POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – Michael Valiante has signed with 8Star Motorsports to drive the No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette DP with Stephane Sarrazin and team owner Enzo Potolicchio for the balance of the 2013 Rolex GRAND-AM Series Daytona Prototype season.
Valiante, 33, helped 8Star during its May 21 test at Sebring (Fla.) Int’l Raceway before subbing for Sarrazin in the June 15 race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. A masterful drive by the Canadian resulted in 34 laps led and a second-place finish, 8Star’s first podium in just the sixth race of its existence. Two weeks later, in the six-hour endurance race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, his efforts with Sarrazin and Potolicchio earned a second consecutive runner-up finish and moved the team within 17 points of the lead in the team championship point standings.
Valiante is one of only a handful drivers in Grand-Am history to win two professional races in one day, capturing the DP victory as well as the ST class win of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge in 2012 at Mid-Ohio. He has two wins and 11 podiums in 83 GRAND-AM Series Daytona Protoype starts since 2005. Valiante owns and operates MV Motorsports Driver Development and MV Motorsports Management in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
“I’m really pleased to have signed with 8Star for the rest of the season,” said Valiante. “The races have gone very well. We’re actually not too far out of the championship hunt now so I’m looking forward to the next five races.”
8Star is conducting a two-day test, July 18-19, at Palm Beach Int’l Raceway in Jupiter, Fla. Handling the driving duties for the No. 3 and No. 4 Corvette DPs are Valiante, Emilio DiGuida, and Sebastien Bourdais, whom 8Star announced July 17 as co-driver with DiGuida in the No. 4 for the balance of the 2013 season.
“Michael has done an unbelievable job for 8Star Motorsports so we’re very glad to have him signed for the balance of the 2013 Grand-Am Daytona Prototype season,” said Potolicchio. “He’s been a great help to the development of our Corvette DP program and has given us amazing results every race weekend. He and Stephane are pushing each other every race and that only benefits the entire 8Star program.”