– Winning Co-Drivers Mike Skeen and Scott Heckert Team in No. 80 ACS Manufacturing/Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Utah Motorsports Campus
– Skeen, Heckert and Lone Star Racing Looking for More Poles, Podiums and Race Wins
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – ACS Manufacturing and Lone Star Racing continue their 2018 racing season this weekend with team co-drivers Mike Skeen and Scott Heckert who will be looking for more poles, podiums and race wins in the No. 80 ACS Manufacturing/Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 in a Pirelli World Challenge SprintX doubleheader this Saturday and Sunday at Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC).
With two poles and three podium finishes – including a Sunday victory at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) in April – Lone Star Racing and the first-year driver pairing of Skeen and Heckert have been a formidable force in Pirelli World Challenge SprintX GT Pro competition this year.
In addition to the VIR win, Skeen and Heckert co-drove to second and third-place podium finishes in the season-opening doubleheader weekend at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in March. Skeen was on the pole for both the COTA event and started first in the No. 80 at Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day.
“The Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 has been fast everywhere we have been this year, so it shouldn’t be any different in Utah,” Skeen said. “We might face a little difficulty with the altitude with our normally-aspirated car compared to the turbocharged cars, but that has yet to be seen. Pirelli World Challenge and SRO usually do a pretty good job with the Balance of Performance (BoP) and I am sure they will have that figured out. It’s just another weekend of racing for us.”
Skeen is in his third year with Lone Star Racing while Heckert, who competed in 2017 in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Europe, is filling in for Lone Star team owner and driver Dan Knox for the fourth time this year.
“Everyone on the team is excited to be back at the track displaying our talents and skills,” said Lone Star Racing Team Manager AJ Petersen. “We are thankful to Dan Knox and ACS Manufacturing for giving us a great opportunity to compete this year. Even though the BoP is not favorable for our car here in Utah we felt it was important to enter and remind everyone that LSR is open for business. Both competing sports car championships have made their 2019 announcements, and we are ready and capable to start making the most of the coming opportunities.”
Heckert scored his first career Pirelli World Challenge victory at UMC in the GTS class two years ago.
“It was my first sports car win at Utah and the track holds some special memories for me,” Heckert said. “We had a really good run that weekend, and I know the track pretty well. I haven’t back since, that was my only experience here and it was a good one, and I am looking forward to coming back. Hopefully we will have some repeat success.”
Skeen has extensive experience at UMC but is still looking for his first victory on the 3.048-mile road course.
“The Utah track is great,” Skeen said. “I have been there many times, since basically it was new, and the track usually makes for good racing. There’re several passing zones, lots of braking zones, and it’s nice and wide. It’s always interesting. I have been on the podium there before but don’t think I have won in Utah, so hopefully we can change that.”
A three-day weekend event, the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX GT schedule at Utah Motorsports Campus begins Friday with morning and afternoon practice sessions.
After a 20-minute GT-class qualifying session Saturday at 10:20 a.m. MDT, the weekend’s first one-hour race SprintX GT race is scheduled to start later that day at 4:45 p.m. MDT.