A few hours following last weekend’s LMP3 event at Barber Motorsports Park, ANSA Motorsports was already prepared to start a new race week in a different series, this time in the Pirelli World Challenge at Virginia International Raceway, in Alton, Virginia.
Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship are scheduled April 28-30 on the grueling 17-turn, 3.27-mile VIR road course.
Alain Nadal’s Miami Gardens, Florida, racing team, which started the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship season with Frankie Montecalvo and Bill Ziegler at St. Petersburg, Florida, last March, is coming to VIR with two new drivers and the desire to shine and get good results.
ANSA Motorsports finished second in the 2016 Pirelli World Challenge GTS team championship, and its driver, Brett Sandberg, won the 2016 driver championship behind the wheel of his KTM X-Bow GT4.
After two rounds raced at St. Pete, the team sits fourth in the 2017 PWC team championship. ANSA Motorsports had to select two new drivers for this event, Nico Jamin and Ricco Shlaimoun, to drive its No. 13 and No. 25 KTM X-Bow GT4s.
The 2015 USF2000 champion, Frenchman Jamin, who now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, will drive the No. 13 KTM X-Bow GT4 at VIR. This is Jamin’s first-ever race in a KTM GT4, his first laps around VIR and his debut race in the Pirelli World Challenge. Last week, Jamin, who is now one of the season drivers for Andretti Autosport in the 2017 Indy Lights championship, won round 3 at Barber and finished third in round 4.
The very versatile Jamin, 21, who can race and win in any type of race car, already competed for ANSA Motorsports this season and made history at Sebring, winning the first two inaugural IMSA Prototype Challenge LMP3 races organized in North America. He is now ready for his first PWC race.
“I am very happy to be back behind the wheel of one of the ANSA Motorsports’ race cars,” Jamin said. “We’ve had a lot of success together recently in LMP3, and this will be a new experience for me on the KTM GT4 in World Challenge. I have never driven this race car before, and I have never been to VIR either, so it will be a whole new experience for me, but it should be fun! I’d love to bring more trophies to display in Alain Nadal’s shop.”
Like Jamin, Shlaimoun, from Irvine, California, will make his racing debut in the Pirelli World Challenge at VIR, where he will drive the No. 25 KTM X-Bow GT4 in the GTSA class. Shlaimoun is a very talented, young driver, who has already competed at the highest level in karting since 2015 and won two national championships in 2016. He tested several open-wheel and GT cars, including the ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow that he will drive this week at VIR.
“I’m excited about my first Pirelli World Challenge GTS race this weekend,” Shlaimoun said. “It’s a huge deal, and I have a lot riding on it. Since I am only 14, there is a lot of pressure on me, but I have been practicing during the off season and know the KTM X-Bow race car and the VIR track well, so I am expecting a decent result. I’d like to thank everyone who helped me on my journey so far. Without you all, I could not have come this far.”
Nadal is excited to see his new racers in action at VIR. “I am pleased to have Nico and Ricco drive our two KTM X-Bows at VIR. This is an excellent opportunity to race in the very competitive Pirelli World Challenge GTS championship, and I am looking forward to great on-track battles and hoping for podium positions,” Nadal said.
To follow ANSA Motorsports, Nico Jamin and Ricco Shlaimoun at VIR:
Promoter Test Day: Thursday, April 27
Practice: 9:40 -10:20 a.m. and 1:40 – 2:30 p.m. EDT Friday, April 28
Qualifying: 10:15 -10:30 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 29
Round 3 (50 minutes): 2:10 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 29
Round 4 (50 minutes): 11:10 a.m. EDT Sunday, April 30
Follow the live timing and scoring at http://www.tsl-timing.com/event/171706/.
The VIR PWC GTS event will be telecast on CBS Sports network on Sunday, May 14, at 5 p.m. EDT.