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SRTeSport PRL Season 1 Recap

The Precision Racing League (PRL) offers multiple racing series including GT3, Sportscars and the Indy Pro 2000 series, with clean racing amongst a diverse talent pool. Looking into these possibilities, the SRTeSport team expanded its presence by adding drivers in the latter, with a great deal of success.

Indy Pro 2000 Series

Registering two teams (teams Blue and Black) for a total of 6 drivers, the group entered unknown territory. With many opponents having raced at least a full season in these open-wheel formulas, the SRTeSport teams faced a strong challenge.

The opening race at Long Beach revealed great possibilities with both teams’ PRO class drivers qualifying in the top 10. Dave Mennenoh (team Blue) passed eventual series champion Greg Seitz for the lead on lap 3 only to get rear-ended by Seitz a few laps later, retiring from the race. This was be the first of many battles between team Blue (Mennenoh and Julio Palacio), team Black (JR Williams and Bret Thurman) and Rust Racing (Seitz and Stephen Varady), with the latter winning the team championship by only 8 points. In the PRO drivers championship, Mennenoh finished third, with a win at Virginia International Raceway, followed by Palacio in fourth. The AM championship saw Kyle Strycharz (team Blue) win the first round and coming in 4th in the second one, but college studies prevented him from finishing out the season.

“The car was very challenging, and thus super exciting, to drive and after mid-season I was finally able to find good pace.  I look forward to an exciting season coming up again teamed up with Dave and Kyle.” – Julio Palacio

Sportscar Series

The unique multi-class racing series saw SRTeSport team Green driver Tyler DeZubay battle his way to fifth in the GTE class standings. He was featured a number of times on the GRSC broadcast, notably at Twin-Ring Motegi where he fought a hard battle against Vector by RSR’s Ted Loewendick. 

“I seemed to have the pace advantage over Ted but he had the psychological advantage over me as I spun right in front of him two weeks in a row. I just tried to keep it consistent and aim for P5, and that worked out almost all season.” – Tyler DeZubay

The high point of the season was his 2nd place finish at Silverstone.

GT3 Series

After SRTeSport entered a record number of drivers and teams in the past season, the first season of 2021 saw it enter 14 drivers divided into 5 teams.  While SRTeSport team Blue had won the previous team championship, this season revealed tougher competition in the form of SIMMSA Esports’ Lewis Goodway, Michael Davies and Diego Morales, as well as Radicals LATAM Orange’s Javi Utreras. Strong performances by team Blue’s JR Williams, Julio Palacio and Jean-Marc Tremblay at different times kept the team in championship contention, but it finished 2nd in a closely fought battle with Davidson Motorsport Orange in the final rounds of the season. Williams, driving the Lamborghini Huracan, used the season to better understand setup work and raced the whole season with a setup of his own creation.

“Before the season I tested the Lamborghini and was excited to try the car.  During week 13 I spent time understanding the car and making my own setup changes to test with.  I was excited with how this first set performed not only for myself but other teammates driving the car week 1, finishing P4. This encouraged me to spend more time tweaking the setup each week with the goal of only using my own setups for PRL GT3.  Running PRL helps me stay focused on one car which went a long way in better understanding setups work this past season.” - JR Williams

The season featured many SRTeSport team battles. At the Nurburgring Nordschleife, where many of the quickest racers showed their lack of experience around the track, J-M Tremblay and Jorge Flores (team Black) battled for 2nd, only for Tremblay to earn a pit lane speeding penalty and Flores to cross the finish line less than a second behind winner Utreras. Bret Thurman’s podium finish for team Black would mark the highest points haul for any SRTeSport team throughout the season. Tremblay redeemed himself with a podium finish at the next round in Road America. In the final standings, Palacio and Flores ended up 8th and 9th, with Tony Costello (team Orange) and Williams finishing 11th and 12th. After missing the opening round at Spa-Francorchamps, SRTeSport team Orange’s Dave Mennenoh climbed to 4th in the drivers standing. Driving the BMW M4 GT3, he finished in the top 10 at every race, including a podium at Sebring while battling with Tremblay. Costello’s consistent finishes helped team Orange claim 4th in the team championship.

The Star of the Season

Dave Mennenoh has steadily put himself as a contender for the top spot in both the GT3 and the Indy Pro Series. Over the past couple of seasons, he has become the team’s most improved driver, developing his speed and race craft at an incredible pace. Finishing in the top 4 in both series’ championship table, he will be one to look out for in the upcoming season.

"I got quicker largely from focusing on improving my braking and understanding how the BMW evolved from early in the race to late in the race.  Improving my braking and ensuring I wasn't engaging ABS meant my tires wouldn't go off quite as much towards the end which allowed me to maintain a competitive race pace in the last 10-15 min of the race." - Dave Mennenoh

A Real Team Effort

Strategy and cooperation are key strengths put forward by the team on any race day, but one event was the highlight of the season when team driver Jean-Marc Tremblay found himself with a major steering wheel issue a few hours before the fifth round at Oran Park and was left unable to continue racing. Team founding member Tony Costello offered to send his old steering wheel as a replacement and a few weeks later Jean-Marc was happily back on track, finishing out the season in style by grabbing 3 consecutive top 6 finishes. 

"The 2021 Season-1 of PRL racing was perhaps one of our most memorable seasons as a team. The level of cohesiveness and dedication of our drivers to put in their best effort round after round was a sight to behold. With new additions to our team in GT3 and Thursday's PM-18 Open Wheel series, we have seen a new trend of camaraderie take root here at SRTeSport. One that I am very proud to have nurtured over the years to get to this point." - Ken Rodriguez, Team Owner