Michael Taylor to become youngest-ever driver in CTSCC, while race-winner Aleks Altberg to partner with Diego Duez in second APR Motorsport VW
Looking to continue its race winning tradition in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, APR Motorsport has finalized its driver lineup for this weekend's BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway.
In addition to the no. 171 APR VW that will be driven by South African rookie Michael Taylor and GRAND-AM veteran Ian Baas, Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race-winner Aleks Altberg, from Renton, Washington will partner with Diego Duez, from Cuernavaca, Mexico, in the team's no. 181 APR VW Jetta GLI. Altberg, who will enter his second year in the CTSCC and APR, took his maiden win in 2012 at Elkhart Lake in a nail-biting race that saw him withstand heavy pressure in the final laps as he nursed home a car that was both out of fuel and out of tires. Duez, who has been an VW Motorsports Factory driver in his Mexico for three seasons, drove in 2012 in the VW Polo R Cup in India.
"It's great to be returning to the CTSCC with APR Motorsport," said Altberg. "The effort this year is more focused and I'm coming in with more confidence. Last year I think we had the pace to be at the front more often than we were, and now I think I know how to get to the front and stay at the front. I'm really looking forward to working with Diego and with APR again this year."
Duez is eager to parlay his international experience behind the wheel of VW's into the CTSCC with APR Motorsport.
"The whole team is working very hard, and I am looking forward to my first race here in Daytona,"said Duez. "The level of competition is very high and the Daytona track is a new experience for me. It's going to be a very exciting weekend and I am looking forward to racing the APR Jetta GLI on Friday."
Taylor, who is also a rookie to the CTSCC, will enter Daytona with the benefit of having spent time behind the wheel of the APR VW's under the guidance of Baas. At sixteen years old, Taylor will become the youngest driver in series history.
"It's very exciting to be here at Daytona for the first race of the season,"said Taylor. "Ian has helped me to get up to speed and the Jetta GLI was really fun and easy to drive. From what I have seen we will have a very competitive car for the race and my job will be to give it to Ian in good shape and near the front of the field. It's exciting to be the youngest driver in the history of the CTSCC, but now I'd like to become the youngest winner!"
Since entering the championship in 2009, APR Motorsport has won each season it has competed in the CTSCC. Baas, who has four ST-class wins in the CTSCC with APR Motorsport, will also drive the no. 52 APR Audi R8 GRAND-AM in this weekend's Rolex 24 at Daytona.
"I'm really excited to be back in ST this season,"said Baas. "With Mikey and our APR VW's, we have a very fast combination that can win races and contend for the championship. Every year the level of competition in the ST class goes up , and APR has stepped up their game as well. Daytona should be a good track for our cars and I'm really looking forward to the race."
The BMW Performance 200 from Daytona International Speedway will be broadcast on February 2 at 4:00 PM ET on SPEED Channel.