Robillard Racing Among Teams Eagerly Awaiting IMSA Prototype Challenge Season Opener At Daytona
Friday, December 28, 2018

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – With the Roar Before the Rolex 24 one week away, teams and drivers in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge are looking ahead to the test as an opportunity to shake down and prepare their cars for a return to Daytona International Speedway just three weeks later during the Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend.

Teams in the IMSA Prototype Challenge aren’t so lucky, however, with the Roar Before the Rolex 24 marking the first of six race weekends on the calendar for the longtime prototype-only series. The season-opener on Saturday, Jan. 5 will be the first three-hour race for the series, which shifts to a single-class LMP3 format in 2019 as well.

Teams have been busy taking advantage of opportunities throughout the offseason to prepare themselves for the limited amount of time coming out of the holiday break. That is especially true for new teams like Robillard Racing, which will campaign two Norma M30s in the upcoming season.

Robillard Racing recently took part in a Michelin on-track opportunity at Daytona International Speedway, where Stevan McAleer and driver and team owner Joe Robillard – teammates last year in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge – shook down the new car.

“I’m really, really, really exciting,” said McAleer at the test. “I came from Mazda MX-5s and the Porsche Cayman last year so this is a completely different animal to me altogether. I did some open-wheel years ago so it took a little bit again going back. I had a lot of fun with that. I can't wait to get forward for the season.”

The team is partnered with Muehlner Motorsports America with longtime engineer Marc Manning leading the technical and managerial side of the effort. Robillard Racing will field a shared car for the two longer races, and two individually driven cars for the four shorter races.

“I am extremely pleased in so many aspects of this program,” said Manning. “The enthusiasm exhibited by Joe Robillard is contagious and has opened a new and different chapter in my career.  It is rewarding to keep learning rather than stagnate with a notebook of old notes and keep trying more things more often.”

“Moving back to a purpose-built, downforce car is very exciting,” added Robillard. “So far in testing, the Norma is amazing, and the first race can’t come soon enough.”

The season-opening race for the IMSA Prototype Challenge will go green Saturday, Jan. 5 at 12:15 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on IMSA.tv.

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