GT3 Cup: Laguna Seca weekend summary

KELLY WINS RACE, FAIETA WINS CHAMPIONSHIP IN SEASON FINALE MONTEREY, Calif. October 19 -- Bob Faieta, Tujunga, Calif., stayed out of trouble and kept his number four Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car at the front of the pack to secure the 2008 IMSA ...

KELLY WINS RACE, FAIETA WINS CHAMPIONSHIP IN SEASON FINALE

MONTEREY, Calif. October 19 -- Bob Faieta, Tujunga, Calif., stayed out of trouble and kept his number four Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car at the front of the pack to secure the 2008 IMSA Challenge by Michelin championship in the final rounds at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Faieta started from the pole in round 13 Saturday and led every lap of the 30-minute race. Sunday's final round was a 75-minute showdown. At the start Faieta, who started third, passed championship rival Dino Steiner, Wehingen, Germany. Patrick Kelly, Minnetrista, Minn., led flag to flag winning his first race of the season.

"I kept my eye on Dino the whole race," Faieta said. "Pat Kelly ran a great race, my hats off to him."

Steiner finished third in the Platinum class, the class for 2008 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, Saturday and fourth on Sunday.

Ross Smith, Dallas, Texas, who returned to the series after being absent most of season, capitalized on Tony Rivera's bad luck in the Gold Cup class taking first in class and second overall in round 13. Sunday Smith was able to hold off a hard charging Rivera to win again.

"It's unfortunate that Tony Rivera broke an axle at the start of Saturday's race," Smith said. "It's been a tough battle for Maxwell paper this year. It feels really good to get a win for them this year."

Rivera started last in the 75-minute finale. He worked his way to sixth overall, second in class passing both Gold and Platinum Cup cars on his tear through the field. Rivera secured the Gold Cup championship at Road Atlanta after winning his twelfth race in a row.

Melanie Snow, Pleasant Grove, Utah, again showed her consistency finishing second in round 13 and third in round 14 to finish the season in second place in the Gold Cup class. Steve Goldman, Malibu, Calif., finished third in Gold Cup in round 13.

The IMSA Challenge by Michelin series will kick off 2009 at the Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March.

-credit: imsa

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Dino Steiner , Tony Rivera , Steve Goldman , Ross Smith , Patrick Kelly , Melanie Snow , Bob Faieta