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GB Autosport Confirms NAEC Effort, Signs Skeen

Mike Skeen signs with GB Autosport for 2015…

Photo: Jake Galstad

Photo: Jake Galstad

GB Autosport announced Monday that it will compete in the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup for the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in the team’s sophomore season in the series.

Building on what the Tully’s Coffee-sponsored team learned in GTD class competition through the 2014 season, the group will see both continuity and fresh faces in 2015.

After fully recovering from a training injury that kept him out of the cockpit in the later half of the season, Michael Avenatti will return to race action in 2015, along with the fiercely competitive Damien Faulkner.

A new name will adorn the Tully’s “Coffee Rocket” as the team has signed sports car veteran Mike Skeen to the driver lineup for the long-distance races.

With a wide range of experience varying from NASCAR to the Pirelli World Challenge as well as in the TUDOR Championship, plus a high level of familiarity with Porsche, Skeen is a valuable addition to the team.

“I’m really excited to join GB Autosport for the four longer Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup races,” said Skeen. “I’ve known of the team, I ran out on track against them last year and I watched how they competed last year and I’m honored to get to be a part of that.

“They have a great team, solid equipment and a great competitive attitude. I really think having consistency with our driver lineup for the four races will give us a great boost, just because we will get to know how we each like the car and the setup and we can build that necessary comradery and I’m looking forward to getting started at the Roar!”

“We are very fortunate that Mike (Skeen) has committed to our team,” team principal Avenatti said. “Mike is widely recognized as one of the best up-and-coming racers in the United States and I am excited to have the chance to race with him.”

Comprised of the longer endurance races, the Patron Endurance Cup marks a special challenge in the IMSA calendar, including the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen and the season-finale, Petit Le Mans.

“We started prepping for the 2015 season after the very first race of last year, to be honest,” said Team Manager Cole Scrogham.

“After each race we would take everything we learned and file it away not just for the next race, but for the next season so we are able to continually improve and make the best and smartest racing decisions possible.

“The team as a unit now has valuable experience for these longer races, and adding Mike (Skeen) to the lineup and having that consistency in the drivers will really benefit us as well.”

The No. 81 Tully’s Coffee sponsored Porsche 911 GT America saw a strong debut season in 2014 under the direction of Avenatti and Scrogham.

With full-season driver Faulkner, the newly-minted team drove to a season-best finish of fourth, as well as a solid effort in the final point standings, outpacing other teams that had been established years prior.

GB looks to best that in 2015 by continuing their podium-focused work ethic and perseverance.

The team will be back in action on January 9-11, 2015 to begin testing for the year at the annual “Roar Before the 24” test days at Daytona International Speedway.

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