Capstone Motorsports, a new-for-2021 sports car racing team headquartered in Parker, Colo., will make its IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series debut next weekend in the four-hour race at Watkins Glen International with co-drivers John Allen, Kris Wilson and Gary Ferrera in the No. 60 Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Capstone is set for both its IMSA and Watkins Glen International debuts fresh off the team’s first pro sports car racing victory earlier this month at Virginia International Raceway where Allen and Wilson co-drove to the win in Pirelli GT4 America Am class competition.
Ferrera will partner Allen and Wilson in the lineup next weekend for the four-hour race at The Glen.
The IMSA debut also brings Capstone’s growing University of Alabama College of Engineering Sports Car Racing Internship Program to the IMSA paddock for the first time.
The establishment of Capstone continues an evolution for Allen and the UA Engineering internship program which has been an at-track technical curriculum the last couple of years.
Allen, a 1979 UA College of Engineering graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, was named in 2018 a UA Distinguished Engineering Fellow in acknowledgement of his vast professional, military and philanthropic achievements.
It was at that year’s Distinguished Engineering Fellows induction celebration that Allen shared his vision for an engineering-based internship program in the high-tech world of modern-day sports car racing.
Active in the sport since 2013, Allen is quick to see the connection between sports car racing and the educational programs offered in the UA College of Engineering.
“Sports car racing today is about so much more than just driving fast and flat out,” Allen said. “Along with driver ability, engineering is the most important aspect of success in today’s high-tech arena of sports car racing.
“We established the internship program a couple of years ago to open this world to UA Engineering students that might not be aware this incredible opportunity exists.
“We can’t wait to get to Watkins Glen next weekend to debut both our racing team and the internship program in IMSA.”
Allen added: “I love Watkins Glen. It’s my all-time favorite of all the tracks I’ve ever driven. I love endurance racing. The team aspect, pit strategy, it’s exhilarating to be a part of a team effort like that.
“It will be my second IMSA race. I did a race a few years ago and kind of got bitten by the bug. I’m glad that we’re headed back that way to get involved in IMSA.”
Allen’s one-off Pilot Challenge start was with Automatic Racing in 2018 at Road America co-driving with Ramin Abdolvahabi, but it is Wilson – Allen’s full-time teammate the last few seasons – who brings the most IMSA GS class experience to The Glen next weekend.
Wilson has partnered primarily with Ferrera at Automatic in recent seasons in Pilot Challenge competition where the duo earned some success in the four hour races with a runner-up GS finish at Daytona in 2019.
“We are super excited to have our new Capstone Motorsports team stepping into the IMSA arena,” Wilson said.
“Gary and I have run together in the Michelin Pilot Challenge series for the past few years, but I’m looking forward to now having John, Gary and I race together in the four-hour race at The Glen in our Mercedes-AMG GT4.
Ferrera has been a pitside guest of Allen’s at races but this is the first time they will co-drive together with Wilson.
“Gary is like Kris, just a good, fun guy to have around and on your team,” Allen said. “Always smiling, always happy. We pick our guys to fit in.”