ROSS SMITH MAKES IT SEVEN OUT OF 10 WHILE CISNEROS MAKES IT TWO FOR TWO ON THE WEEKEND LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 7, 2010) -- It was worst to first for Maxwell Paper Racing's Ross Smith in Round 10 of the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama, as he ...
ROSS SMITH MAKES IT SEVEN OUT OF 10 WHILE CISNEROS MAKES IT TWO FOR TWO ON THE WEEKEND
LEXINGTON, OHIO (August 7, 2010) -- It was worst to first for Maxwell Paper Racing's Ross Smith in Round 10 of the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama, as he turned Friday's last place finish into business as usual on Saturday, winning his seventh race of the season by leading wire to wire at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Showcase. But the race was not without its adventures for the winner.
Smith was cruising with a steady five-second lead through much of the race when, on lap 23 of the 30 lap event, Alex Job Racing's #21 Michael Schein (Friday's race winner) spun into the gravel in turn eight. Schein, running second when he went off, quickly returned to the track with the aid of the corner workers and finished 13th overall. But the damage had been done and the race went full course yellow. It was the last thing Smith wanted to see.
"I didn't like that yellow at all!" said Smith. "I was good on the start but I didn't have anything else left in me when it was over. I hated that yellow, but we still came across with the win.
"Yesterday we had a gearbox hiccup going into turn two, but I have to thank the Maxwell boys for getting up early this morning to put the gearbox together. Without that, I wouldn't have been out on the race track today."
Finishing second in Platinum Cup class after a steady rise from his sixth place starting position was #58, Amadeo Quiros (AASCO Motorsports). Qualifying for the second race of the weekend is based on a driver's fastest lap in the first race, and Quiros was not optimistic when he realized where he was starting.
"It was very difficult today," said Quiros. "When I realized I was starting in sixth place, I thought maybe I could get to fourth. But when the race began, the car got better and better and I could get around people I'm very happy to finish second!"
Making it two for two in Gold Cup this weekend was #26, Henrique Cisneros (NGT Motorsport), who also had a deficit to overcome, starting 12th overall (fifth in Gold Cup class).
"It was a huge battle, a lot of fun," said Cisneros. "The cars were very close together the entire race, and Kendall and I went at it again! This is the third race in a row that we've battled and I couldn't have asked for a better race. I started at the back of the pack and just went slow and steady, trying to get up to the front. Once I got up there, I tried to slow the car as much as possible so I didn't make any mistakes."
Second place in Gold Cup wasn't what #4 Kendall Smith (Maxwell Paper Racing) had in mind for the weekend's result, as one of the drivers with a good amount of experience at the Ohio track. But with a good championship battle shaping up, he's thankful for the outcome and appreciative of a little extra assistance this weekend.
"I think with a couple more laps, we could have done it," said Smith, "Second place is good for the points, but we need to win. My Dad was my engineer today, he did a great job stepping in for Lars, my engineer this weekend. You wouldn't have known it, he did great."
The Patron 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 to move up through the ranks of 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 Patron.
The series is broken into two classes, with the Platinum Cup featuring the more powerful 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car, and the Gold Cup including 2005½ - 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
The Speed TV production of Rounds 9 and 10 of the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama is scheduled to air on September 5 at 1:00am EDT. Check local listings and http://www.speedtv.com/programs/patron-gt3- challenge/ for dates and times.
The 2010 season of the Patron GT3 Challenge 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.