Two years after his first race, SGV Motorsports driver John Allen returns to his home state of Alabama to launch his professional racing career April 24-26, 2015 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham.
“I am very excited to represent SGV Motorsports and ITEC (www.TeamITEC.com) driving the #16 Porsche Cayman built and supported by Bilt Racing Service in Momence, IL” said John. “BRS has extensive experience with the Caymans and has engineered and assembled an amazing car which we successfully tested and shook down earlier this year in Porsche Club of America races at Sebring and Road Atlanta. My approach to building a successful race team is much the same as building my engineering company, surround myself with people that are smarter than me, get out of their way and let them do what they are good at. “
Team Manager Pawel Bulka of BRS said “We are very excited to be competing in Pirelli World Challenge and returning to professional racing with a Porsche Cayman. We are anticipating a successful season, regarding driver and vehicle development. So far in testing the results look very promising and working with John Allen and the rest of the SGV/ITEC staff has been seamless and we really believe we have a winning team. In addition, we are enthusiastic about running a Porsche PDK transmission in professional competition. “
Over the past two years, John has honed his racing skills in the very competitive National Auto Sport Association’s German Touring Series campaigning a BMW E46 M3 and a Porsche 911. He qualified for the National Championship races in 2013 and 2014 but had some bad luck with mechanical failures resulting in DNFs. At Miller in Sep 2013, it was raining before the race but looking like it would quit soon so some drivers chose rain tires and others slicks. The track was very wet but starting to dry out so slicks were the right choice but the start was very slippery and John went 2 wheels off in the 2nd lap jarring the car hard enough that the battery cable came loose and he watched the rest of the race from the mud. In Nov 2014 at Sonoma, he qualified 2nd in class for the Championship race, got off to a great start and 3rd gear synchro failed after only a few laps. Recalling the learning experience, John said “As they say, that’s racing! Through the years, I have told various teams I’ve worked with in all areas of life that you don’t get to control the results, only the effort you put in.”
Like many kids growing up, John felt the need for speed. “My first go kart was little, red, and homemade, more of a glorified riding lawnmower than a proper go kart, that I raced around a dirt track in the backyard.” John said. “Then in fifth grade, I got a paper route and earned enough to buy a purpose built kart that had a 4 HP Briggs & Stratton motor. I drove that kart around my neighborhood almost every day for hours at a time for years. The street was about a 1/3 mile paved circle that was perfect for running clockwise laps with a decreasing radius right hand turn at the bottom of the hill and a big uphill sweeper. I had a tall red flag on the top of a bamboo fishing pole so the neighbors wouldn’t run me over. “ John remembered.
“In the spring of 2002, I splurged, purchasing a BMW M3. That car rekindled my need for speed. While driving it, I couldn’t stop smiling. Once I paid it off I began tuning, adding a Dinan S3 package, with suspension, brakes, more cooling, headers, free flow exhaust, and an intercooled super charger. By the time I was done it was making 575 HP to the wheels with almost 400 foot pounds of torque. When High Plains Raceway east of Denver opened I took the M3 out for some open lapping days and started signing up for high performance drivers education courses. During that time, Jon Berry invited me to Pike’s Peak International Raceway for a Chump car race. That was the first time I saw live wheel-to-wheel racing and I was hooked.”
Driver Coach Jon Berry said, “I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with John since the early days of his driver development. As racing drivers we have a tendency to let our egos get in the way of our development and that has never been the case with John, who is always interested in learning more. I’ve had the opportunity to work with and observe many rookie and veteran drivers in auto racing over the last 15+ years and John has shown a propensity to learn and apply the fundamentals of driving dynamics and race craft as well as anyone I’ve worked with. As an engineer and Rocket Scientist his focus on continual improvement, flawless execution and a never ending search for the limit gives John an edge over drivers that have been involved in this sport for much longer then he has and I feel this will translate into a long successful career within the World Challenge ranks.
John is excited and ready to compete at a high level with the great drivers that make up the GTS field in the Pirelli World Challenge series and I look forward to watching and working with John as he continues to improve his skills and his finishing position throughout this season. Look for John (and “Eddie”) to be racing at the front of the pack in the near future. “
“Car racing is about having fun!” John said. “I had a lot of fun coming up with the livery for the race car. Much of my career was working in the Aerospace Industry and I have always liked rock and roll music, so I’ve had fun with that. The livery concept is tongue-in-cheek with space-travel, science fiction, horror, and rock’n roll music all inspiring the theme. It IS Rocket Science.”
“I have a fellow rocket scientist friend and gear head to thank for introducing me to Iron Maiden. In 2010, Maiden released their 15th studio album entitled The Final Frontier…with Satellite 15 as the instrumental leading into the title track. The Final Frontier garnered significant critical acclaim and was their biggest commercial success reaching #1 in 28 countries worldwide. The car graphic was inspired by Iron Maiden’s mascot creature “Eddie” who holds a Altas rocket in his left hand and earth in his right hand. A satellite spies down on “Eddie.” I see people taking a 2nd look at “Eddie” as he rolls through the paddock and giving me the thumbs up. “
“I still have a lot to learn about car racing and enjoy learning something new everyday,” said John. “I hope to see a lot of Bama fans out at the racetrack in Birmingham. If you look closely you might also see ‘Big Al’ and “Roll Tide” on the car. Auburn fans are encouraged to join us in the paddock area too.”
You can watch the Pirelli World Challenge GTS Races at Barber on Friday April 24 at 5:55 PM (EDT) and Saturday 25 April at 2:40 PM (EDT) streaming live on www.world-challengetv.com and replayed on CBS Sports Network Sunday May 3 at 2 PM (EDT)
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