AUSTIN, TX – Following their remarkable 4th-place finish in the #16 Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage at the Daytona season-opener of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge 2103 season, Nick Mancuso and co-driver Frankie Montecalvo had good reason to expect an even stronger performance in last weekend’s Round 2 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX. Alas, it was not to be.
“I prepared very intensely for the race in Austin only to have the whole weekend start off on a bad note and get worse from there,” said Mancuso. “My flight out from Chicago was delayed, I got locked inside the circuit on my track walk once I got there, got lost on my way back to the hotel and got a flat tire in my rental car on my way to dinner; talk about a rough start!”
Unfortunately, it didn’t get any better once he finally got on track. On the third flying lap of his first test session, an ST-class Honda whose driver was apparently not using his mirrors, turned in just as Mancuso was passing on a very fast part of the course. The resultant contact put both cars into the wall.
Though too damaged to return to the track on Thursday, the Multimatic crew went into overdrive to get the car repaired for the first session on Friday. It was at that point that Lady Luck heaped on the final indignity as the team got word that the car had been permanently parked by Grand-Am due to a technical non-compliance caused by an error during the car build in England.
The #16 car had been flown to Florida from England the day before the Daytona race practice in January and the issue had been missed by both Multimatic and Grand-Am in the run up to its excellent fourth place finish in its debut event. Aston Martin Racing has pledged to have the car sorted for Multimatic well in advance of the next event at Barber Motorsports Park which was of little consolation to Mancuso and Montecalvo, who were forced by circumstance to watch the race from the sidelines.
“Icing on the cake at that point really! I feel really bad for my teammate Frankie Montecalvo as he still has 0 laps at COTA,” said Mancuso. “Additionally, the Multimatic boys worked really hard to get the car put back together after the accident and explored every conceivable option to get us on track for the weekend to no avail. There’s not much you can do really except put your head down and prepare for the next race in Alabama even more intensely. All I can say is if you’re in another car on track at Barber and see the #16 Aston Martin in your mirrors move over; the driver behind the wheel is on a mission!!”
Despite this major setback for the #16, the Multimatic Motorsports team persevered and the remaining entries were always near the top of the timesheets through to qualifying where Jade Buford made it two poles in a row for the Multimatic #55 Vantage and the #71 of Tonis Kasemets and Michael Marsal scored a top-5 finish.
The third race of the season is at Barber Motorsports Park. It will be held on Saturday, April 6th, 2013 at 4:00 PM ET at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
About Nick Mancuso: Nick Mancuso is one of the most interesting, and accomplished drivers in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. In addition to his racing activities, he was inducted into the Cum Laude Society in 2004 and in 2005 he was made a member of the National Honor Society and chosen as a National Merit Scholar before graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2009. He is a black belt in Shotokan Karate and an ‘extreme adventurer’ with hobbies that include spearfishing, Krav Maga (an Israeli martial art), skydiving and capturing/photographing reptiles in the wild. He began racing in 2006, winning numerous races in SCCA Regional Sports 2000 competition. Mancuso joined Multimatic Motorsports in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge for the 2013 season after having helped the team develop their factory-backed Ford Focus ST-R racecar in 2012.
About Multimatic Motorsports: Multimatic Motorsports is a leading motorsports organization that is the competition arm of Multimatic Engineering, one of Canada’s largest and most successful engineering organizations. Multimatic Motorsports has a rich racing history, having captured major international wins such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP675 class in 2000, the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Prototype class in 2003 and the 12 Hours of Sebring GT2 class in 2006. Multimatic Motorsports programs include car design, engineering, testing and development, track support and turn-key competition management.