TPC Racing Takes On the Streets of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD., (Aug. 27, 2013) – Last week the No. 36 Porsche of Towson GT3 Cup car made pit stops at various Baltimore hot spots for a social media tour in conjunction with the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Series. The TPC Racing team posed with restaurant owners and staff outside establishments as they highlighted their favorite locations in the city.
TPC Racing team owner Michael Levitas and his son Harris visited Mama’s on the Half Shell, Max’s on Broadway and Attman’s Deli. The team even stopped at Eastern Animal Hospital with Daytona Levitas, a Bouvier Des Flanders who is the TPC Racing mascot. While each member of the team had his favorite place to chow down, they all agreed one place around town rose above them all – the street circuit on the InnerHarbor.
“This is our home track and we’re really excited to race on the streets of Baltimore in front of home fans,” Levitas said. “We’re excited for Porsche of Towson, our title sponsor this year, who has given us the inspiration and spirit to drive the way we’ve been doing. Our team always rises to the occasion, they never get down and always keep working hard.”
The team hits the temporary street circuit this weekend for the Grand Prix of Baltimore Presented by SRT. TPC Racing aims to extend its lead in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Gold Cup class. The 2.1-mile, 12-turn street circuit presents a new challenge for series participants as IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama makes its debut in Baltimore.
While the TPC Racing team is more than familiar with the track first-year team member David Williams, driver of the No. 37 Merkle Inc. car, will be making his debut at the circuit as well. As a Baltimore native and annual spectator of the event, he is excited to finally be competing.
“The Grand Prix of Baltimore has become a pretty meaningful event in Baltimore,” said TPC Racing driver David Williams. “I’ve been an autosports fan my whole life but it’s amazing how non-autosports people have enjoyed the Baltimore Grand Prix. So just to be a part of that is actually quite exciting.”
Williams made his IMSA debut this year after a career in sports car club racing in the early 90s. He took a decade off from racing before jumping back into the cockpit with TPC. Conveniently located around the corner from his business, Merkle Inc., the TPC Racing shop was a perfect fit for Williams.
As the Chairman and CEO of Merkle Inc., a database marketing company, Williams transfers much of his work off-track to his racing world. The Annapolis, Md.-native has noticed many parallels between the use of data in autosports and his use of data to make marketing more targetable and measureable.
“It’s really interesting to see the use of data in autosports and how we can analyze it to improve lap times, driver skill and focus areas,” Williams said.
Williams has always been into cars, growing up with a sports car fanatic for a father and experiencing his first racing moment at 17 in drag racing. At age 30, Williams bought his first Porsche and became more interested in classic road racing.
“I originally met Mike (Levitas) and the TPC guys back 10 years ago when I was club racing,” Williams said. “I think Mike and TPC played a big role in bringing me into IMSA mainly because they had a lot of experience there and knew how all the processes worked. And they’re located near me here in Maryland and generally just a really good group of people.”
Levitas’ lengthy relationship with sports cars began in 1987. Levitas started in IMSA’s BFG series as an engineer and by the mid-90s TPC Racing was a full-time Porsche racing program. In addition to Levitas, Williams credits his 2013 season success to driving coach Randy Pobst, who has been a catalyst to TPC Racing.
The veteran TPC Racing / Porsche of Towson team and Williams’ eagerness for an experience beyond club racing has combined for a successful run this year in the Gold Cup category. Currently, Levitas leads Gold Cup competition with 184 points after five wins and Williams is in second place after claiming six podium finishes in eight rounds of competition.
“It’s been a fantastic relationship (with IMSA),” Levitas said. “The IMSA teams are so professional and I can’t say enough about all of the tech people. It’s a very professional series and to win in this series is really great. It’s quite an elevated series.”
Ben Keating, not a Baltimore local, is excited to take on the streets of Baltimore in the 35 Porsche of Towson entry. Keating has driven great races with the TPC Racing team in the Platinum Class so far this season and look forward to have a great drive on the streets of Baltimore.
“I am really excited to be in Baltimore and race on the street circuit,” said Ben Keating. “The TPC Racing / Porsche of Towson team has always prepared an amazing car for me, so I am looking forward to seeing what we can do. This is TPC Racing’s home track, their facility is just 20 minutes away from the track, so it will be exciting to have the TPC Racing fans, everyone from Porsche of Towson and Merkle out there watching us.”
About TPC Racing:
TPC Racing is the Mid-Atlantic’s premier maintenance, service, tuning and modification center dedicated solely to Porsche sports cars. This long time focus on only one make, Porsche, has enabled us to become experts in Porsche service, tuning and racing.
TPC Racing has its roots in the IMSA Supercar Series of the late 1980’s and early 1990s, as well in the Grand Am Rolex Series with over 28 race wins and 40 podium finishes. In 2004, the team won the team and drivers championship in the SGS class. In 2006, TPC Racing won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the GT Class.
By combining a lifetime of automotive enthusiasm, business experience and technical skill with advanced aeronautical training and certifications, Levitas has managed to extend the engineering of some for the most advanced and well-regarded machines in existence – Porsche race cars.
About Porsche of Towson
Porsche of Towson is Baltimore’s only exclusive Porsche center. That means that our Porsche staff is 100% dedicated to the Porsche brand and nothing else. They will be able to assist you with all of your Porsche needs. On behalf of the entire Priority 1 Automotive Group family of dealerships, welcome to Porsche of Towson. We look forward to meeting all of your Porsche needs.
Porsche of Towson is a part of the Priority 1 Automotive Group which is a family owned and operated group of dealerships. As a family dealership, the family’s reputation in the community is of the utmost importance. Therefore, there is a tremendous focus on providing exceptional customer service. With a brand new state-of-the-art Porsche dealership (completed in 2010), the most elite and experienced group of client advisors for sales and service, and a highly trained team of service and support personnel, your sales and service experience is assured of being second to none. Our clients appreciate the way we do business. We know you will too!
Merkle is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing customer relationship marketing (CRM) agency. For more than 20 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. Employing data-driven strategies, Merkle combines a complete range of marketing, technical, analytical and creative disciplines to offer complete integrated customer marketing solutions. With a strategically led, consultative approach, we work closely with clients to design, execute and continuously evaluate CRM programs throughout the buying cycle, across channels and media.
About CrunchDaddy Popcorn
CrunchDaddy Popcorn makes “Popcorn Unusual!™”, an array of sweet and savory inventions that take the sophisticated snacker beyond the common recipes for caramel, kettle and cheese popcorn. All CrunchDaddy Popcorn flavors are available on-line through their website, www.crunchdaddy.com
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