ELKHART LAKE, Wis., - Aaron Telitz has a unique, and appropriate, way to relay what it feels like to navigate a lap at Road America.
“The best way to describe why I love Road America is because it’s a race track that feels like you’re going somewhere,” Telitz said.
“A lot of racetracks you’re in a tunnel and you’re just doing it (a lap). At Road America, it feels like you’re kind of going somewhere. You’re going up and down a hill, the track is a little bumpy, you’ve got the woods on either side of you sometimes. Blind corners, long corners and sharp corners – it just has everything.”
The Birchwood native arrives at the 14-turn, 4.048-mile permanent road course and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship weekend with a full-time ride. Telitz was named driver in late June for the No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 owned by the AIM Vasser Sullivan (AVS) team. Telitz will partner with Jack Hawskworth.
Telitz had participated in a part-time capacity with AVS, running four IMSA Michelin Endurance races, in addition to competing in Rolex 24 at Daytona events for the team in 2019 and 2020.
The AVS team already claimed success this season when it clinched a one-two GTD finish at Daytona International Speedway on July 4 and continued its success with a second straight win at Sebring.
The 28-year-old has cobbled together quite a race career in Road to Indy levels in Indy Pro, USF 2000 and Indy Lights with 10 wins, 13 pole and 82 starts. Telitz, who earned the Indy Pro 2000 championship in 2016, drove in Indy Lights in 2017, 2018 and half a season in 2019.
Telitz said he can’t wait to return to Road America, the track where he got his first start as a young teenager behind the wheel of a go-kart.
“My mom and dad let me take a go-kart out and do the race at Road America,” Telitz said. “My go-kart went 70 miles per hour, which was pretty quick for a 13-year-old.
“The surprising thing is that you don’t really have to slow down very often because the go-kart can make most of the corners going pretty fast. Maybe it takes 3 minutes, 10 seconds, or something like that. That was my first road-course experience, and I got to go on the coolest track in the world.”
Telitz spent time in early July at Road America during the INDYCAR REV Group Grand Prix weekend, where he helped as a driver coach for Charles Finelli, an Indy Pro 2000 gentleman driver. Telitz has served as a driver coach for two-plus years with Road to Indy.
Telitz said his tips for running as smooth of a lap as a driver can at Road America are straightforward and simple.
“Putting a lap together is tough because it’s a huge track,” Telitz said. “If you make a mistake, you’ve got four more miles before you get to fix your mistake again. Be consistent and hit your marks every corner, every time, because every corner is important at Road America.”
Besides driving, Telitz said he always treasures the moments he gets to be a spectator at his home track.
“There’s no where better to walk around and watch race cars than Road America,” he said. “I love what they’ve done down in Canada Corner and down in the Kink, where you can walk on the backstretch, and see cars rocketing through the woods. It doesn’t get much better.”
The IMSA SportsCar Weekend kicks off on Thursday, July 30 and continues through August 2. Fans will get to see the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race on Saturday, with the WeatherTech® SportsCar Championship race on Sunday, plus races from the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA all weekend.
Spec Miata racers were recently added to the schedule as well and will be eligible for the pre event test day encompassing various race cars on Thursday, July 30. The Spec Miata’s will then participate in a 30-min qualifying and a 60-minute race on Sunday, August 2. The Spec Miata addition is sanctioned by the Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs.
The Midwestern Council of Sports Car Clubs will host a charity drive this year with Save the Children to raise money for COVID-19 relief. They will have special face masks available and will be accepting donations with participant registration and throughout the weekend. In addition, $10 from every entry will be going to Save the Children.
Under the guidance of public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal authorities, IMSA and Road America will observe safe social distancing practices and provide enhanced hygiene and safety precautions for all fans attending the event.
Fans are encouraged to have a household plan of action in case of illness before attending the event, and if a family member becomes ill, immediate family members and anyone at risk are encouraged not to attend the event.
All guests will be screened in their vehicles with contactless temperature checks before entering the parking areas, and only essential racing personnel will have access to the IMSA garage area. A PPE kit that includes a face mask, as well as hand sanitizer will be provided to each guest upon arrival to the track.
Fans are encouraged to practice safe social distancing and wear a cloth face-covering where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures will also be implemented throughout the facility during the weekend. Additional protocols and guidelines for spectators can be found at www.roadamerica.com/safety
Fans have two quick, convenient methods to buy tickets:
Online: Visit www.roadamerica.com Tickets are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. For ease of entry, fans are encouraged print tickets at home to save time and enjoy a quick and contactless experience at the gates.
Phone: Call 800-365-RACE or 920-892-4576 between 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday.
Gates open at 7 a.m. and races run rain or shine. For more information, call 800-365-RACE (7223) or visit www.roadamerica.com
Anyone 16-years-old and under are always FREE with a paying adult at the gate.