DALLAS — M1 Racing will field Walt Bowlin’s Audi R8 LMS ultra in the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge Championship’s GT-A class.
Bowlin, of Tarpon Springs, Fla., is the 2012 Star Mazda expert class champion and a practicing oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The deal includes a partnership with Tampa Bay Jaw Surgery.
Bowlin plans to make his World Challenge debut in the doubleheader that is part of Honda Indy Toronto July 18-20 in Toronto.
The team also plans to enter the Audi in IMSA’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2015. It may make one or two starts in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship later this season in preparation for that effort.
But the first challenge is to get actual race experience with the car in World Challenge.
“I chose to race in World Challenge because it has the top sports car drivers in the world, representing the world’s finest sports car manufacturers,” Bowlin said. “I feel that sponsors in World Challenge obtain great exposure via their excellent TV package.
“My goal for this season is very simple — get faster every weekend,” he added. “Another reason that I chose World Challenge is it’s a sprint race. It’s an all-out scramble to the finish, and very much like what I’m used to in the Formula Mazda championship.”
“We’ve always enjoyed working with Walt,” said Paul Mata, owner of the Dallas-based team. “I’m very interested in seeing what he can do in a car that is a better fit for him physically than a Pro Mazda car.”