GT3 Cup: CiraSport Racing Sebring summary

CiraSport Racing started its 2007 pro racing season with a visit to the world famous Sebring road course this past weekend. Billed with the 12 hours of Sebring, this event included the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin for purpose...

CiraSport Racing started its 2007 pro racing season with a visit to the world famous Sebring road course this past weekend. Billed with the 12 hours of Sebring, this event included the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin for purpose built Porsche GT3 Cup race cars.

Now in its third year, CiraSport Racing of Seattle, WA, entered five specially prepared Porsche GT3 Cup cars built by Porsche Motorsport of Germany. For 2007 the CiraSport team drivers will include team owner Steve Valentinetti followed by Nick Parker, Wade Carter and Mark Andrews, all from the Seattle, WA area. Rounding out the team is Mike Hoke formerly from Oregon, now living in Eden Prairie, MN.

Team owner, Steve Valentinetti said, "We have worked hard to have a strong team this year and we are committed to high placed finishes at every one of the IMSA events this year."

The 40 plus car field lined up just after lunch on Friday, March 17, 2007 for a 45 minute race over the 3.7 mile road course. Rain came to Sebring just before the race and as the race started, a tropical rainstorm was in full force that soaked the world famous road circuit. Shortly after the green flag there were multiple spins throughout the field as the racers found the slick track difficult to maintain traction. This immediately led to approximately six retirements and a long full course yellow flag period.

Throughout all the chaos and confusion, all the CiraSport racers kept away from any contact and suffered no damage in this opening sequence. During the lengthy yellow flag period, the team agreed to continue the race with extra caution recognizing the condition of the track.

The team strategy proved correct as all five cars managed to finish without any incident. At the end of the race, Wade Carter was in the top ten with an eighth place finish. Mark Andrews earned a strong 14th place, Mike Hoke took 19th, Nick Parker completed the race at 22nd and Steve Valentinetti finished 26th. Additionally, Mark was honored by winning the Hard Charger Award for improving 20 places from his start.

Doug Soon, Team Manager for CiraSport commented "I was proud that the team kept their heads in a very difficult race. The fact that all the cars came through so well shows we have the skill and maturity to perform under the hardest conditions."

Shop preparation and trackside support for the team is led by Crew Chief, Colin Cantrell of Cantrell Motorsports, a full service race and competition facility located in Kirkland, WA.

Steve Valentinetti is the driver of the number 2 car, Wade Carter number 5, Nick Parker number 22, Mike Hoke number 49 and Mark Andrews number 50.

The next professional appearance for CiraSport Racing is scheduled for Salt Lake City, UT at Miller Motorsports Park, May 18-19, 2007.

-credit: CiraSport Racing

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About this article
Series IMSA Others
Drivers Steve Valentinetti , Nick Parker