Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pirelli World Challenge: Cosmo to Drive M1 Racing Audi In Season Opener at COTA

M1 Racing Press Release 

Cosmo to Drive M1 Racing's Tampa Bay Jaw Surgery Audi In Pirelli World Challenge Season Opener This Weekend at COTA

DALLAS, March 3 — Guy Cosmo will exchange his headset for his helmet this weekend and drive M1 Racing's Tampa Bay Jaw Surgery Audi R8 LMS ultra in the season opener of the Pirelli World Challenge at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas.

M1 Racing's Walt Bowlin, who usually drives the car in the series' GT-A class, tabbed his coach to drive it in the GT class for the COTA doubleheader.

Both Bowlin and Cosmo's roots are in open-wheel racing, as are those of M1 Racing team owner Paul Mata and engineer Remi Lanteigne. The latter, who is well known for his accomplishments in open-wheel racing, will make his sports car engineering debut this weekend.

The Dallas-based team entered a handful of World Challenge races last year and it has worked hard in the off-season to prepare for both its 2015 World Challenge program and its participation in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires.

Cosmo has been successful in both open-wheel and sports-car racing as both a driver and a coach, and he's already gelled with the team.

"I've known Guy since a Star Mazda race at Mid-Ohio in 2004 where he sat on the pole," Mata noted. "It was another team and I was just a tire-and-fuel guy that day."

Now, through a great deal of hard work, 11 years later Mata is the team owner for the car Cosmo will drive this weekend.

"We're happy to have Guy on board," Mata added. "I think we can do well if we can stay out of trouble in the races."

Since M1 Racing is based in Dallas and the World Challenge season opener is in Austin, the team hopes for a lot of home-state support.

Cosmo has limited testing time behind the wheel of the Audi, but what laps he has only whetted his appetite for more.

"It's going to take some adjustment, but Guy loved the car when he drove it at NOLA [NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, La.] right before Christmas," Mata added. "He said it was on rails, and that he'd really like to drive it in a race."

Cosmo will do just that when he makes his World Challenge debut this weekend.

Although the car and the series are new to him, he already has been successful at the 3.418-mile track, as he's been on the podium there in an American Le Mans Series race.

The COTA event, called the Nissan Grand Prix of Texas presented by Motul, gets underway on Thursday with a practice day. Qualifying for the GT class is at 9:30 a.m. local time on Saturday, with the first race slated to get the green flag at 2:45 p.m. local time that day. The second race is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. local time on Sunday.

The complete schedule is available at, while live streaming is planned for

The races will also be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis at 11 a.m. Eastern time on Saturday, March 14 on the CBS Sports Network.

Bowlin plans to be back in the Audi for the second event on the calendar when the series appears on the street circuit in St. Petersburg, Fla. March 27-29. M1 Racing will also field cars for the Pro Mazda season opener at St. Petersburg that weekend. The team has Florida connections too, as Bowlin is from Tarpon Springs and Cosmo is from Riviera Beach.

"We have high hopes for the 2015 season for both our sports car and our open-wheel programs," Mata noted.

Funded drivers and marketing partners wishing to join the team may obtain more information by e-mailing

M1 Racing's Web site is at and it's also active on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: Audi Communications - Motorsport