CRESSON, Texas (September 19, 2023) – Lone Star Racing scored a milestone race finish for an established program and successfully launched a new one in a full weekend of competition for the Texas-based team and co-drivers Anton Dias Perera and Scott Andrews in the IMSA Battle on the Bricks this past Saturday and Sunday on the road course at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS).
Doubling up on their Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing programs on the 2.439-mile IMS road course, Lone Star, Perera and Andrews made their debut together in top-tier IMSA competition in Sunday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race while continuing their competitive IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) campaign in Saturday’s four-hour Indianapolis Motor Speedway 240.
Both efforts reached and even maximized their goals in a successful weekend, but it was Saturday’s fast and frenzied four-hour race into darkness in which the Lone Star team and drivers truly shined.
A highlight event of this year’s full-season campaign by Perera and Andrews in the No. 27 Lone Star Racing/Bluff City Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 in Pilot Challenge GS, the four-hour race started at 4:30 p.m. EDT and literally raced into the night for the checkered flag at 8:30 p.m. EDT.
After a clean and competitive opening driving stint by Perera, Andrews challenged in the lead pack throughout the final half of the race and stepped up in a mad dash to the finish to challenge for the win. With the clock winding down, Andrews kept the pressure on the race leader in the closing minutes, almost closing enough to attempt a pass, but he ultimately crossed the finish line a scant 0.566 of a second behind the winner.
The second place finish was still a season-best result for the No. 27 Lone Star Racing team and drivers after coming so close to reaching the podium – if not a victory – several times this season.
Lone Star and its drivers carried the momentum of Saturday night’s thriller straight into their debut as a team in the GT Daytona (GTD) class in the No. 15 Lone Star Racing/Bluff City Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 on Sunday.
Rebounding from a pair of early spins, the Lone Star team and drivers met their pre-race goal of finishing in their GTD debut together. Andrews brought the No. 15 across the finish line in 15th place, just one lap behind the front runners.
“It’s really validating for our program, it’s satisfying for our guys to get the result, get a podium,” said AJ Petersen, Lone Star Racing Team Manager and Technical Director. “Of course, we still wanted more. We’re always wanting more, but it was very satisfying Saturday night to finally make it to victory lane. I am also proud of hitting our goal of finishing Sunday’s race in Anton’s GT3 debut. All weekend our execution as a team was fantastic, Anton drove very well and improved all weekend, and you can count on Scott to always be fast. Everybody gets along and works well together. It’s a consistent feeling in the tent. We’re all in it, pulling in the same direction, and that’s rare.”
Perera and Andrews are in their first season racing with Lone Star but the team gelled from their very first race together at Daytona in January.
“In GT4, a podium was a long time coming,” Perera said. “It was a long race, so it was important not to have any damage and bring the car home on the lead lap. Scott Andrews is a fast driver, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is great on long runs, and the car comes alive as the race goes on. The team has been working well together so that was good. It was a brand-new track for me, I’ve never been here, which is always challenging, especially in a new car on Sunday. We checked all the boxes. I spent most of my time on how to manage traffic and keep the car clean, but it was definitely a baptism by fire. It was frenzied and fast paced but it was really good, and for the team as well. Lots of positives and a lot of things to work on too.”
“It was a successful weekend,” Andrews said. We walked away with a GS trophy, which had definitely been a long time coming for this particular operation. I’m glad to finally get the monkey off our backs, so to speak. Sunday’s race was about learning. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 program is new and I’m proud to be a part of it. We’ll definitely be able to use this as a building block and continue moving forward.”
Emotions ran high as the Lone Star team and drivers celebrated their first visit to victory lane together on the hallowed ground of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“It’s just an absolute testament to the team,” Andrews said. “We just never give up, we work so hard and tirelessly, particularly for this weekend’s double-duty effort. I’m just so happy, this result is for my teammates and for my family back home in Australia. They’ve been supporting me. I haven’t lived there in 10 years, do go back for Christmas, but they’re not over here. So this is for them, for Anton and the whole team.”
Petersen thought of his family and Lone Star Racing owner and driver Dan Knox in victory lane and recalled the team’s role in last October’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Indianapolis 8 Hour victory by Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing. Petersen worked with the Hong Kong-based team throughout the event and Lone Star provided the winning Mercedes-AMG GT3 and all of the foundational support for the effort, including pit and paddock equipment and all car setup.
“None of us could make the commitment required to be successful at this level of competition without the love, support and incredible understanding of our families,” Petersen said. “I am thinking of and have to thank my wife and children back home in Texas while we are up here on the podium at Indianapolis. I am also really thankful for Dan. He was texting me the whole race, this result is for him, and we wouldn’t even be here without him. This one means a little more than last year, just because it was all us. We’ve had stronger cars and had stronger performances in the past but it just came together Saturday.”
Next up for Lone Star Racing is a return to Indy in three weeks with a multi-car effort for this year’s Indianapolis 8 Hour and season-ending SRO Motorsports America race weekend, October 5 – 8. One weekend later, the IMSA season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans takes place at Michelin Raceway Laguna Seca where Andrews, Perera and the No. 27 team will get a final shot at securing their first GS race win of the season in Friday’s Michelin Pilot Challenge finale.
Lone Star Racing competes in the 2023 season with the support of ACS Manufacturing and Bluff City Racing.
About Lone Star Racing: Based at Motorsport Ranch within the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area in Cresson, Texas, Lone Star Racing is competing in the No. 27 Lone Star Racing/Bluff City Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the 2023 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series. Lone Star Racing and its team members have won races across North America spanning sprint and endurance racing formats. The crew has worked together on many different teams and various types of cars, developing a strong bond and proven capability that gives them a competitive and winning advantage. Lone Star Racing competes with the support of primary partner ACS Manufacturing, Inc. (www.ACSManufacturing.com). Look for Lone Star Racing and team owner/driver Dan Knox on Facebook and follow the team on YouTube at Lone Star Racing, on Twitter and Instagram at @LSRTeam and on the official team web site at www.LoneStarRacingTeam.com.