Compass Racing launches its 15th-consecutive season in IMSA’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge by opening a bold new chapter in the new-for-2018 TCR class with two Audi RS 3 LMS race cars.
“We were proud to be the first team to commit to this new IMSA class, and to now be the first to announce our driver line-ups,” remarked Team Principal Karl Thomson. “We’ve run for many years in this series, having not missed a race since January 2004, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to continue to grow our program in this paddock.”
Roy Block and Pierre Kleinubing — who drove the team’s ST-class Audi S3 to three podiums and a victory in 2017 — will pilot the team’s No. 75 APR / AlphaClone / Brooklyn Tailors / Race Day Foundation car. “We had a great year with the S3, ticking off all of our pre-season goals,” noted Block. “With the S3s for sale, we hope another team will be able to continue our success while we move up a class.”
Rodrigo Sales, who helmed a BMW in Pirelli World Challenge last season, will drive the No. 74 Pfaff Automotive / AERO Paint / Race Day Foundation Audi with Kuno Wittmer, who joins the squad from Rahal Letterman Lanigan’s GTLM BMW effort. “Having a chance to add Rodrigo and Kuno to our new TCR program is a great opportunity,” noted Technical Director Ray Lee. “We believe we’ve got a really strong driver line-up in both cars and expect to be in the hunt for the championship from the get-go.”
Compass Racing will build on its experience with the Audi TCR platform, which netted the team a PWC championship in 2017 with pilot Paul Holton. “We got a lot of useful data last season that we hope will give us a leg-up on the competition,” said Thomson. “From what we’re hearing we should see quite a few Audis in IMSA for 2018, along with VWs, Alfa Romeo and hopefully Honda; the TCR class has a lot of good traction worldwide and it’s going to be exciting for us to be part of its first season in North America.”
The team has just completed a successful IMSA-sanctioned test at Daytona International Speedway and has further private testing in December in advance of the official Roar Before the 24 on January 5-7. The team’s first 2018 race is the four-our CTSC event at Daytona January 24-26, which will be televised on FOX Sports.