The No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport Team is seeking to repeat some of its street course success at the America Le Mans Series (ALMS) Grand Prix of Baltimore race on Saturday, August 31, 2013. Drivers Henrique Cisneros and Sean Edwards are looking for a repeat of their victory on the Long Beach street circuit back in April.
The MOMO NGT Motorsport Porsche Team currently sits third in the GTC Team Championship points chase, as does Cisneros in the GTC Driver’s Championship. After two victories and two third-place finishes, the fan favorite team is staging an aggressive quest for victory points at the remaining four ALMS races this season. The GTC class competition continues to feature some of the toughest on-track battles in the ALMS and the championship continues to be a dog fight at every event.
Henrique Cisneros, No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport driver:
You were back on the podium at Road America earlier this month and are still third in points. What is it going to take from you and the team to get back in the lead and win the points championship?
“Road America was unfortunate for us. We said we were going to be more aggressive with our strategy and we were. Unfortunately, it did not play in our favor. We staggered our fuel strategy to be slightly off the rest of the field. On our calculations, we had enough fuel to finish the race and everyone had to stop one more time but two yellows in the last hour provided enough fuel savings for the top two cars to finish a 75-minute stint on one tank. However, we will need to keep making offensive strategy calls. We can’t stay on the same strategy as the top cars or we will only end up battling on the track. We need to roll the dice a bit and hope to get lucky. “
Did you compete at the inaugural race last year at Baltimore? If so how was it? If not, what have you heard about the circuit?
“I have not raced at Baltimore but I am very much looking forward to it. Sean is always impressive in street courses and Baltimore has many technical corners that I think we can both excel at.”
As a gentleman driver, do you find the street circuits more challenging or easier to drive, and why?
“Street courses are very challenging. It's extremely tough to overtake so qualifying will be vital. There are walls waiting to bite you in case you make any mistakes so you have to be on your game at all times.”
You and Sean won at the last ALMS street circuit at Long Beach. How did you do it there and do you think you can repeat it at Baltimore? “We are hoping to repeat Long Beach. We dominated that race by being smooth and consistent. You can’t have any mistakes or you will be done. You also have to be very strategic with traffic management. You need to know when to let the cars behind you pass so they do not make you lose too much time.”
You only have four races left this season. What do you see lying ahead this year?
“We are now past the half way mark and we need some luck rather than skill to get ahead. The top three teams have each had two wins but we have had two DNFs, which is why we are in third. Alex Job has had one DNF and sits in second and Flying Lizard is first without any DNFs. We can’t afford anything less than a win at the next four races.”
Sean Edwards, No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport driver:
You and Henrique were back on the podium at Road America earlier this month and are still third in points. What is it going to take from you and the team to get back in the lead and win the points championship?
“Yes, we should have been better but it didn't work out with the strategy in the end. It takes a lot of luck too, and being in the right place, to win in the ALMS. It's not just about the speed. We've also been struggling with our top speed, which I think should be rectified for the next round! We are 16 points behind now, so all we can do is push for wins and hope the others have a bad result.”
This will be your first race on the streets of Baltimore? How do you prepare?
“As with most circuits this year I will have to learn it from scratch. I think is a great event though and the track looks really cool, so I'm looking forward to it. I will do some simulator work in the lead up time before the race in preparation and watch some onboard videos.”
You compete at race tracks around the globe. How do you find the American street circuits in the ALMS?
“They’re pretty tough, made from concrete as opposed to barriers in Europe. It’s definitely not something you want to hit as there is zero flexibility in concrete! City racing is always special. I love it! I've already won in Long Beach and Monaco this year, so adding Baltimore is only right.”
You and Henrique won at the last ALMS street circuit at Long Beach. How did you do it there and do you think you can repeat it at Baltimore?
“We were quick there and had a perfect strategy. Henrique has a great stint, which made my life easy to be honest. It’s so hard to pass with these cars and we have most drivers on top of their game so if you come out in P6 it’s really difficult to make up ground as you saw in Road America. It’s definitely time for our second ALMS win together and third for the team.”
Ramez Wahab, NGT Motorsport Owner/No. 30 MOMO NGT Motorsport Team Manager:
How well suited is the Porsche GT3 car to the street circuits like Baltimore?
“History tells us that Porsche race cars are very well suited for street courses. I think Falken won with their Porsche RSR the last two years in a row. Baltimore is a very tight, technical and bumpy track with a lot of surface changes. All these factors are well suited for a Porsche.”
What kind of experiences has NGT Motorsport had at Baltimore?
“None, it's our first time at Baltimore, but we had the same situation earlier this season at Long Beach and we won. The main advantage we’ve got is that we will have, in addition to our GTC entry, four Porsches racing in IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge, so we can try different setup on each of our cars and figure out very quick which one will be the best suited for this track.”
How did the team win at Long Beach and do you think you can repeat it at Baltimore? “Long Beach was our first street course ever and our set-up worked perfect. The main thing is to stay out of trouble and keep the car on course. I'm very confident and really looking forward to Baltimore.”
Competition only seems to get tougher as the season rolls on. What can the MOMO NGT team do to grab back the points championship in the last four races?
“As I mentioned multiple times, the GTC class is the most competitive class in ALMS. We always had the car to run up front and we also had our share of bad luck in on-track incidents. Let’s hope that this is over now so we can fight for the championship.”
MOMO NGT Motorsport