The team's No. 8 Camaro will boast the authentic Gulf Oil light blue and orange livery. This is the first time ever the Sebring crowd has seen the official Gulf livery on the Camaro Z28.R at the 3.74-mile track. There is no other Camaro in the world competing with the official livery.
Gulf Competition Lubricants Canada is a continued sponsor from the 2014 season. This is the first year Mantella Autosport has run the official livery of the company. The No. 8 will be driven by team owner Anthony Mantella and pro driver Mark Wilkins.
"This isn't just a Gulf painted car," Mantella said. "There are a lot of unauthorized Gulf livery schemes out there. This is the exact paint code from Gulf. We've been lucky enough to be featured in their product catalog right along side the Aston Martin and the Le Mans cars."
"The relationship with Gulf Oil Was established by Andrew Wojteczko, our lead engineer and team manager, who carried over the partnership from a previous racing program. Gulf Oil is a great sponsor that we really respect and enjoy."
The Gulf livery, perhaps the most famous in motorsports history, originated in 1967. A Gulf-liveried car won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1968 and 1969. The paint scheme also was immortalized in the 1971 film "Le Mans," starring Steve McQueen.
The No. 80 of Mantella Autosport will feature a sleek white livery with a single cherry red racing stripe down the middle of the car. The No. 80 is sponsored by MBRP Performance Exhaust Systems. Drivers featured in the car will be Kyle Marcelli and MBRP owner Martin Barkey.
Marcelli and Barkey have shared a car in the CTSC, but this is the duo's first year with Mantella Autosport.
Races aren't won on style alone, and what lies under the hood of the Camaro is a precisely tuned engine that received a tough shakedown during the BMW Performance 200 in late January at Daytona International Speedway.
"We're expecting big things at Sebring," Mantella said. "The track suits the Camaro. The way the track is designed, it flows in short corner to corner turns with less long straightaways like Daytona. The Camaro is bigger, but it has a lot of torque, so it should do well at Sebring."
Wojteczko, who has been an engineer for 10 years, has focused on ensuring the car will be durable enough to take on the tough surfaces that were once part of a World War II airbase.
"The hours you accumulate at Sebring equal higher wear and tear on the car versus other tracks," Wojteczko said. "I've been to Sebring many times before so I've stocked up on fresh components for potential failure points due to the rough track.
"The drivers are continuing to learn the new Chevy Camaro Z28Rs, but I think they'll be able to focus on the developmental changes that need to be made. They have more familiarity now, going into Sebring, versus the season opener in Daytona. I'm confident that the advancements Mantella Autosport has made will help ensure we can compete for podium finishes at Sebring."
This will be Mantella Autosport's second consecutive year competing at Sebring. The team pushed the car into the top 10 of the CTSC field last year but finished 26th in the GS class after suffering a mechanical issue in its Aston Martin.
Mantella Autosport aspires to make Team Chevy proud in Round Two at Sebring by exceeding their ninth- and 12th-place finishes respectively earned at Daytona.
"Every race provides an opportunity to perform at the highest level," Mantella said. "We hope and plan to achieve a podium finish every chance we get."
For more information on Mantella Autosport,visit mantellaautosport.com. For updates, follow the team on Facebook and Twitter. To keep up with Team Chevy, follow the hashtag #TeamChevy AND @TeamChevy.
ABOUT MANTELLA AUTOSPORT: Driver Anthony Mantella founded Mantella Autosport in 2013 because of his intense passion for high-performance speed racing. His business model was designed with the goal of inspiring companies to use racing for client entertainment, building corporate culture and generating business.
Mantella Autosport offers world-class hospitality for companies looking for ways to reward corporate partners, conduct team-building exercises and benefit from unusual meeting spaces within the exciting, unique environment of elite sports car racing. The two-car team represents Team Chevy in the new Camaro Z28.R during 2015 in the ultra-competitive International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge at prestigious venues across North America.
ABOUT GULF OIL: Gulf Oil is one of the most famous oil brands in the world, with a long heritage in motorsport, and in particular the Le Mans 24Hrs, the world's oldest sports car endurance race.
Gulf lubricated race cars have competed in the famous blue and orange livery and won many great races. Today, Gulf has a partnership with Aston Martin Racing in the World Endurance Championship and, through Teklub Canada Ltd with Mantella Autosport in the Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge.
From: Mantella Autosport News