GT3 Cup: Sebring race one, two notes

FAIETA TAKES ROUNDS ONE AND TWO AT SEBRING SEBRING, Fla. March 14 -- Bob Faieta of Tujunga, Calif. made winning look easy in both rounds of the IMSA Challenge by Michelin at Sebring International Raceway. Faieta had all of the action in his ...

FAIETA TAKES ROUNDS ONE AND TWO AT SEBRING

SEBRING, Fla. March 14 -- Bob Faieta of Tujunga, Calif. made winning look easy in both rounds of the IMSA Challenge by Michelin at Sebring International Raceway. Faieta had all of the action in his rearview mirror as Kelly-Moss Racing teammates Tony Rivera, Houston, Texas and Ross Smith, Dallas, Texas, battled for second place in round one.

Smith led the Gold Cup class until the final lap when Rivera capitalized on Smith's mistake in turn 17 and passed him on the front straight. "I tried to get back by him going into turn one" Smith said.

"The last thing we wanted to do was take each other out," an excited Rivera explained. "We're teammates."

In the process of passing Smith, Rivera turned his fastest lap of the race, making him the recipient of the BBS Fast Lap award.

Runner up in the Platinum Cup, the class designated for 2008 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, was Dino Steiner followed by Patrick Kelly. Lloyd Hawkins was third in the Gold Cup.

Juergen Haering worked his way up from 20th position to ninth in the 30-minute round one. Haering was presented the Michelin "Better Way Forward" hard charger award for advancing the most positions in the Platinum Cup class.

Friday's round two was no less exciting as Tom Papadopoulos and Melanie Snow charged through the field to finish on the podium. Tom Papadopoulos started ninth and made his way to fourth overall, third in Platinum Cup.

Melanie Snow was awarded the Michelin "Better Way Forward" hard charger for starting 25th overall, 6th in Gold Cup, and finishing 3rd in class, 16th overall.

By lap five of race two Steiner, who started fifth, caught up to Rivera and quickly passed him for second place. Just when it looked like Steiner would be able to race with Faieta his handling went away.

"I was a couple of tenths faster than him (Faieta) when I was catching up," Steiner said. "The car was much better today than yesterday."

The BBS Fast Lap award went to Weyland Joe, who had the fastest lap in the Platinum Cup. Joe was clearly motivated after starting 27th. He set his fast time on his way to ninth place overall.

IMSA Challenge by Michelin competitors will stop next at Miller Motorsports Park in Salt Lake City, Utah May 17-18 before heading to Montreal to race with Formula One in June.

-credit: imsa

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Dino Steiner , Tony Rivera , Ross Smith , Tom Papadopoulos , Lloyd Hawkins , Patrick Kelly , Melanie Snow , Bob Faieta