Team Seattle announced today that it has entered a Porsche 911 GT America in the full TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GTD Class for 2014. The new series will start with the 52nd running of the famed Florida endurance race, the Rolex 24 At Daytona, January 25-26, 2014.
The Team Seattle entry will be prepared and managed by Alex Job Racing (AJR) based in Tavares, Fla. with support from Bellevue, Wash. Businessman Gabe Newell. Ian James (Phoenix, Ariz) and Mario Farnbacher (Lichtenau, Germany) will be the team’s full-season drivers.
“Alex helped Donna and I start the Team Seattle guild in 1997,” Don Kitch Jr., Team Seattle founder said. “I am elated to be back with Alex as we move into the new future of sports car racing in 2014. AJR is a winning team with a deep heritage with Porsche. Our intent is to win races, contend for the championship, and, as always, win for Seattle Children’s Hospital, the KIDS, and national pediatric health care.”
Alex Job, AJR team principal, is glad to be back with Kitch and a very competitive new entry.
“I am very happy to be returning with Don, Gabe, Team Seattle and the Seattle Children’s Hospital,” Job said. “AJR helped them start their program 18-years ago. We fully expect to compete at the highest level in the newly formed series and do our best for Seattle Children’s Hospital. We have a strong driver line-up for this season-long program and I look forward to being a part of this strong effort.”
Leading the driving duo for the season will be Ian James. A past race winner in Grand-Am and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).
“To be an integral part of the Team Seattle program is a real honor,” James said. “I have had the good fortune of not only driving the Team Seattle entry in the past, but have had the opportunity to visit Seattle Children’s Hospital, see the patients and hear from the doctors just how important this program has been in saving lives. Donna and Don were the innovators in this type of motorsport program many years ago. With the support of Gabe Newell and driving for the best Porsche team in the business, I could not be more excited about heading into this new era of American sports car racing with this team. Mario is an up-and-coming driver with a lot of Porsche experience. I am looking forward to sharing the seat with him next year.”
Joining Ian for the season will be Porsche standout Mario Farnbacher. Farnbacher is a veteran of the ADAC GT and VLN Series in Europe.
“Alex and his team have a lot of racing and Porsche experience,” Farnbacher said. “His was one of the first teams in the ALMS and also one of the most successful. My brother [Dominik] drove with his team in one of his first ALMS races. I am so excited to get the ride for next year. It is a totally new series, so it will be really interesting for everybody. Ian and I will try to be on top of the championship podium at the end of the season.”
“Seattle Children’s Hospital is doing extraordinary pioneering work in the field of pediatric cardiology. Their work is making a difference in the field, but it is also capital intensive. The fund raising of Team Seattle will give our community a fun, highly visible way to support Seattle Children’s Hospital and their efforts. Daytona is first, but I am looking forward to a great season of racing in the new TUDOR SportsCar Championship,” stated Gabe Newell, Team Seattle Partner and president of Valve Corporation in Bellevue, Wash.
Team Seattle’s new Porsche should be delivered in early November. The current schedule calls for the team to participate in sanctioned winter testing in Sebring, Florida, November 16-17 and Daytona International Speedway November 19-20.