Vacaville, CA -- May 15, 2013 -- TNI Racing announces the joining of Henri Richard as a new team driver and coach. Richard will pilot one of TNI’s Mazdaspeed 3 racecars in the 2013 Nitto Tire United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) beginning mid-season. His extensive experience in professional racing and motorsports marketing will add depth to the TNI team.
“TNI Racing is thrilled to add Henri’s proven professional racing results and extensive team management experience to our organization,” said Ron Valtierra, TNI team owner. “To prepare for a full 2014 season, we are planning to have Henri drive one of the team’s Mazdaspeed 3 race cars in the USTCC race at the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) event at Race Sonoma in September or other select USTCC races in 2013.”
TNI Racing formed four years ago to compete in the USTCC with a single stock Mazdaspeed 3. Over the years, TNI has accumulated two third place finishes in the championships, numerous podiums and a reputation as a top-tier team in the series. Team TNI intends to apply its extensive knowledgebase garnered from fielding the 2008 Mazdaspeed 3 chassis for three seasons in the building of a third Mazdaspeed 3 race car using the current body style. With input and feedback from Henri, help from TNI’s sponsors Performance In-frame Tuning and American Canyon Collision Center, and support from Mazdaspeed Motorsports, this program will yield a podium-worthy and reliable contender in the USTCC field.
“I have known Doug Makishima, TNI team principal and driver, for years and always wanted to have an opportunity to race with him,” said Henri, “We share the same professional interests and objectives and to be able to add to that a racing experience was a natural progression. I have been impressed by the TNI Racing organization and look forward to my return to touring car racing in this very competitive series.”
About Henri Richard:
Henri Richard has been racing since 14 years old. He started with 125 cc motocross motorcycle racing and then became a driver for KTM in the 175 cc, followed later by the 250 cc French Enduro championship. In parallel, he drove go-karts as one of his high school friends founded a go-kart engine manufacturing company in France. Soon after he could legally drive a car, Henri engaged a Porsche 911 Carrera S prepared by the Almeras racing team in local rally events. In 1998, he moved to California and continued to join regularly regional events with a Porsche 996 GT3 and competed in the Norcal Rotax Masters Go Kart 125 cc series. He soon obtained his SCCA, Grand AM, IMSA and FIA racing licenses. In 2007, Henri acquired a Ferrari 430 Challenge and a Porsche 997 GT3 Supercup and incorporated Silicon Tech Racing LLC. While continuing to race in the Rotax Masters series, Henri participated in the 2008 and 2009 Ferrari F430 Challenge series where he obtained numerous podiums, fastest race laps and pole positions. In 2009, he also participated in selected Grand Am Rolex races. In 2010, he participated in a comprehensive endurance racing campaign in a Porsche 997 GT with an entry in the 24 hours of Daytona as well as the American Le Mans Series season. He finished fourth in the driver championship despite missing one event and had two wins and four podiums. In 2011, he moved into the Daytona prototype category and ended up with the Mesco "Rookie of the Year" award. He also engaged in selected endurance races in a Le Mans Prototype in the American Le Mans Series and finished the season with the LMPC class win and an 8th overall finish at Petit Le Mans. Henri also entered the 24 Hours of Spa with an Audi R8 LMS and finished 18th overall. In 2012, Henri teamed up with driver Duncan Ende to run a full season in LMPC in the American Le Mans Series with Dempsey Racing and both finished 5th overall in the season.
The USTCC is a professional road racing series comprising of late model sport compact sedans such as BMW 3 series, Mazdaspeed 3, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Honda Civic and others. The cars use slightly modified engines and highly modified suspensions with aerodynamic ground effects and sticky Nitto race tires. In the US, USTCC races can be seen exclusively on Final Drive TV or worldwide on the Internet at www.finaldrive.net. The Nitto Tires United States Touring Car Championship will contend another round of championship racing on June 22-23, 2013, at Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake City, UT.
About TNI Racing:
TNI Racing is a Northern California based professional auto racing team focusing on touring cars. The team is currently campaigning two MazdaSpeed 3s and a BMW M3 in the United States Touring Car Championship (USTCC) where it has accumulated two consecutive third place season championship finishes, and is consistently on the podium. TNI was started in 2010 and is an up-and-coming team that has produced big results with the help of its dedicated team and loyal sponsors. For more info on TNI see www.tniracing.com.