Orlando, FL. (May 1, 2014) – Shea Racing had an incredible start to the Pirelli World Challenge season at Barber Motorsports Park Presented by RECARO last weekend capturing their first ever pole position and first win of the season.
Shea Holbrook, driver and co-owner of Shea Racing, ran quickest in all but one of the practices. She was able to carry that momentum into qualifying where she posted the fastest lap time in the new TCA class with a 1:41.919 her No. 67 TRUECar/Lucas Oil/Radium/Hendrick Honda Civic Si. This marks her first time starting pole position in Pirelli World Challenge.
“It feels great when you do your job well. The team worked hard to deliver the best possible car and they did actually that. I knew we could do it and we’ll do it again,” said Holbrook.
P.J. Groenke, driver of the No. 66 Verax.ca/Tundra/Mulligan Gold Honda Fit and teammate Paul Holton in the No. 65 Radium/TRUECar/Lucas Oil Honda Fit finished neck-and-neck making it a three car drag race across the finish line in the 40-minute, 24-lap race.
“It was awesome to be back with the Shea Racing Team for the first race weekend. The entire team did a great job with setting up the Verax.ca, Tundra, Mulligan Gold Honda Fit including a late night transmission swap on Thursday. Unfortunately qualifying didn’t go as well as we had hoped for following a great second practice session, but I was able to get an amazing start in the race gaining several positions. Overall we had a great first weekend bringing home the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start award for passing five cars on the start and a 6th place finish in the TCB Class. I can’t wait for my home race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 3 weeks!” said Groenke.
Rookie driver, Paul Holton, drove exceptionally well for his first professional debut finishing seventh in class.
“I had a great time at Barber, which is the nicest facility that I’ve been to so far, and am ecstatic about my P5 qualification and 7th place finish. I definitely have some things to work on, but I’m pleased with the steps forward I made here and I can’t wait for Mosport!” Holton said.
Shea Holbrook led twenty-three of the twenty-four lap race winning by an astonishing 0.210 of a second to secure her second series victory, becoming the first female driver to win a TCA race. The Women’s Sports Foundation, Project Podium recipient last saw the top of the podium in 2011 were she became the first woman to of won in the TC class at Long Beach.
“There’s nothing like experiencing your first pole and first win of the season in one weekend. It’s extremely gratifying and humbling. I used to look back and think it’s taken us so long but now, it just feels right. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a first in the newly formatted TCA class with my partners and team,” Holbrook said.
Due to severe weather on Sunday, Round 2 was canceled at Barber Motorsport Park. Series officials have decided to make up the race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 16-17th making it a triple-header weekend.
The Honda team currently ranks first in the TCA championship with Shea Holbrook leading with 152 points, P.J. Groenke with 76 points putting him sixth in the TCB championship and Paul Holton seventh with 72 points.
Watch live streaming of the races on www.world-challengetv.com
Watch on TV
On NBC Sports Network. Saturday, May 10 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time. (re-air Friday, May 16 at 1 a.m.)
About Shea Racing:
Shea Racing is a three-driver, three-car professional auto racing team in the Pirelli World Challenge dedicated to achieving paramount success by providing extraordinary racecars and trackside service, incredible branding and marketing efforts and developing a strong foundation to support talented drivers and to elevate our partners. The 2014 season marks the team’s fifth year racing in the series.