BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (April 30, 2015) – John Allen and the GTS-class No. 16 SGV Motorsports/Bilt Racing Service Porsche Cayman S team, and lead sponsor ITEC (www.TeamITEC.com), earned a pair of positive race results in their Pirelli World Challenge debut in this past weekend’s MOMO Grand Prix at Barber Motorsports Park presented by Porsche, April 24 – 26.
Allen, who was making his first ever professional race starts, and the SGV Motorsport/Bilt Racing Service (BRS) team combined to finish 18th in both 50-minute sprint races run on Friday and Saturday.
In addition to finishing in his pro debut, Allen improved all weekend and ended on a high note with a lead-lap finish and his fastest race lap of the weekend – 1:34.814 (90.366 mph) – in the Saturday finale.
“My first race weekend in Pirelli World Challenge exceeded all of my expectations,” Allen said. “It was an honor and a privilege to drive my first pro race in my home state of Alabama. I decided to jump into this with both feet just a few months ago, and I did not have a car or a race team. I had a few friends tell me ‘you’re doing what?’ I did not know if I had the knowledge, skill, or the physical ability to perform at this level. My fellow pro drivers out here have been very accepting and supportive.”
The MOMO Grand Prix was also the first race weekend in Pirelli World Challenge for both SGV Motorsports and Bilt Racing Service (BRS), which built, engineered and crews the GTS-class No. 16 Cayman S. The team’s additional 2015 racing plans with Allen also include the Pirelli World Challenge races at Road America, Miller Motorsports Park and Sonoma.
“The weekend was a success,” BRS Team Manager Pawel Bulka said. “The car performed flawlessly and John proved that he belongs in Pirelli World Challenge by posting 1:34 lap times, improving his position and being courteous to his fellow drivers. We are looking forward to our next race at Road America.”
Allen in turn was pleased with his team’s performance all weekend.
“My crew from Bilt Racing Service did an amazing job of building and preparing the car,” Allen said. “They deserved better results that I got for them. I am going to work very hard going forward to deliver better results for them. Quite frankly, the biggest improvement that our team can make before the next race resides in the real estate located between my two ears. Now that I have established a baseline of performance and confidence, I will elevate my game to the next level. Instead of focusing on not making a mistake and not finishing the race, I will be focusing on the moves that I need to make to move up the leaderboard and get closer to standing on the podium.”
Bulka has already seen Allen greatly improve after just one career weekend of professional competition.
“The biggest areas of improvement were on John’s end,” Bulka said. “He kept improving his lap time and position, along with pushing the car to its limit, but bringing it back whole.”
Allen is coached by professional driver Jon Berry.
“This past weekend could not have gone better for SGV Motorsports,” Berry said. The debut of the Porsche Cayman PDK went flawlessly and the goals that we set prior to arriving at this magnificent facility were exceeded. John showed significant improvement over the course of the weekend, developed an understanding for the level of competition and is absolutely up to the challenge of racing with the great drivers in the GTS class in this great series. The Pirelli World Challenge presents a great opportunity for John to thrive as a race driver and we are excited about competing in a few more select events this year as John builds his program.”
The SGV/BRS team also stood out at Barber for running its Cayman S with a PDK “dual clutch” transmission, a rarity in racing that performed well and without a glitch all weekend. The PDK will remain in the No. 16 for the remaining three Pirelli World Challenge races on the team’s schedule.
“In regards to our PDK transmission, it shifted flawlessly and performed well during all of our practice, qualifying and race sessions,” Bulka said. “In our experience racing Caymans, we have found that Porsche vehicles and parts are very heavy duty from the factory and well-engineered. We are excited about continuing development of the PDK.”
Allen has already assessed what he needs to do to build on the initial Barber Motorsports Park success.
“The main thing for me now to improve is to get as much seat time as I can get in competition and learn to read the car better to provide the necessary feedback to my team so they can make the necessary changes to improve the car,” Allen said.