shea Racing team announced that it will campaign three new Hondas and add two new drivers to the team for the balance of the Pirelli World Challenge season.
2013 marks the team's fourth consecutive year in the Pirelli World Challenge but its first year running a multi-car program with Honda Racing HPD support, after Shea Holbrook finished fourth in the Touring Car championship last season. Jon Miller and P.J. Groenke will take Shea Racing into the ranks of the series' established multi-car and factory-backed efforts.
Said team manager Jeff Holbrook: “We're thrilled to have Jon Miller and P.J. Groenke join Shea as drivers this season. These talented additions to the lineup will allow the team to expand into both the Touring Car and Touring Car B classes.”
Shea Holbrook has been a Pirelli World Challenge driver since her professional racing debut in 2010. The following year, she became the first woman to win a Touring Car race at Long Beach. She returns with a new perspective as a driver and co-owner.
“This year is different for me in that I'm not only focusing on my racing career, but also the future of the team and making sure we perform to our potential both on and off the racetrack. The entire team has worked relentlessly to get where we are today, and I couldn't be more proud. I'm very excited for the Touring Car B competition,” said Holbrook.
Canadian driver Groenke, who will drive a Touring Car B entry, is familiar with the series as he raced in the Pirelli World Challenge weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2012, where he captured two top-five finishes. With over a decade of racing experience, Groenke was a semi-finalist on Discovery Channel Canada's Star Racer television program in 2006.
“I am thrilled to be racing in the Pirelli World Challenge Series this year," said the French Canadian. "It has been my goal since watching the series for the first time in the early 1990s. Shea Racing is a top-tier professional race team and I am sure that we will have a lot of fun and great success during 2013.”
American driver Miller is stepping into the Touring Car class, driving a 2013 Honda Civic Si. Although technically a World Challenge rookie, he has been racing professionally since 2006, earning his first pro win in the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2008.
“I'm used to large fields of extremely competitive sports car drivers, but I'm excited to learn how a new series and a new platform operates," said Miller. "We have tons to learn and I'm very excited about the opportunity that we've been given this year with Shea Racing and my sponsor partners.”
The team also announced the launch of its “Racecar Technician/Engineer Development Program.” For every race venue, the Shea Racing Team hires local student technicians or college engineering students to get hands-on experience working with a professional race team.
“It's a great way to directly involve communities and to give back to the people who work in the auto and motorsports industries,” said Shea Holbrook.
Steven Epps, who graduates from Austin's very own Capitol City Trade and Technical School this month and Ryan Sadlier who graduated from the same technical school in 2007 and currently owns ATX Auto Repair, were named Shea Racing crew members for the team's next race at the Circuit of The Americas.
Next Monday, the team and drivers will release the new look to the team, liveries and partners.