PARKER, Colorado — Capstone Motorsports, a new-for-2021 sports car racing and motorsports company headquartered in Parker, Colorado, secured its first professional sports car racing victory this past weekend at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) where John Allen and Kris Wilson co-drove to the Am-class win in Sunday's 60-minute Pirelli GT4 America race.
The breakout victory in the No. 16 Capstone Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 came after Allen, Wilson and the Capstone team started the 2021 season with a string of three-consecutive second-place finishes and a third-place showing in Saturday's first of two races last weekend at VIR.
“It’s amazing that we’re in just our third race weekend of competition in making Capstone Motorsports a reality as a new team and to have this kind of success," Allen said. "To have this kind of winning success early on is very gratifying. I feel like this weekend we fought incredibly hard to get this result because we had some obstacles in our way. The goal is to win the championship, and what happened here this weekend really fortified that base. We’re halfway done with the season, so to be where we are in the points right now is great. We are right where we need to be.”
Capstone carries Allen's longtime support of his alma mater, the University of Alabama College of Engineering, with a trackside sports car racing internship program designed specifically to immerse UA Engineering students in the technology and data-driven aspects of modern-day sports car racing.
"It's the first win for Capstone, so it’s a big 'Roll Tide' for the University of Alabama," Wilson said. "It was a tough weekend for the guys. They were here late every night. We had a little bit of an incident on the test day and some mechanical issues to work through the other day. We were trying to switch everything over from one car to a backup car, and the guys rallied to get I all done. It’s nice to get the win to give that back to them for all of the hard work. Capstone is a new team this year, but a lot of the guys are experienced with the Mercedes-AMG GT cars. We brought talent here and that’s what it takes: Good personnel.”
The UA interns working with Capstone at VIR didn't hesitate to put in the long hours that were a key part of getting the No. 16 to top step of the podium.
"This program gives them an entry into a career path that would be very hard to break into without this experience," Allen said. "One of the young men this weekend, Blake Swafford (top picture, far left), is a great example. We had him as an intern last year, he went off to other teams and now came back with us. Right now, with his racing resume, any team in this paddock would hire him. This is just the beginning. We’ve had other kids from previous years that are going on to support other teams. The program is working."
Next up for the #16 Capstone Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 team, drivers and UA Engineering interns in the Pirelli GT4 America series is the doubleheader weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 27 - 29.