COVINA, Calif.— Reigning SCCA Pirelli World Challenge GTS champion Paul Brown hopes to make his return to competition this weekend in the series’ doubleheader at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, the new name for Mosport International Raceway, in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.
Justin Bell has been driving for Brown this year in the Paul Brown/Tiger Racing No. 50 Ford Mustang Boss 302S sponsored by eBay Motors and Kenny Brown Performance, but this time Brown will try to substitute for Bell, who has a previous broadcasting commitment with SPEED at the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auctions in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Brown, who owns the reigning championship-winning team in addition to being the division’s 2011 driver champion, has been unable to compete so far this season because he’s engaged in a battle much more fierce than any on the racetrack. He is undergoing treatment at the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, a leader in cancer research that is affiliated with the University of Southern California, after being diagnosed with aggressive melanoma (skin cancer) two weeks before the season opener at St. Petersburg, Fla., in March.
“I’m going to try to do the test day on Friday, and we’ll see how that goes,” Brown said. “I have already gotten releases from my doctors to drive. If I don’t feel up to doing the races we have Jeff Altenburg signed up as a relief driver for me. He’s definitely another good shoe and he’ll represent the team well.”
Like Brown, Altenburg is a series champion. He won the series’ Touring Car championship in 2007.
Brown is being treated with a new, cutting-edge drug and must report to the hospital every three weeks for injections.
“I rely on my crew to prepare my car to the best of their abilities; now I’m also relying on the staff at the Norris Cancer unit in this new fight,” Brown said.
“I haven’t made it public before this point but all of our sponsors already know and they’ve been very supportive and are standing behind our team,” Brown added. “I found out just as we were in negotiations with eBay, and they’ve known all along. They suggested that Justin would be a good substitute for the races that I couldn’t do, and he’s fit into the team perfectly.
“I also have to thank our other sponsors for their support,” Brown added. “They include Kenny Brown Performance, Lucas Oil, Ford Racing, K&N Filters, Eibach, Baer Brakes, Hawk Performance, One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning, G-Stream, ERP/JRZ, Tremec Transmission, Bassani Xhaust and Wellendorf Performance.”
Ford Mustangs and Brown are both historically strong at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. Mustangs took all three GTS podium positions in both races there last year, and Brown set two track records.
He set a new track record for the class of 1:26.578 (102.247 miles per hour) in winning the pole for Saturday’s race at Mosport last May. He set the class’s fastest race lap in that event too. He won Sunday’s race and regained the class point lead, setting another new track GTS record in the process when he posted the fastest lap recorded during the race in 1:27.286 (101.418 mph).
Paul Brown/Tiger Racing also fields the No. 48 Ford Mustang Boss 302S driven by Dane Moxlow. It is sponsored by Eaton Steel Bar Company, Trenton Forging, Detroit Motion Co. and Bard’s Tale Beer Co.
“Mosport is one of the fastest tracks that we visit all year,” said Moxlow of the 10-turn, 2.4-mile road course near Toronto. “It has an incredibly flowing layout and altitude changes as it winds through the woods.
“The fans at Mosport are some of the most diehard,” Moxlow added. “They camp out and party all week. They just simply love racing, and it is pretty humbling knowing they are all there to watch us.”
Two 50-minute GT/GTS races are on the docket this weekend during the series’ only trip across the border this year. Saturday’s race is scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m. Eastern and Sunday’s is at 2:45 p.m. Eastern. Both will be streamed live on-line at world-challengeTV.com, and those videos will be archived on that site. Other information is available on the series’ Web site at world-challenge.com. The event will also be shown on the NBC Sports Network from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern time on Saturday, July 7.
Fans can send well-wishes to Paul Brown through Tiger Racing’s Facebook page. Other team information will also be posted there, on Kenny Brown Performance's Facebook page, and in the blog on KennyBrown.com.
The series tweets updates @WCRacing. Moxlow can be found on Twitter @DMoxlow.
About eBay Motors: eBay Motors, a part of eBay Inc., is the Internet’s largest marketplace for buying and selling all things automotive. The site offers everyday cars for everyday drivers as well as collector cars, motorcycles, auto parts and accessories. eBay Motors is consistently ranked the No. 1 automotive site on the Web by Nielsen/NetRatings. Nearly 4.5 million new and used vehicles have been sold on eBay Motors, and there are more than 22 million automotive parts and accessories available on eBay Motors at any given time.
About Kenny Brown Performance: Kenny Brown, a 25-year veteran in the Ford Mustang performance aftermarket, is legendary for building some of the most technically advanced Mustangs in North America. His critically acclaimed AGS (Advanced Geometry Suspension) high-performance suspension components for street and track-day Mustangs are some of the best and most innovative in the aftermarket. Brown is a well-known celebrity in the Ford aftermarket and has played a critical role in Mustang racing heritage and new product development since 1986. For more information see KennyBrown.com and visit Kenny Brown Performance on Facebook.
About Paul Brown/Tiger Racing: Paul Brown/Tiger Racing won the 2011 SCCA Pro Racing Pirelli World Challenge GTS team championship and propelled its owner/driver Paul Brown to the driver’s championship and Ford to the manufacturer’s title. Based in the Los Angeles suburb of Covina, Calif., it is also involved in the NASA AIX, VSCDA, SVRA and VARA series. It specializes in race car prep, transportation and trackside support as well as exotic and luxury car maintenance and repairs. It is a popular source for carbon fiber and fiberglass work as well as race car parts for Mustangs and other high-performance cars. Please visit its Facebook page at Tiger Racing.