SMITH AND EDUARDO ADD TO THEIR POLE TOTALS HEADING INTO ROUND 9 AT MID-OHIO LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 6, 2010) -- Ross Smith scored his seventh pole in Platinum Cup, while Carlos Eduardo took his sixth in the Gold Cup class for Round 9 of the ...
SMITH AND EDUARDO ADD TO THEIR POLE TOTALS HEADING INTO ROUND 9 AT MID-OHIO
LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 6, 2010) -- Ross Smith scored his seventh pole in Platinum Cup, while Carlos Eduardo took his sixth in the Gold Cup class for Round 9 of the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Challenge. And as drivers come to grips with what is a new racetrack for the bulk of the field, the watchword among the drivers is clear: this is a no-mistake racetrack.
For Smith, it's a familiar spot, earning his seventh BBS Pole Award in nine events behind the wheel of the #5 Maxwell Paper Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in Platinum Cup. One of the few drivers with experience at Mid-Ohio, his plan was to limit the number of qualifying laps to save his tires for the race. His fast time was set on lap three.
"We didn't want to put any more time on the tires than was necessary," said Smith. "We did five laps, which gives us a little more meat in the race. It's not easy to pass, but I'm pretty good on the brakes here, and I've been here before, so I know where to take advantage in certain spots. But with a little better tire, hopefully we can get a bit of a gap and bring home another win."
Michael Schein (#21 Alex Job Racing) and Darrell Carlisle (#92 Kelly-Moss Racing) are happy to start up front and know they have their work cut out for them getting around Smith.
"It's my first time here, so I really didn't expect to be this quick," said Schein. "I got a good lap and when you get a good lap, it's like you're holding on for dear life. There is some good passing here, in the keyhole and turn six, so that's going to be interesting. I'm starting from the clean line, so we'll see what happens."
"I wanted to be next to Ross up there," sighed Carlisle, "but Michael got a good lap there at the end, so I had to go back out and see if I could do something. I'm in P3, so we're on the inside, which is good. There are only a few good passing zones, but in 45 minutes, there will be some mistakes made."
Eduardo (#24 NGT Motorsport) is happy to be starting on top after an eventful weekend in Utah that saw him lose his lead in the Gold Cup BBS Pole Award standings to Kendall Smith (#4 Maxwell Paper Racing). But two of his close rivals in the Gold Cup championship, Smith and #14 Amadeo Quiros II (AASCO Motorsports) are right behind on the starting grid.
"All weekend, I've been slower than my top competitors," said Eduardo, "but I did a good time now, so I'm happy! The track really came to me, it's a fun track, but it's going to be really hard to pass - so I'm happy to be on the pole. But everything's going to happen on the green flag, it's going to be awesome."
"Everyone is really going fast here," said the young Quiros. "Everyone is just a few tenths off from each other, so it's going to be a very exciting race. It's very difficult to pass here, you have to be careful and not make any mistakes. I think the fans will enjoy the race!"
Smith was not happy about traffic that hindered his early fast lap, but with probably the most experience on this racetrack, he knows that anything can happen. His plan for the race later today?
"Don't do anything drastic to take yourself out, stay behind, try not to make any mistakes."
The Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama features semi-professional drivers racing head to head in one of the world's most successful race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. As a developmental series designed to prepare drivers and teams for professional careers in sports car racing, the multi-class structure of the series teaches drivers essential skills for an eventual career in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
The series is broken into two classes, with the Platinum Cup Class featuring the more powerful 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car. The Gold Cup Class includes 2005½ - 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
The Speed TV production of Rounds 9 and 10 of the Patrón GT3 Challenge by Yokohama is scheduled to air on September 5 at 1:00am EDT (Rounds 7 and 8 from Utah will air this Sunday morning at 1:00 am EDT).
The 2010 season continues August 20-22, with Rounds 11 and 12 at the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Follow along on the race weekend at www.gt3timing.com and visit www.imsachallenge.com for the latest track schedule, television information and updates.