Matt Connolly Motorsport will enter its fourth year in the Grand-Am Rolex Series buoyed by bucking the trend and enticing a new sponsor into the financially-troubled motor racing arena.
While other teams and backers are pulling in their horns in an effort to weather the storm wrought by the global credit 'crunch', MCM has seen its hard work and strong results start to bear fruit as they revealed Florida-based Deltran Battery Tender Corporation as a new long-term sponsor.
"We are proud to partner with Matt Connolly on this venture as the team title sponsor," president/CEO Michael L Prelec Sr noted, "We are looking forward to teaming up with Matt Connolly Motorsports for the 2009 and 2010 race seasons, having been looking for a way to expand our brand recognition into the automotive field. Matt Connolly's two-car team, along with NASCAR's support, should help fulfil our goal."
To be known from this point on as Battery Tender MCM Racing, the squad will field a proven Pontiac GTO-R in this month's season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona and then for the rest of the 2009 Grand-Am season, with Romeo Kapudija, Jim Stout, Russ Oasis and Pepe Montano all slated to take turns behind the wheel of the #21 machine.
"This is exactly what we've been working towards since I first started in the Grand-Am Series," Connolly admitted, "We have shown our ability on the track, and now we can show our sponsors a great return on their investment both immediately and into the future."
The team has also added a Porsche 997 to the fold, and will run Diego Alessi - who campaigned the full 2008 racing season with the team's Pontiac - alongside Elio Marchetti and Marcello Zani and father and son Jim and Bob Michaelian.
"I come to the Daytona 24 Hours with a very confident feeling," Alessi claimed, "I had a very exciting season in Rolex together with Matt and his crew, and now I am up to speed with the other drivers and teams in the Grand-Am Rolex Series.
"When Matt told me I had the possibility to drive in a Porsche, I wanted to take this chance because I believe that car is the best solution for Daytona 24. It has good top speed and excellent reliability and I always like to try something new. We will be a competitive blend of Italian-American drivers and, thanks to Matt's crew skill, I am sure we can have a very consistent race."