Nuzzo Motorsports 2006 Season Preview

We’ve got some details on Tony Nuzzo’s 2006 Motorsports season including news of a new sponsor, driver line-up and a super secret peek at his new look. Here are the PR releases:

Nuzzo Motorsports, campaigning three MINI Coopers at the Grand Am Cup 200 at Daytona International Speedway this January, announced a partnership with Unichip North America, makers of a plug-and-play piggyback engine control unit (ECU). Nuzzo and Unichip have agreed to a multi-race partnership, focused on building brand awareness through livery applications and outreach in the MINI community, as well as performance benchmarking and testing, using the Grand-Am Cup MINI Cooper S as a marketing platform.

Unichip, a custom-programmable, plug-and-play ECU, allows users to extract maximum performance out of their cars – and their unique engine modifications – using an infinitely-tunable interface. The result of installation and tuning of a Unichip in a given car is a unique calibration that harnesses the power of all aftermarket modifications to an engine, such as cold air intakes and modified headers. Totally re-programmable and custom tunable, the Unichip guarantees car owners maximum performance, while leaving no electronic footprint detectable by an OEM scan.

Nuzzo and Unichip will work together to develop the perfect engine performance characteristics of a race-tuned MINI Cooper S, using the same street-legal product in the race car that customers can buy for their street cars.

Tony Nuzzo, lead driver and team principle of Nuzzo Motorsports said, “We’re thrilled to welcome Unichip North America to the team. They’ve got a product that we believe in, and are eager to use the platform that Grand-Am Cup and MINI racing provides for getting their name out. We’re looking forward to working with the proven talent and technology at Unichip. They’ve demonstrated an enormous depth of know-how when it comes to getting the most out of the MINIs and we can’t wait to get our cars out competing in Grand-Am Cup this year.”

Kim Ziebell, Marketing Director for Unichip North America said, “We’re pleased to announce our support for Nuzzo Motorsports and their racing MINI Coopers. Racing is a new marketing exercise for us, but we believe that by teaming with Tony, one of the foremost MINI technical gurus – and the guy who’s willing to take the fight to the more powerful sportscars out there – we’ll demonstrate to the enthusiast community the performance aspects of our product. We’re looking forward to seeing the Unichip brand out on the track at Daytona, and are excited to do some performance benchmarking in the Nuzzo MINIs to demonstrate how well our product holds up under the stress of endurance racing.”

Here’s Speed Motorsport full PR release about the driver lineup for Daytona:

Mitch Bishop of San Rafael, CA joins the team for Daytona and some select races throughout 2006. Mitch comes from a racing family; his father, John Bishop, was the founder and president of IMSA, whose Camel GT series dominated the sports car racing landscape in the 1970s and 1980s. Mitch has raced in the Jim Russell Racing graduate series with 2 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds (7 podiums out of 8 races). Mitch has also raced in the IMSA RS series, the IMSA Firestone Firehawk series, and the Russell Pro Mazda series. When he’s not racing, Mitch is the chief marketing officer for a fast growing company called iRise that builds and sells simulation software for Fortune 500 companies.

“We are proud that out of all the teams currently racing today Mitch has selected our team for his return to the racing circuit. We are looking forward to very successful debut for Mitch and the entire team at Daytona. We’ve assembled a very strong driver lineup and the crew that knows how to win to support them. We’re all really pumped and can’t wait to take the track at Daytona”, said team owner Tony Nuzzo.

Joe Toussaint of Katy, TX will co-drive the #22 MINI Cooper with Mitch at Daytona and will drive in some select races throughout 2006. Joe returns to Nuzzo Motorsports after racing with us in 2005. Joe has raced in Grand Am Rolex, Grand Am Cup, Historic Sportscar, Formula Russell, and Porsche Club. Joe was the 2003 Winner of HSR’s USA GT series in Grand Sports division.

Bob Miller will lead the driver line up for the #23 MINI Cooper S and pair with co-driver Scott Poirier. Bob is the owner of At Speed Motorsports which built and campaigned the Volvo Cars North America sponsored S60R in Speed World Challenge GT Class. Bob ran the entire operation, which included drivers Derek Bell and Michael Galati. Bob campaigned the Rogaine Porsche GT3 Cup car in the Speed World Challenge Series where he recorded six top-10 finishes and a career-best fifth en route to a top 10 finish in the point standings and the 2001 Rookie of the Year title. In 2002, Bob again ran the Rogaine Race Program and earned another top 10 finish in season point standings.

Scott Poirier is both a mechanic and driver, and has been involved in Motorsports since 1993. Scott has won three championships in karts, and was 2001 Rookie of the Year in the Skip Barber Southern Series and the 2002 runner up in the Formula Dodge National Championship. Scott was invited to the 2002 Red Bull F1 Driver Search and has won over $100,000 in driver scholarships. Scott was the lead development Driver for the Mercedes C230 Coupe racecar for team Autohaus Pompano Motorsports, before joining At Speed Motorsports.

The #20 MINI Cooper S will see team owner Tony Nuzzo of Glen Head, NY once again paired with Steve Pattee of Adel, IA. Steve began racing in Porsche Club and was 2001 Rookie of the Year. In addition to racing in Grand-Am Cup, Steve has raced Porsche’s in Rolex GT and SGS classes. In 2005 Steve co-drove the MINI Cooper S to its first professional podium taking Third place in the ST class Grand Am Cup at Watkins Glen. In 2004, Steve finished in 6th place in Rolex Series SGS class at Barber Motorsports Park 250 co-driving with David Master.

Tony is the owner of Nuzzo Motorsports which is beginning its fourth year campaigning the MINI Cooper S. Tony began racing in Porsche Club and drove his first professional race in 2001 in a Rolex Series GT Class Porsche finishing sixth in class and tenth overall co-driving with John Werner. In 2002, Tony earned the Third place in the Grand Am Cup STII Class Drivers Championship and was named 2002 Rising Star. In 2003 Tony began campaigning the MINI Coopers in Grand-Am ST class and in 2005 co-drove the MINI to its first professional podium finishing third at Watkins Glen.

We’ll have a full interview with Mr. Nuzzo himself either later this week or next.