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Michelin Pilot Challenge

High Expectations for Green, New MIA McLaren GT4 Effort

New CTSC entrant MIA gears up for its debut campaign…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Motorsports In Action is a brand-new team on the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge grid, but team partner and driver Chris Green says the Montreal-based squad has big-time aspirations.

MIA has entered a pair of McLaren 570S GT4 cars for the 2017 Continental Tire Challenge season in the resurgent GS class for the full season with a driver lineup that includes former Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge champions in Green (2015, Canada) and Jesse Lazare (2016, USA) in one of the team’s cars, with Kenny Wilden and Rod Randall will sharing the driving duties in the team’s second entry.

The Canadian outfit is a partnership of Green, who is the McLaren brand manager for Pfaff Automotive Partners, Eric Kerub, who has been an entrant in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series (Canada) for the past two seasons, and race engineer Carl Hermez.

Green said it was a matter of everything coming together at the right time put the team together for 2017.

“[Team owner] Eric [Kerub] is very close to the McLaren factory,” Green told Sportscar365. “He’s always been very passionate about McLaren cars and the brand.

“He races a McLaren 12C GT Can-Am in Canada, which is obviously a very cool car. I’m from Pfaff Automotive Partners based out of Toronto, which represents the McLaren Brand in Canada. We have the McLaren Toronto and McLaren Vancouver dealerships.

“Eric approached me late last year and said, ‘Hey, do you have any interest in taking this new 570S GT4 program to the U.S.?’ And since the Continental Series was one of the first platforms to accept the new GT4 program, we started putting pieces together.

“This whole thing came together in a very short period of time. We received out first car on Dec. 23. The second car arrived on the same day the truck was leaving [for the Roar Before the 24 test]. But you know what? We’re here.”

Green said that IMSA’s decision to accept SRO GT4-homologated cars in Continental Tire Challenge was a factor in MIA’s choice to enter the series.

While he acknowledged interest in Pirelli World Challenge’s GTS class does exist, the focus will remain on Continental Tire Challenge for the time being.

“Our focus right now is to run the Continental Series. They have a good program together, and it’s a very professional outfit,” said Green.

“McLaren were also very keen on the IMSA series. I think there will be room to grow in the GT4 platform and hopefully in the GT3 platform, too.

“Obviously it’s very good competition with 21, 22 cars. It was the right choice for us, but the future [PWC] could very well be [an option]. I ran a PWC event last year in the GT Cup class in my old Cup car. It’s fun. I love it. I think they do a really good job, but we’ll walk before we run.”

While nearly everything about MIA is new, Green said the team was still unpacking boxes in the transporter at the Roar, they expect to compete with stalwarts of the Continental Tire Challenge GS class.

“Of course we’re here to win; we always are,” he said. “It’s a young team, a group of great guys, and they’re always motivated. I think we’ll be able to succeed in some wins this year.

“The championship will be the ultimate goal. But realistically, if we can finish in the top-five this year I think that would be a huge success.”

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is a pit reporter for SRO America's TV coverage as well as for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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