TruSpeed Autosport is preparing to run its second Audi R8 LMS for the remainder of the Pirelli World Challenge SprintX season, while also not ruling out additional selected one-off Sprint races, according to team principal Tyler Tadevic.
The California-based team has expanded into a two-car operation this weekend at Long Beach, with Rocky Moran Jr. joining full-season driver Parker Chase at the wheel of the ex-Stevenson Motorsports Audis.
Tadevic, who has been working to fill the seat in the second Audi, said he’s close to securing a deal with 2016 GTS champion Brett Sandberg and Dore Chaponick for the four remaining SprintX rounds.
“That’s the intention and we are hopeful it is the case,” Tadevic told Sportscar365.
“Dore and Brett will likely be the drivers in the car. I’m thinking they will do the remainder of the SprintX races together. That’s what they’ve said they will do.
“They’ll definitely be in for VIR; I feel very confident about that.”
Tadevic explained he had hoped to secure a deal with Sandberg for the full season although it did not come together in time for last month’s season-opener at St. Pete, which adjusted Sandberg and Chaponick’s program.
“They’ve reeled their position back a little bit and will focus on two or three races and see where they are for next year,” he said.
“Had we’d been able to do COTA, Brett was going to work really hard to do St. Pete and Long Beach too.”
A last-minute deal with Moran Jr., meanwhile, was reached to drive the No. 71 Audi this weekend at Long Beach, in a one-off outing that Tadevic said was initially set to go to Tomy Drissi.
Drissi’s entry, however, was not accepted by PWC stewards and management due to his two most recent racing suspensions, according to WC Vision President and CEO Greg Gill.
Tadevic said he was “really frustrated” by the series’ decision, based on Drissi’s previous actions in Trans-Am, a series which he has since been reinstated to compete in, but is hopeful of fielding the second Audi in other Sprint races later this year.
Baron to Lend Helping Hand
The team has drafted in Starworks Motorsport team owner Peter Baron to assist with its ramped up effort this weekend and at Virginia International Raceway.
Baron, known as a master in race strategy, has served in a key role with Montaplast by Land Motorsport’s race-winning Audi effort in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, which his team also supports from a logistical standpoint.
The link also came in part from TruSpeed’s SprintX driver Ryan Dalziel, who is a longtime friend and driver with Baron.
“With the team, two cars, engineering that had never done it before, all of those learning curves, we thought we would be smart to get a little bit of outside help,” Tadevic explained.
“Obviously Peter and the Land guys have had the best Audi in North America for the last six months. Who are you going to call?”
Tadevic said Baron’s role could expand beyond Long Beach and VIR although a decision has yet to be made.