SONOMA, California (August 26, 2015) – John Allen, lead sponsors Fahrenheit IT (www.fahrenheitIT.com) and ITEC (www.TeamITEC.com) and the No. 16 SGV Motorsports/Bilt Racing Service Porsche Cayman S team are heading to this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge event at Sonoma Raceway after a momentum-building performance last weekend at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.
As Allen and SGV/Bilt Racing Service (BRS) did in their series debut in a doubleheader weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in April, the team improved in both races at the Utah Grand Prix presented by VP Racing Fuels.
Racing in the Pirelli World Challenge’s ultra-competitive GTS class, Allen finished 15th in both Utah rounds that were just the third and fourth races, respectively, of his top-level racing career. His best lap time of 2:05.719 in Saturday’s opening race was dwarfed by Allen’s 2:02.998 lap in Sunday’s finale.
“I had good starts, no offs or spins in both races and I managed to shave almost three seconds off my best lap in the Sunday race,” Allen said. “I’m pleased with my progress.”
The encouraging Utah showing also did away with any lingering memories of an early practice accident in the Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) race at Road America in June. Allen was uninjured in the incident but the No. 16 Cayman S was too damaged to race at Road America in what would have been the second of Allen’s four planned PWC events this year.
Instead, Allen and the SGV/BRS team rebuilt the No. 16 Cayman S – nicknamed “Eddie” – and shifted their focus to the back-to-back Utah/Sonoma stretch of races.
“I had three test sessions Thursday and two practice sessions on Friday at Miller,” Allen said. “We had some frustrating challenges with the car, which was running hot, and the new dash management system was doing its job very well and telling me ‘Eddie’ was not happy about it. I had to watch the temps very closely and acknowledge the alarms.”
Allen was admittedly concerned overnight Friday, but the SGV/BRS team, led by Team Manager, Pawel Bulka, had no doubts they would fix the problem for Saturday.
“I was struggling a little with my confidence on Friday but the BRS team did not let me down,” Allen said. “They burned the midnight oil, stepped up big time, did a great job and got the car running cool as a cucumber by the first race on Saturday.”
Sonoma will mark the final Pirelli World Challenge race of the season for Allen and SGV/BRS that deliberately planned just the four-event season for its rookie driver.
“I’m very excited to be wrapping up my Pirelli World Challenge rookie season debut at Sonoma, my favorite track,” Allen said. “There is a great history there. It’s technical and exciting with some really nice blind turns.”
Allen’s Driving Coach, Jon Berry, knows Sonoma will be a season-final test that Allen can handle.
“John will be up to the test,” Berry said. “Sonoma is a technical track which requires patience and strategy to execute clean passes, John has raced there in classes with 70-plus cars on track in multi-class racing and he knows how to navigate Sonoma in traffic. I’m looking forward to an exciting and fun conclusion to the season and great things to come in the off season as we prepare for 2016.”
Another doubleheader weekend, GTS Race 1 starts at 1:45 p.m. PDT this Saturday, August 29. Race 2 goes green Sunday, August 30 at 8:40 a.m. PDT. The races will be streamed live on www.World-ChallengeTV.com and air on the CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, September 9, at 9 p.m. EDT.
– SGV/BRS and the No. 16 Cayman S are the first and only team and race car in North America to run a PDK “dual clutch” transmission in a top-level and professional racing series. “Operating the PDK continues to surprise me at times but I think I am getting better and managing it,” Allen said.
– Berry gave high marks to Allen and BRS for keeping their focus through the early issues in Utah. “The BRS crew did a fantastic job solving the problems and getting the car ready to race,” Berry said. “We lost valuable track time to get up to speed but, despite this, John managed to quickly shave his lap times in preparation for the race. Using qualifying as a test session is not ideal, but John managed to run consistent and clean during the race, displayed composure in traffic and showed his fellow racers that he is a guy that can race clean.”
Follow John Allen and the No. 16 SGV Motorsports/Bilt Racing Service Porsche Cayman S at www.SGVMotorsports.com, www.fahrenheitIT.com, www.TeamITEC.com and www.BiltRacingService.com, on Twitter at @SGVMotorsports and @BiltRacing and at www.Facebook.com/SGVMotorsports and www.Facebook.com/BiltRacingService.