Texans Lone Star Racing and Gar Robinson have announced a five-race campaign in the IMSA GT Daytona (GTD) Sprint Cup series that will see two-time Trans Am Champion Robinson co-drive the No. 74 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with top GT driver Lawson Aschenbach.
Racing with the support of ACS Manufacturing and 74 Ranch Resort, Robinson and Aschenbach make their first start with Lone Star Racing next weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Buckeye debut is the first of five IMSA GTD races scheduled for the No. 74 team this year and will be followed by the Detroit Grand Prix, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), Road America and VIRginia International Raceway (VIR).
Lone Star Racing’s 2019 season opener from Mid-Ohio will air live on Sunday, May 5 at 1:30 p.m. EDT on both NBC Sports Network and IMSA.tv. Additionally, the Saturday, May 4 qualifying session will be shown live on IMSA.tv beginning at 11:30 a.m. EDT.
“Texas is in my blood, it’s my family and history,” Robinson said. “To work with Lone Star Racing in Texas feels right at home. We have the same mindset and way of doing things. For example, in 1992 my Dad always ran ‘Don’t Mess with Texas,’ which was an anti-littering campaign, on his cars. When I showed up to the LSR shop the first decal I noticed was ‘Don’t Mess with Texas.’ I’ll just say we all know what proper barbecue and tacos are!”
Lone Star Racing is based the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area in Cresson, Texas, while Robinson grew up in San Antonio.
“Gar fits right in with Lone Star Racing and we are going to have a lot of fun together both on and off the track,” said Lone Star Racing Team Manager AJ Petersen. “We all appreciate the ongoing efforts and commitment of Lone Star Racing team owner Dan Knox with our 2019 program.”
Robinson is a two-time champion in the Trans Am 2 class, with titles in 2017 and 2015. He was also the Rookie of the Year in Trans Am during his 2015 championship run. Robinson also finished third in his only previous IMSA GTD-class start at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. That podium finish came behind the wheel of a Riley Motorsports entry appropriately nicknamed “Miss Texas.”
Aschenbach is a four-time champion in what is now known as Blancpain GT World Challenge America, most recently in 2017. In 2006, he became the first rookie to earn that series championship. In IMSA competition, Aschenbach was the 2010 ST Champion in the then-Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and the 2014 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Pro-Am World Champion. He most recently captured a win in the GTD class in 2017 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
“Confidence is the word that comes to mind when I think about this program,” Aschenbach said. “We have an experienced, race-winning team and two championship-level drivers teaming up for the IMSA Sprint Cup season. Everyone has a clear goal and that is to race for podiums. I’m excited to get things rolling at Mid-Ohio with Lone Star, Gar, and the Mercedes-AMG GT3.”
Lone Star returns to IMSA GTD for the first time since 2017 and after a successful season in World Challenge last year that produced five podium finishes in eight races. The 2018 record included a victory at VIR.
“We are very happy to be a part of this program,” Petersen said. “Gar and Lawson complement each other within the team very well. We are excited to return to the IMSA paddock after a year away and compete.”
Robinson has previous competition experience with the Mercedes-AMG GT platform and scored a second-place World Challenge race finish last year in a GT4-spec version of the car at CTMP. Both he and the well-experienced Aschenbach, however, will be making their first race starts in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Mid-Ohio.
“Although we’ve had limited testing, I think our chances are great for a solid start to the sprint season with the Mercedes AMG GT3 at Mid-Ohio,” Aschenbach said. “I was extremely impressed with the feel of this hot rod and was blown away by the braking, handling, and electronics. It gives you a lot of confidence to push yourself and the car to the limits!”
Lone Star is in its third season of competition with the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
“Mid-Ohio hasn’t traditionally favored the strengths of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 but both Gar and Lawson have had great results through the years at Mid-Ohio,” Petersen said. “My confidence is in them, and as a team, we are looking ahead at the weekend with anticipation. We are aware of our potential and that of the competition. Our focus will be on executing the basics and building our foundation for a fun and successful 2019.”
A three-day weekend event, the Mid-Ohio schedule starts Friday with morning and afternoon practice sessions.
Saturday begins with an additional hour-long final practice at 8:00 a.m. EDT that sets the stage for GTD qualifying at 11:40 a.m. EDT.
A 20-minute warmup session gets Sunday’s schedule started at 8:00 a.m. EDT before that afternoon’s featured two-hour and 40-minute race that goes green at 1:35 p.m. EDT.
About Lone Star Racing: Based at Motorsport Ranch within the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area in Cresson, Texas, Lone Star Racing is competing in the ACS Manufacturing/Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the third season in 2019. Lone Star Racing and its team members have won races across North America spanning sprint and endurance racing formats. The crew has worked together on many different teams and various types of cars, developing a strong bond and proven capability that gives them a competitive and winning advantage. Lone Star Racing competes with the support of primary partner ACS Manufacturing, Inc. (www.ACSManufacturing.com). Look for Lone Star Racing and team owner/driver Dan Knox on Facebook and follow the team on YouTube at Lone Star Racing, on Twitter and Instagram at @LSRTeam and on the official team web site at www.LoneStarRacingTeam.com.