Renowned underground brand Team Polizei will make its professional racing debut in the Grand-Am Rolex Series' Verizon Festival of Speed at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca next month.
Team Polizei, made famous by street racing legend Alex Roy, is best known for a history of rally victories, culminating in the shattering of the long-standing Cannonball Run record, and has built up a cult following in the underground motorsports and tuning worlds. The brand has evolved into a marketing and technology consultancy with a unique understanding of viral marketing and social networking platforms, but is now keen to take its fresh approach to marketing to mainstream motorsports audiences.
Although the brand was made famous by Roy - who holds the unofficial record for getting from New York to Los Angeles in a staggering 31 hours and four minutes - driving duties will be entrusted to Henri Richard and Rene Villeneuve when the #63 TRG-run Team Polizei 144 Porsche GT3 hits the track in the GT class. One thing will be familiar, however, as the machine will be decked out in the now infamous German police livery.
"I couldn't be more proud than to see Team Polizei enter the Grand-Am Rolex Series," team president Roy admitted, "With Richard and Villeneuve at the helm, and TRG behind us, even I can't believe it."
The driving strength harbours greater ambitions than simply competing in the Grand-Am series, but sees the burgeoning competition as a useful stepping stone.
"For me, racing in the Rolex Series is a natural progression towards my ultimate objective of being able to participate to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 24 Hours at Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring," former motorcycle racer Richard explained, "The Grand-Am series is truly the premiere road racing series in the US and provides a level of competitiveness that sets the bar and provides a perfect proving ground for endurance racing.
"Being a Silicon Valley resident, Laguna Seca is my 'other' home track and I just love the setting and the layout. I established a new race lap record last year in the Ferrari Challenge series and finished on the podium, so obviously I am comfortable with it."
Villeneuve too is well acquainted with Laguna, having seen it on an almost daily basis in his everyday career.
"It's my home track and my favourite track - I work there daily with the Skip Barber Racing School, so obviously I know it very well," he commented, "I love the elevation changes and blind corners. Everyone talks about the Corkscrew, which is fantastic, but I have found that there are other more challenging corners that can be the difference between a good lap and a not so good lap! For me, it is just going to be a matter adapting what I know about the track to the Rolex GT car.
"I am very pleased to be racing in the Grand-Am Series, as it is the top of professional sportscar racing. It is a perfect fit for Team Polizei Racing too, because it exemplifies fan involvement and the forward thinking needed to expand the demographics of sportscar racing, which is exactly what Team Polizei Racing is all about.