Al Carter won his first professional career race yesterday in the streets of Downtown Baltimore. TRG's Al Carter and Patrick Pilet won the 2012 Baltimore Sports Car Challenge presented by SRT in GT Challenge in their #68 SceneTap - B+ Foundation - Adobe Road Winery Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Delaware resident, Al Carter, had great ambitions for this round of the American Le Mans Series in Baltimore. This was only Al's second ALMS race and first ever street race. With this result, Al Carter has now scored three podium finishes in a single month; two in the ALMS GTC class at Mid-Ohio (2nd) and Baltimore (1st) and one in the World Challenge race at Mid-Ohio (2nd).
The weekend started well in Baltimore for Al Carter who felt right away that he and teammate, Porsche factory driver, Frenchman Patrick Pilet, had a car to win the race. In the second session on Friday, Carter had his first experience with the Baltimore "wall" damaging the suspension of the #68 SceneTap B+ Foundation Adobe Road Winery TRG Porsche GT3. Because of this incident that happened right before qualifying, Carter was not able to participate in the qualifying session, thereby missing an opportunity to show his driving talent.
The TRG Racer's Group crew had to work hard to fix the car and they did. Al Carter and Patrick Pilet scored the 2nd fastest time of the warm-up before the race on Saturday morning.
Al Carter took a great start from the back of the field since he missed the qualifying session and was able to get to the lead without losing time. Carter drove an impressive first stint leading a big portion of the first quarter of the race and handed the car to Pilet in 1st place.
"It got exciting as the GTC class always is," said Carter, who started from the back of the field because the car didn't make qualifying Friday. "I didn't go through Turn 1 very fast. I was looking to make up positions easily and aggressively."
He did just that and pitted from the lead at the 45-minute mark. Keen inherited the lead but Pilet made what ended up as the winning pass 18 minutes later under extremely tough conditions. Both drivers had issues with cool suits, Carter said. Oil covering the Porsche's windshield in the last 15 minutes made Pilet's task even more challenging.
"After starting last in the field with no qualifying time from a practice accident, our car was great all day," Pilet said. "Al kept us on the lead lap, and I knew I could compete for the win."
Pilet held off a late charge from Leh Keen in Alex Job Racing's #22 Porsche as the top four cars finished within 1.696 seconds.
This win is a true morale booster for Carter's career. He will return next week to his Continental Tire ride with Fall-Line Motorsports at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where he will be one of the top contenders with teammate Hugh Plumb to win his first Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race. Carter is currently ranked 4th in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge point standings and is looking to finish on the podium of the 2012 championship.
Source: B+ Racing