Farnbacher Loles takes both GT3 Cup classes in Salt Lake City The Farnbacher Loles Racing team put on a dominating performance in the inaugural IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge race at Salt Lake City's new Miller Motorsports Park. For the second straight...
Farnbacher Loles takes both GT3 Cup classes in Salt Lake City
The Farnbacher Loles Racing team put on a dominating performance in the inaugural IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge race at Salt Lake City's new Miller Motorsports Park. For the second straight race, the team has won both classes. Saturday's 45-minute race ran under clear skis with temperatures well over 100 degrees. The 4.5 mile, 24 turn track had received thumbs up from the racers, but the high temperatures were a concern for both the cars and the drivers. As the green flag fell, the pack accelerated down the long front straight led by pole sitter Shawn Price driving his Centennial Motorsports/Savvion sponsored 997 closely followed by second place qualifier Bryce Miller in the Marquis Jet 997. By mid-point of the first lap, the pair had pulled out a significant lead over the rest of the field while Dino Loles was running away from the rest of the 996 class in his Makes and Models Magazine sponsored car.
The race saw a full course caution period when Farnbacher Loles driver Lance Willsey spun. Lance had been running very well and was in the process of turning his car back around to rejoin the race when he was hit head-on at full speed by another racer. Both drivers were unhurt but Lance's car was heavily damaged. The extended yellow allowed the field to bunch up and wiped out the huge lead of the front-runners. At the restart, Shawn and Bryce were not deterred and began pulling away again. The caution period however had taken a toll on the engines and some of the competitors began experiencing high engine temperatures with a few of the cars having to drop out. Farnbacher Loles driver Tom Pank was running flawlessly in fourth in his BaySaver 997 and looking for a podium finish when, with only one lap to go, his car also succumbed to the heat and he was forced to retire. As the laps wound down, Shawn and Bryce continued to battle with Bryce turning the race's fastest lap at 2:56.982, for the second straight race. At the finish, they crossed the finish line with only a couple of car lengths between them to take the top two spots overall and in class. The win gives Shawn a tie for first place in the series championship. Dino took his class win as well, which gives him a perfect record of three wins on the season and helps extend his championship lead. Fellow Farnbacher Loles racers Joe Wong and Joe Policastro had good results as well, with Wong posting a series best 17th place finish in his Applebees 997 and Policastro picking up 27th spot in his Classic Industries 997.
After the race, the drivers reflected on the effort. "The Farnbacher Loles team gave me the tools I needed to pull out this win. The Centennial Motorsports/Savvion Porsche was dialed in and ran flawlessly even in this heat. Bryce really made me work out there though and he drove a great race as well," said Shawn. Bryce was also pleased with the outcome. "I nearly had Shawn a couple of times, particularly in the second half but he was able to stay in front. While we ran away from the field, it was not as easy it seemed. I had high temperature warning lights going off and I was not sure the engine could take the heat, but this proves how durable the Porsche engine is. I'm glad we could put the car on the podium for our new sponsor, Marquis Jet." Dino was reflective as well. "This track was more of a challenge for the 996 and really showed the improvements in the 997, particularly in the aero package where the higher speeds were evident. It was difficult holding off the 997s, particularly in the straights. And near the end, the temperature began rising, so I really had to baby it. But I was very happy with the car overall and how well it was set up. My hat is off to the team for another great effort, from practice and qualifying right on through to the race."