TUSC: Muscle Milk Pickett Racing confirms Prototype Challenge program

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American Le Mans Series stalwarts Muscle Milk Pickett Racing will be sticking around the sports car ranks as part of the new TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. But with their P1 cars not eligible for the new TUSC, they’re going to do things a bit differently.

The team will field a full-time Prototype Challenge program, which will mark its second foray into the class after a part-time run alongside its P1 program in 2012. Its first outing with the ORECA FLM09 will come this weekend during a test session at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.

“Entering a PC car made a lot of sense to us on many different levels,” team owner Greg Pickett said in a statement. “We know this car and we’ve had success with it in the past and we’re looking forward to more of that. It will once again be a very competitive season in the PC ranks and we’re happy to be able to be a part of it.

“This gives us a chance to get an up close and personal look at some up and coming talent. These are big, powerful, fun to drive cars and they require the kind of engineering set-up support and race strategy we have shown to be so successful with over the last couple of years in P1.”

More details on the team’s 2014 plans, including its driver lineup, will be announced at a later date.

As this past season played out, the team explored venturing into other series such as the IndyCar Series. In that series’ event this past August at Sonoma Raceway, Pickett directly provided support to a second Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing entry for one of his drivers, Lucas Luhr (although the entry was not one from Muscle Milk Pickett Racing).

But in the end, Pickett felt that, in his words, “our heart is in sports car racing.”

“This is only one piece of the puzzle that has fallen into place for us,” he said. “All I can say is that we’re very excited about the future at Muscle Milk Pickett Racing.”

Photo Credit: Muscle Milk Pickett Racing

MRTI: Telitz gets creative to help racing career

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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To say that Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz has endured a difficult start to the 2018 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season would be an understatement. The Wisconsin native only completed four corners through the first three races – Races 1 and 2 at St. Petersburg, and Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park – with St. Pete being especially problematic.

He took the pole for Race 1, but a crash during qualifying for Race 2 prevented him from actually starting. What’s more, the damage was so severe that the Belardi team needed a brand new chassis, with Telitz’s Dallara IL-15 damaged beyond repair.

They also had to borrow a car from Carlin for Race 2, but Telitz’s race ended after he got tangled up with Victor Franzoni in Turn 2 on Lap 1.

With the damage bill well into the six figures as a result, Telitz has taken to some unique, or rather, creative ways to raise money in the aftermath to help cover the costs. “Creative,” in this case, meaning Telitz is using his art skills.

An artist in his spare time, Telitz has begun selling his own original paintings to help raise money.

 “I’ve been to a lot of art shows and I see stuff and I go, ‘Holy cow, someone’s going to pay a thousand dollars for that thing?’” Telitz quipped in a story posted on the Milwaukee Journal.

In discussing his artistic abilities, Telitz added, “I’m working at getting better. I’d like to be able to paint some animals, those types of things. I got a request from Alexander Rossi to see if I could paint his dog. Unfortunately I can’t do that yet.”

Further, in a partnership with The Styled Garage, Telitz is selling his own merchandise, and accepting donations, to help his cause.

Telitz finished fourth in Race 2 at Barber on Sunday, and sits seventh in the Indy Lights championship, 59 points behind leader Pato O’Ward.

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