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Michelin Pilot Challenge

eEuroparts Racing Shutters Operations; Team Owner Speaks

Five-car Audi Michelin Pilot Challenge squad closes its doors…

Photo: John Dagys

One of the powerhouse teams in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition, at least in terms of numbers, is no more, with eEuroparts Racing having shuttered operations for this year due to financial issues.

The development comes in the wake of next weekend’s penultimate round of the season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, where none of the team’s Audi GS and TCR entries are entered, aside from its previously supported Audi RS 3 LMS TCR car from Roadshagger Racing.

The Connecticut-based squad had fielded as many as five cars over the course of the Pilot Challenge season, including an Audi R8 LMS GT4 entry for Tyler Cooke and Kenton Koch, with Gunnar Jeannette having been part of the team’s second GT4 lineup in selected rounds.

The team burst onto the IMSA scene last year, with an Audi TCR entry that featured Koch and Tom O’Gorman, prior to an aggressive off-season expansion that initially included one Audi GT4 and three TCR cars.

It then later added a second Audi GT4 entry for Jeannette and Rodrigo Sales just weeks before the season-opener at Daytona.

Team principal Matt Moran, who is also the President and CEO of eEuroparts, confirmed to Sportscar365 on Friday that the team has ceased operations for 2019 due to “lack of sponsorship”.

“I have not determined if the team will be out of business or not,” Moran said. “I’m dealing with enough issues with my other business that I haven’t had time to address that yet.”

Moran confirmed that the eEuroparts parts company is “insolvent and bankrupt” although the website has been sold to Newparts Inc., in a deal that was recently announced on its Facebook page.

The European car parts distributor, located in Windsor, Conn., had been in business since 2000.

Moran explained he had been hoping to sell that part of the company last winter in order to help fund the racing program.

“We were trying to exit that business and be in racing full-time for almost a year-a-half,” he said. “It just didn’t work out.

“We had a couple of deals that fell through. There was nothing I could do about it at the end of the day except try to do the best thing I could for our customers and employees.

“We still have customers that want to race. Right now our cars are for sale. We were planning on moving on from Audi at the end of this year anyway.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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