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Injury Rules Avenatti Out of GB Autosport Porsche, Barker to Sub

Ben Barker to sub for GB Autosport team principal Michael Avenatti…

Photo: IMSA

Photo: IMSA

Michael Avenatti has been ruled out the cockpit of the GB Autosport Porsche, for what could be the remainder of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, due to a back injury.

The team principal, who has co-driven the team’s  Tully’s Coffee-sponsored No. 80 Porsche 911 GT America alongside Damien Faulkner, has been battling a herniated disc since a pre-season training injury in January.

It was something I was hoping would heal over time but it has unfortunately gotten progressively worse,” Avenatti told Sportscar365. “It flared up this week immediately after Watkins.

“As a result, I may have to have back surgery later this month in Los Angeles with a recovery time of approximately 12 weeks.”

Porsche Supercup driver Ben Barker has been named as Avenatti’s substitute.

The Silver-rated driver, who contested the last two races for the California-based team, is expected to complete the balance of the season, except for the upcoming Indianapolis round due to his Supercup duties.

Despite not being in the car, Avenatti has reaffirmed his long-term commitment to the sport with the first-year operation led by veteran team manager and strategist Cole Scrogham.

“Above all else, we are focused on continuing to post solid results for the long term benefit of the team, which while young is starting to gel,” Avenatti added.

“To this end, Damien has already been signed to a contract through the balance of next year and we are also in discussions with a number of other parties/drivers regarding adding a second car to the stable next year, whether it be in the TUDOR Championship or WEC.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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