HERNDON, Va. (May 14, 2009) – Volkswagen of America, Inc. has announced two guest drivers for this weekend’s SCCA Pro Racing Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup events at Miller Motorsports Park May 16 - 17. US Olympic speedskater, Anthony Lobello, and Miller Motorsports Park Director of Business Development, Bryan Miller will both participate to varying degrees in the series’ weekend on-track sessions and race.
While Lobello has years of experience racing at high speeds on the ice, this weekend will mark his first time in a racecar on a motorsports circuit. As a result, he will receive on-track training in a Volkswagen Jetta TDI racecar from the Volkswagen driving instructors during a closed-course practice session on Friday evening at 6:15 pm MT. Lobello will also participate in Saturday’s practice session on the Miller circuit, which is a vast departure from his usual oval skating track. The goal will be to prepare Lobello to fully participate in another event later in the season.
Miller is heading into this weekend’s race with previous racing experience and will fully participate in all of the weekend’s on and off-track events, including practice, qualifying and driver training sessions. He’ll then take the green flag alongside the series 25 full-time drivers on Sunday at 9:40 am MT. While Miller will be a full participant in the weekend’s events, he will be ineligible for points or prize money. Full-time series participants will move up the final race results accordingly.
“We welcomed three guest drivers to participate in doubleheader weekend VIRginia International Raceway, and all of them walked away with a new appreciation for clean diesel technology and the level of competition that our series provides,” said Clark Campbell, motorsports manager, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “Our goal in each of our events is to spread the message that clean diesel provides benefits in both improved mileage and emissions, and this is a solution to automotive efficiency and environmental challenges that is readily available to consumers today. Engaging guest drivers from varying backgrounds allows us to further this effort.”
About the guest drivers:
Anthony Lobello – Lobello, 24, is a member of the US Speedskating team, which is based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Tallahassee, Florida native competed in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy in the 500 meter short track event. He also is a very strong candidate to represent the US in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver where he is expected to be a medal contender. So far this year, Lobello has won a World Cup race and was named the 2009 American Cup Men’s Champion. For more information on Lobello, visit www.usspeedskating.org.
Bryan Miller – Miller is the youngest son of the late Larry H. Miller and Miller Motorsports Park’s Director of Business Development. His involvement with the Park began with its inception, and his efforts have played a key role in the facility’s development and success. Since becoming involved with Miller Motorsports Park, he has discovered a love for motorsports, particularly motorcycling and road rallying which involves cross-continental adventure. A 2001 University of Utah graduate, Miller earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a second bachelor’s in Asian Studies. He served on the board of trustees of Larry H. Miller Charities from 2004-2007 and is currently a member of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies Governing Board and the board of the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation.
The 2009 season marks the second year of competition for the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, which is sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. During the season, young, up and coming drivers (between ages 16-26) will compete in 10 events on eight road courses around North America in identical factory-prepared clean diesel Jetta TDI’s powered by Syndiesel® B5 blended biodiesel. Each driver competing in the series will earn a Pro Racing license from SCCA at the conclusion of the season. In addition to the $50,000 prize money purse at stake during the season, the series champion will win $100,000.
The Jetta TDI Cup car is powered by a 2.0-liter, 170 hp, four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine mated to a six-speed, double-clutch, automatic DSG transmission. The car is only slightly modified from stock with Pirelli racing tires, race suspension and brake components, drivers racing safety seat, FIA roll cage and an on-board fire extinguisher system. Series sponsors include: Pirelli, Bosch, ViON, Castrol, Oakley, Red Bull, HYPERFUELS, Aggreko, defNder Head and Neck Restraint, Safety-Kleen, Ringer Gloves, Jim Russell Racing School and Trellis Earth.