K1 Speed, a multinational arrive and drive karting experience center headquartered in Irvine, CA will support Satellite Racing throughout the 2017 season through both real and sim racing programs, including the 2017 SuperCup Season.
K1 Speed will replace DIYSim.com as the entitlement sponsor on the team's no. 32 and no 64 entries piloted by veteran Matt Strand and series rookie TJ Halsema. DIYSim will continue as associate sponsor along with SimCraft following a second place finish in the 2016 overall points by team driver Sven de Vries and a third place overall finish in the team points. With 2017 brining new challenges Sven opted to leave his SuperCup seat open in order to focus on his real world racing passion. Also new for 2017 are partnerships with Thrustmaster and King of Chins. Thrustmaster comes on as part of a continuation of partner synergies with SimCraft & DIYSim.com and King of Chins joins the team through our Reserve/Test driver Josh Chin who brings to the team a wealth of knowledge and will be a valuable teammate for the season.
Satellite Racing manager, Nick Rowland, on the new team sponsorship was excited. "The relationship with K1 Speed grew in the last three months with Satellite's real world properties. With a partner of their scope we will be in a position to grow our sim racing talents into further real world exploits. Sven had great success in the last two years with our F600 program in the US and we will miss him driving our cars in SuperCup this season. His absence however gives us the opportunity to test out one of our journeyman drivers, TJ Halsema, who has not raced a full championship with us in any series. We look forward to watching his growth." Teamed up with the veteran driver Strand, the two drivers should see the front of the field quickly as the season progresses.
About Matt Strand: Strand has 9 SuperCup starts to his name as an owner/driver. Beyond SuperCup he runs a highly competitive SCCA F600 team out of his home in Florida. In 2015 he finished 2nd in the SCCA National Championship Run-offs at Daytona International Speedway.
A word from Matt: "It's been a long time since I've been in a position where I can run a full blown sim-racing season. I don't think I've done it in about 4 or 5 years now. Just the odd race to fill in here and there in various cars and series and helping out in testing for all of the guys. I've done a handful of SuperCup races the last 2 years and quite honestly got my behind kicked pretty badly. I think I only scored points in 2 of the events and only 1 of them being a top 10 while Sven was winning everything in sight nearly so it clearly wasn't the cars fault! Running the full season should help me get my head into it a bit more and I'm anxious to see what I can do with that in this ultra-competitive field."
About TJ Halsema: Halsema is a rookie in the SuperCup series, having been Satellite's driver for hire for the past 6 years TJ has been looking for his opportunity to stand alone and show his mettle within a full season. His last full season of racing took place in 2010 where he piloted an Aston Martin to 2nd in the season points with VOR. He also has 5 years of real world experience, driving Legends Cars at various ovals and road courses in the US.
TJ has this to say: "I may have made a mistake during our winter team summit in agreeing to take over the seat in the #64 car. But, I am looking forward to the various challenges associated with a full season of running, especially over a grueling schedule such as the GPVWC provides the drivers. Within the team, I am hopeful that I can prove to Matt and Nick that I deserve the seat and that it will open doors for me within sim racing and real world racing."
About K1 Speed:
Since it's founding in 2003, K1 Speed has revolutionized what individuals expect out of a go-karting experience. Gone are the anemic, heavy, slow-witted gas-powered karts of your youth; in their place are high-performance, zero-emission, environmentally friendly electric karts that are cleaner, quieter, and perhaps most importantly, faster. The very traits that K1 Speed has built its reputation on, and that have allowed it to grow into the largest karting company in the country ' all-electric go-karts, professionally designed race tracks, year-round racing, and an unparalleled attention to detail.