Mercedes SLK For ALMS?
the story in yesterday’s Galveston Daily News, as Dan Pastorini,
56 year old ex pro-football player tells his local newspaper of
plans to race a Mercedes SLK55 in the ALMS: now, exclusively to
dsc, Pastorini himself puts some meat on the bones of this project:
been putting together a team for the last year and a half,”
said Pastorini.“Administaff is on board as a sponsor, and
Jurgen Steiner is the crew chief, along with Renntech Motorsports
with Mercedes Benz. We’re going to reintroduce Mercedes back
into American road racing. It’s going to be built out of an
SLK55, called an SLKGTR, built and designed by my crew chief Juergen
Steiner and Hartmut Fehyl of RENNtech Performance.”
also had extensive help with the aerodynamics from Erhard Melcher
- from AMG Performance – Mercedes Performance in USA - He
is the “M” in AMG and Auto Technica – Wind tunnel
/ Aerodynamics specialists with the University of Toronto Canada.
We are planning a two car effort. We will run in the GT2 class with
hopes of moving up to GT1 after the first season.
this car will be very competitive if not dominant. We are focusing
our efforts, naturally, in getting the sponsorship together first,
but have had great interest mainly due to the reputation of Mercedes
and reintroducing the company here in American road racing. We have
the Team...We just need to put the money together to do it.”
The team, dp7 Racing, has already seen the light of day racing Pastorini’s
Porsche 911GT3-RS, but the time it seems is right for a step up:
been planning a two-car team with drivers Mike Davies (left)
and another driver who we haven’t determined yet.
Jurgen is on board with Renntech and we want to be ready for Sebring
in mid-March. For sure by the Grand Prix here in Houston in May.”
years in the NFL playing for teams such as the Houston Oilers, Oakland
Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles and the Los Angeles Rams, Pastorini
moved on to pursue a passion for speed and won his first national
event at the NHRA Southern Nationals, before finishing 7th in the
NHRA Championship Points. His best career-elapsed time was 5.18
seconds at 287 mph, and he became the third man to break the 270
mph barrier in a Top Fuel Dragster.
He also set
four world records in Unlimited Drag Boat racing, and his boat, "The Quarterback Sneak," was
the first to break the eight-second elapsed time barrier. He
the world E.T. record four times with speeds of 140mph.
raced in a number of IMSA-sanctioned races, including Phoenix, Daytona,
Sebring and Texas World Speedway and drove a Pro Technik Porsche
in the 2004 Porsche Club & SCCA Racing events.
Steiner is a board member of RENNtech Performance and an established
racer in his own right in European Hillclimbing, and a successful
crew chief in the NASCAR All-Pro Series.
racing career goes back to the mid 1980s when he was National champion
in SCCA Sports Renault in only his second (and then again in his
third!) ever season’s racing. This was followed by a spell
as a factory Dodge GTU driver, and a 1991 Formula Atlantic season
that saw him achieve 5 poles and 5 wins in 7 starts, on the way
to 2nd place in the National Championship, despite having a six
year old car. He
was the 1992 “SCCA driver of the year” and won at least
one Amateur National Championship or Pro National Championship each
year between 1992 and 1997.
In 1998 he tried
a WSC or two for size. After starting the year in the Olive Garden
Porsche 993, he was then hired by the Dollahite Racing Team, co-driving
with Bill Dollahite to 8th place in the points standings, after
racing first in a Spice Chevrolet and then in the owner’s
Ferrari 333SP. A fifth place at the 1998 Petit Le Mans (with Anthony
Lazarro joining the regular pairing) was the highlight of a 2 year
spell with the team..
In 2004 Mike
won the SCCA Spec Racer National Championship and was presented
the SCCA “A.J. Foyt Driver of the Year” award.
Mike has specialized in the Spec Car Classes, set up and super
tuning to conditions as well as data acquisition, test driving
and racecar engineering.
The Mercedes SLK55GTR would be a fine addition to the ALMS grid
of course, and with Audi and Porsche looking set to be joined by
a potential privateer BMW project too next season, it looks like
the ‘Big Four’ German manufacturers might just possibly
all be represented in a rejuvenated 2006 Series.