XM SATELLITE VICI RACING head to Laguna Seca for the final round of the IMSA GT3 Cup looking to end the inaugural season on a high note The final race of the six-round IMSA GT3 Challenge Cup presented by Michelin takes place at the demanding ...
XM SATELLITE VICI RACING head to Laguna Seca for the final round of the IMSA GT3 Cup looking to end the inaugural season on a high note
The final race of the six-round IMSA GT3 Challenge Cup presented by Michelin takes place at the demanding Laguna Seca circuit this coming Sunday (16th October), and for XM SATELLITE RADIO VICI RACING along with their promising young driver Nathan Swartzbaugh, it represents a perfect opportunity to end this first season in the new series on a high note.
The inaugural year of the IMSA GT3 Challenge Cup, based in the United States, kicked off back in April at Road Atlanta when XM SATELLITE VICI RACING stormed to a comfortable victory, their Porsche GT3 racer piloted on the occasion by young German 'star of the future' Alfred Renauer, who also claimed the pole position after setting fastest time in every one of the practice sessions. Another youngster, Nathan Swartzbaugh, joined the Florida-based team just in time for the second race (at Mid Ohio) and solid race performances saw him remain in the title hunt until the penultimate round at Road America when a heavy practice crash abruptly brought to an end his title aspirations.
Laguna Seca will mark the end of what has been a closely fought season and around 25 competitors - all driving very similar specification Porsche Type 997 racers - are expected to take part. For 20-year-old Nathan, who hails from La Harbra Heights in California, this will be something of a "home" race, and he is keen to end the season on a high. "It's been a hectic year, "he says, "I have been on a very steep learning curve. After disappointment in the last two rounds I would really like to finish on a good note, and reward all the team who have put so much effort in."
Team President Ron C. Meixner - himself a former top-level Porsche sportscar racer - is also keen to see that Nathan turns in a good result. "A high points scoring finish for Nathan would be an excellent way of putting the Road America incident firmly behind us," says Ron. "Laguna Seca is a very demanding circuit; the corkscrew and the Andretti hairpin are just two of the many technically difficult points on this track, which also features some very tricky fast straight sections."
IMSA and Porsche North America recently announced that the fledgling GT3 Challenge Cup will be continuing into 2006, with an expanded programme seven-race programme all of which will once again be supporting the prestigious American Le Mans Series. XM SATELLITE RADIO VICI RACING is itself now close to finalising its own plans to take part in the series next year.
First practice for round 6 of the 2005 IMSA GT3 Challenge Cup presented by Michelin will be held at Laguna Seca, and will take place from 1100-1130 this coming Friday (14th Oct), with a second 30 minute track session scheduled for 1630-1700. The 30 minute actual qualifying session will be run on Saturday (15th Oct) from 1025-1055, prior to the occurrence of the 4- hour Monterey Sportscar Championships race, round 10 of the 2005 American Le Mans Series (which will start at 1515). Round 6 (and the final round) of the 2005 IMSA GT3 Challenge Cup will then be contested on Sunday (16th Oct) from 1205-1250.