Pirelli World Challenge GT team CRP Racing will run a new driver lineup at this weekend’s SprintX finale at the Utah Grand Prix. Michael Cooper will return to the team for the first time since 2013, racing alongside recent addition Matt Brabham in the No. 2 Mercedes AMG GT3.
“It’s a pleasure to welcome both Michael Cooper and Matthew Brabham back to the team,” said team owner Nicholas Short. “The team at our North Carolina shop has been working hard to prepare the car for this weekend’s race, and I’m looking forward to what this pair will be able to do on track.”
The No. 2 Mercedes AMG GT3 sustained heavy damage in race two at Portland International Raceway last month, resulting in the crew at the shop working around the clock to get the car ready for this weekend’s race activities. Just in time to load up for Utah, the crew finished repairing the car for Cooper and Brabham to fight for victory this Saturday and Sunday.
Following his Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) Touring Class championship title in 2012, CRP Racing gave Michael Cooper his first opportunity in GT racing in 2013 for a one off at Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course in 2013. Cooper went on to establish himself as a front runner in the series, winning the 2015 PWC GTS Championship, and the 2017 GT SprintX Championship. Cooper last raced in the Pirelli World Challenge GT class in 2017, sweeping both rounds at the season finale event at Sonoma Raceway. Cooper will replace full season driver Daniel Morad in both remaining rounds, the Grand Prix of Utah and the Grand Prix of Watkins Glen at the end of the month.
“CRP Racing has become a staple of the PWC grid and I’m excited to join them for the remaining rounds of the 2018 championship,” said Cooper. “Nick Short and the team gave me an opportunity to race in the GT class five years ago, which was a first and the spark for my GT career. I can’t thank them enough for bringing me back to GT. I’m looking forward to representing DeVilbiss and experiencing the speed of the Mercedes GT3 car while doing so.”
Matt Brabham first joined the team at the previous event, the Grand Prix of Portland. Brabham, an experienced racer, had his first taste of GT3 racing behind the wheel of the No. 2 Mercedes AMG GT3, and wasted no time getting up to speed in the competitive field. He finished fourth in his debut race, but an unfortunate incident in race two took removed the car from contention while running in the top five. With a strong debut performance, Brabham will return to race alongside Cooper for the SprintX finale event.
”I’m very excited and grateful to be called up again by Nick Short and Devilbiss,” said Brabham. “It has been invaluable for me to be a part of the team, gaining experience and seat time in GT3 racing. I have learnt a lot being thrown in the deep end and have much more to learn. Utah is an awesome track and I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge and building on from the last race. I’m feeling more comfortable and more confident in the car and believe we can come away with a great result.”
The Pirelli World Challenge SprintX finale will feature two sixty minute races. One driver will start the race, then pit during the mandatory ten minute pit window for new tires and a switch to the second driver. In race two, the format will remain the same, but with the driver order reversed. The starting position for race two will be determined by each car’s fastest lap in race one. Race one will begin Saturday, August 11 at 1:10PM Mountain Time, followed by race two on Sunday, August 12 at 11:00AM MT. Both races will air live on the Pirelli World Challenge YouTube channel. For full event information, visit world-challenge.com.
Source. KBru Communications