Long-time SRO entrant Fast Track Racing has announced today that paraplegic driver Tim Horrell will team with veteran sports car racer Raphael Matos in a specially prepared BMW M4 GT4 sports car to compete in the Pirelli GT4 America SprintX sports car series, which begins at Sonoma Raceway on April 15-17.
Horrell was severely injured in a 2011 road accident and he lost the use of his legs due to the crash. Despite his disability, the Pennsylvania native had the desire to enter the motorsports world beginning in karting in 2015 with the guidance of the late Jim Pace. Horrell’s karts were developed with hand controls for his on-track competition.
Following an accomplished run in the karts, Horrell moved into sports car racing with strong showings in the Breathless Racing-prepared Porsche 718 Cayman for the GT division in the Trans-Am series. He advanced to the Trans-Am GT series and scored two class victories in 2020 and set several track records. He drove in the Porsche Sprint Challenge in 2021.
Matos, a two-time Trans-Am TA2 series champion originally from Brazil, comes to the Texas-based team after an impressive racing career in open-wheel and sports car racing which includes championships in the Barber national tour (2003), Star Mazda Pro Series (2005), Champ Car Atlantic Championship (2007) and Indy Lights (2009). In addition, Raphael won the Rolex 24 At Daytona (GT) in 2008 and was named the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 2009. He was also the fastest rookie qualifier in 2009. In recent years, Matos has concentrated in the Trans-Am sports car campaign with two series titles and two series runner-up finishes.
Matos and Horrell will compete for the Fast Track Racing team, sponsored by Sewell Automotive Companies, with a specially developed BMW M4 with hand controls for Horrell as the duo compete in the 60-minute, two-driver SRO events in GT4.
“We are excited to bring in drivers such as Tim and Rafa to the Pirelli GT4 America SprintX division this year,” said Toby Grahovec, team manager for the Fast Track Racing operation. “Rafa is one of the top sports car racers in North America and Tim has shown impressive speed in his Trans-Am career. We will be working to develop the team’s BMW M4 with Tim’s hand controls as well as testing with both drivers. We believe this combination will be very competitive in the 2022 SRO season.
”We, at Fast Track Racing, have several crew members who have worked with hand controlled race cars in the past. Their knowledge of the project will help get Tim and Rafa comfortable in our BMW M4 GT4 car.”
Horrell has continued his racing skills this winter in karting at Homestead, FL, and is enthusiastic about the new SRO Pirelli GT4 America project with the Fast Track Racing effort.
“Racing with Rafa in the professional ranks in 2022 is a great opportunity for me,” said Horrell. “I have learned quite a bit from him in karting and I know the Fast Track Racing team is a tremendous squad with many wins and championships. We plan to work on our setups as well as the driver changes in the upcoming testing. I know the BMW M4 is a quick car in the GT4 class, and we’ll work with the crew to give us a competitive car out of the box at Sonoma Raceway.”
Matos is anxious to compete with the new BMW M4 GT4 machine after driving the Trans-Am TA2 cars to series crowns in 2018 and 2021.
“I’ve seen the speed of the BMW M4 in the GT4 races for some time, and I’m very excited to race the car with Tim,” said Matos. “I have worked with Tim in karting and am very impressive with his speed despite his driving with hand controls. He has shown speed in karting and the Trans-Am series. We are anxious to begin the testing with the BMW in the near future.”
Horrell and Matos will drive the No. 10 Fast Track Racing BMW M4 GT4 machine in the seven-weekend, 14-race tour beginning at Sonoma Raceway April 15-17 followed by Ozark International Raceway May 20-22, Virginia International Raceway June 17-19, Watkins Glen International July 22-24, Road America Aug. 19-21, Sebring International Raceway Sept. 23-25 and Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oct. 7-9.