Skeen, of Charlotte, NC, scored a World Challenge GT debut victory last year, winning Round 8 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Together in Rounds 8 and 9, Skeen won the MTM Special Ops Best Move of the Race, Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race, Qualified 2nd and had the fastest Race Lap in both races.
In 2010, Skeen won the Trans-Am Rookie of the Year award after having been a front row qualifier at each SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am race attended, set the race lap record at Miller Motorsports Park and most recently competed in the 2011 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
“Driving for Cragar/CRP Racing at Mid-Ohio last season was the opportunity of a lifetime for me,” says Skeen. “I am very excited about the on track competition in the GT class this season, and feel that the big names involved will help to demonstrate how good this team truly is.”
CRP Racing owner, Nicholas Short, is excited to have this young, talented driver returning full time to the Cragar/CRP Racing Team. “Mike is a huge talent. We gave him the opportunity to show this when we put him in the car at the last minute for Mid-Ohio and he did not disappoint,” says Short. “I knew he was the guy to represent us in the Cragar Corvette for the 2011 season and our sponsor, Cragar Wheels, agrees. I look forward to seeing Mike as a regular on the World Challenge GT podium.”
CRP Racing and Mike Skeen plan to not only have a winning team, but one that is fan oriented as well. Current updates, videos (including exciting in-car videos) and photos will be posted all race weekend long at www.CompetitionRaceParts.com and at www.MikeSkeen.com. You can also follow Mike and CRP Racing on their Facebook pages. The team invites all fans to stop by the transporter at all the races to meet Mike and the crew and to check out the Cragar Corvette.
Returning to the CRP Racing Team is primary sponsor Carlisle Companies, Inc. which is a diversified global manufacturing company serving industries ranging from foodservice to aerospace with harsh environment connectors and wiring harnesses to construction roofing materials to specialty tires and wheels and performance brakes. Carlisle will use the opportunity to promote a few of their automotive, off-road and PowerSports performance products including Cragar wheels, Black Rock Off-Road tires and wheels, ITP PowerSports tires and wheels, Hawk brakes plus their line of Carlisle trailer tires and wheels.
David Roberts, Chairman, President and CEO of Carlisle Companies, Inc., said: “Carlisle is happy to be returning to World Challenge Championship racing where we enjoyed success in 2010 with CRP Racing. CRP owner Nicolas Short and his crew proved to us last year that they could put together a winning team. That success made it an easy decision to return for the entire 2011 season. We thoroughly enjoyed the relationship with Ron Fellows and Michael Skeen last year and when Nick said we could get Michael in the Cragar Corvette for the full 2011 season, we jumped at the opportunity to continue our relationship. On top of being associated with a great team and driver, the World Challenge is a terrific series for the fans both at the track and watching on TV, providing broad exposure for our products. I also like that the World Challenge Championship races are held in many of the cities where we have manufacturing plants allowing our employees, who enjoy motorsports, to come to the races and root for the cars and drivers using the products they manufacture.”
Roberts continued, “In December of last year we acquired Hawk Performance Braking products and we see no better way to promote our performance brakes than to use them on the winning Cragar Corvette World Challenge GT car as Hawk has done so successfully for many years on Peter Cunningham’s World Challenge Acura’s. We are also hopeful that you will be seeing a second CRP Racing GT Corvette at a few select World Challenge races this year exclusively promoting the Hawk product line. We are working to obtain funding to campaign a second car on a limited schedule."
“Finally, our products have been used in various forms of motorsports, including amateur and professional road, oval and off-road racing”, Roberts said. “You will see Carlisle sponsoring teams in the World Challenge Championships, SCORE Off-Road Racing, and NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing in 2011. We have teamed with successful racing enterprises like CRP Racing and Penske Racing to campaign or sponsor race cars in various motorsports venues”.
With the support of Carlisle Companies, Inc. and the talent and skill of driver Mike Skeen, CRP Racing looks forward to running a highly competitive race team in the World Challenge GT Series this season.
The 2011 World Challenge season begins with two races in St. Petersburg, Fla., the weekend of March 25-27. The World Challenge is North America's top production car-based racing championship. Divided into three categories (World Challenge GT, World Challenge GTS, and World Challenge Touring Car), each race features a thrilling standing start, adrenaline filled door-to-door action and world-class drivers. World Challenge features cars from the world's most popular manufacturers – race-prepped versions of the cars driven on the streets. Sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, World Challenge races at North America's premier road and temporary street courses. For more information about World Challenge, visit www.world-challenge.com.
Contact: Jenny Short