Opelika, Ala. - APR Motorsport is proud to announce the driver pairing of Dion von Moltke and Dr. Jim Norman in the team's Audi R8 GRAND-AM for the 2012 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series season.
When he slides behind the steering wheel of the APR Motorsport Audi R8 GRAND-AM, von Moltke, from Coral Gables, Fla., will return home to the team in which he started his professional driving career. Von Molkte competed with APR in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge in 2008 and 2009, taking three wins before moving to the Daytona Prototype ranks in 2010. The South African, also a student at Florida International University, returns to APR with a wealth of endurance racing experience under his belt with finishes at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.
"This is a dream come true!" said von Moltke. "I started my professional racing career with APR, and to have the opportunity to come back to such a first class winning organization, and then to be the first one racing the Audi R8 GRAND-AM - can it get any better than this? This is like going home, but the series and fan base is stronger than ever, and APR has developed its winning program to an even higher level. For me and my partners, PRNewswire and South African Airways, this will be a long-term relationship with APR and Audi. It will be all about success on the track, every single weekend."
Veteran driver Norman will join von Moltke for the duration of the season. Norman, an airplane racer turned racecar driver, quickly transitioned from his first season of Skip Barber competition in 2007 to competing in Porsche Cup cars throughout 2011, where he took the IMSA Mission Foods GT3 Challenge championship. He also scored a fourth at the 12 Hours of Sebring as well as at Petit Le Mans in GT-C - partnered in both races by von Moltke. Professionally, Norman is a surgeon, and one of the world's foremost authorities on parathyroid disease.
"I'm very excited about joining the winning APR Motorsport team for the upcoming Rolex Series season," said Norman. "I have really enjoyed racing with Dion and am really looking forward to spending an entire season as his teammate. I'm really excited for the Audi fans as well, who will get to see and hear the Audi R8 GRAND-AM this season. We will put on a great show for them at some of the greatest racetracks in North America."
"I am so happy that Dr. Jim is joining me in the car," added von Moltke. "He raced with me last year, and I have watched him grow into a series champion who I'm excited to share the car with. Together, we will win some races this year."
For the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Six Hours at the Glen, longtime APR Motorsport driver Ian Baas from Noblesville, Ind., will join von Moltke and Norman. A winner at the Rolex 24 in 2006, Baas will greatly augment the team's chances for success in the endurance races, as well as be an invaluable asset during the team's testing program.
"I am extremely happy to be a part of this historical season with APR Motorsport and Audi," said Baas. "We have had a lot of success with the VAG brands starting in 2008 with the VW GTIs, and now to move up to the GT category with the already successful Audi R8 GRAND-AM is a match made in heaven!"
"We are very happy with putting together the team of Dion, Jim, and Ian for the 2012 Rolex Series season in our brand-new Audi R8 GRAND-AM," said Stephen Hooks, president and CEO of APR. "Bringing the Audi R8 GRAND-AM to the Rolex Series for the first time will be a challenge, but we have three very capable drivers that will be more than up to the very stiff competition in the Rolex Series GT class. With Daytona right around the corner, the team is flat out getting prepared to give our three drivers the best chance possible at a win."
Von Moltke, Norman, and Baas will turn their first laps in the APR Audi R8 GRAND-AM at the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 6-8, 2012.