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Skeen, Heckert Set for Lone Star Mercedes GT3 at COTA, VIR

Mike Skeen, Scott Heckert confirmed in Lone Star Mercedes-AMG GT3 for COTA, VIR…

Photo: Lone Star Racing

Mike Skeen and Scott Heckert have been confirmed as drivers for Lone Star Racing’s Pirelli World Challenge SprintX program, beginning with this weekend’s round at Circuit of The Americas.

The pairing will share the wheel of the team’s Mercedes-AMG GT3, in an all-pro lineup.

Skeen and Heckert are so far confirmed for the COTA and Virginia International Raceway only, with the team planning to take part in selected PWC and IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Daytona races this year.

While it will mark Heckert’s team debut, the PWC GTS veteran took part in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup last year in a Black Falcon Mercedes GT3.

“It is a great race car all around, always pretty well behaved and a great way to learn the GT3 platform,” he said.

“This will be my first outing at COTA but it definitely has some European-style qualities that will be familiar. I have also done about 1,000 laps on iRacing so I at least know what direction to go!

“Mike will be a really great teammate. It will be my first time teaming with him but he is reliable, fast and brings the car home clean.

“We are optimistic for the weekend, we’ll keep our hopes in check, but I think we will have a really competitive run.”

“It is always good going into race weekends with a Pro/Pro lineup and really get going for it from the start and feeling we have a good competitive level in the team,” Skeen said.

“The whole series is well developed at the front of the field, we have a lot of competition that we are going up against, but we are hopeful we can come out and show well.”

Team manager AJ Petersen added: “We are definitely optimistic about this weekend but it is measured optimism. There is still some really stiff competition in Pirelli World Challenge and we deliberately chose to run in the GT Pro/Pro category.

“We want to be tested, that is just the fabric of our team, we like to challenge ourselves and can in the top Pro class.”

While team owner Dan Knox will not race this weekend, Petersen indicated that he still has plans to race in the future.

“This is the first time we have run a race without Dan in the seat,” Petersen said. “It will be a different experience, but we are very thankful he has the confidence to be in the team ownership role and give some opportunities to deserving young talent.

“Both Mike and Scott have really good heads on their shoulders as far as race craft and strategy.

“I think they will stack up really well with the competition, just race smart, take care of the equipment and bring it home this weekend.”

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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