Nissan GT Academy U.S. champions Bryan Heitkotter and Steve Doherty will team up behind the wheel of a Nissan Altima for the remainder of the 2014 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) racing season in the No. 34 Street Touring (ST) class CA Sport/Skullcandy machine. This weekend, the duo will take on an always crowded field at the Monterey Grand Prix at historic Laguna Seca Raceway in California.
The drivers were teammates once previously in the Skullcandy Altima 3.5 V6 at Sebring in March, where they finished 31st in the ST class after mechanical difficulties just before the halfway point. The pair have run separately with the Skullcandy team at different events – Heitkotter at Daytona in January, where he qualified fourth, and Doherty at Kansas Speedway last August.
Doherty raced last season in the Blancpain Endurance Series in Europe, driving a race prepared Nissan GT-R and earning two podium finishes.
Heitkotter, the 33-year old has three pole positions, five front row qualifying runs, a podium finish and four top ten finishes in six starts in the Grand Sport (GS)-class Doran Racing Nissan 370Z NISMO in 2012 and 2013.
“I’m thrilled to be racing with Skullcandy Team Nissan for the rest of the 2014 season,” said the Fresno native. “They’ve got a solid platform and a real passion for racing which will serve us well. As a driver, racing regularly in highly competitive fields will provide many opportunities for growth and refinement. Partnering with Steve gives us a strong driver lineup and we will be working hard to get the Nissan Altima on the podium and further up the points standings in CTSC.”
Team owner Lara Tallman and pro driver Vesko Kozarov manage the Salt Lake City-based CA Sport racing shop. The team finished first at the 2013 Daytona CTSCC event and grabbed a combined seven top ten finishes en route to 11th place in season points. The team’s No. 33 car, driven by Kozarov and Derek Jones, finished 4th at Sebring last month.
“It’s so great to have Steve and Bryan racing with us in the 34 Altima all season,” said Tallman. “They bring a lot of energy and the interaction between all of drivers, combined with Vesko’s experience is something that I believe will make the whole team better as we move forward.”
First practice for the CTSCC takes place at 12:35 p.m. (PDT) on Friday, May 2, with qualifying the same day at 7:10 p.m. The 2.5-hour race starts at 3:45 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, May 3. Full event information, as well as timing and scoring, can be located at www.imsa.com.
Television coverage of the race will be shown on a tape-delayed basis on FOX Sports 1 at 10 a.m. (EDT) Sunday, May 11.