GT3 Cup Challenge: Sebring race one report
- Cisneros Takes First Platinum Win
- Tucker Earns First Gold Cup Victory in GT3
SEBRING, Fl. (March 17, 2011) – Henrique Cisneros, who moved from Gold Cup to Platinum Cup this season, took his first Platinum Cup victory in wire-to-wire fashion while Scott Tucker earned his first victory in Gold Cup in Round 1 of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama.
I was able to just stay calm the whole time.
After 21 caution-free laps, Cisneros, driving the #26 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the Platinum Cup class, was able to keep the hard-charging rookie Cooper MacNeil behind him. But it wasn’t easy.
“I tried to conserve the tires, but when MacNeil would catch up behind me, I had to push a little more,” said Cisneros.” But in the end, our strategy this morning of conserving the tires really helped me pull away. There were no cautions, so everyone really used up the tires. I was able to just stay calm the whole time.”
MacNeil, behind the wheel of the #20 Alex Job Racing entry, was happy with the result of his first race in the series.
“It was a great race,” said MacNeil. “Henrique had a little bit more, but my car was good. I had a bit of a fuel issue at the end, it was a close call, but I’m happy we pulled out second. For my first race in the series, to start out with a second place is pretty good. It was a lot warmer this afternoon, which changed the track temperature, so the car got really slick there at the end.”
In the Gold Cup class, it was a familiar name in a different place; Scott Tucker, the 2010 LMPC class victor in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, took his winning ways to the development series, winning his first event in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car behind the wheel of the #55 Kelly Moss Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
“It was a good clean race, really competitive,” said Tucker. “There is some tough competition out there, up and down the field. My car was really going away there at the end, it was hot and greasy, but it was a great event.”
Glen Gatlin (#17 Topp Racing) and Michael Levitas (#36 TPC Racing) rounded out the Gold Cup podium.
The IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama features semi-professional drivers racing head to head in the largest single-make series in North America. Powered by one of the world’s most successful race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, 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.
It was a good clean race, really competitive.
The series is divided into two classes; the Platinum Cup, featuring the more powerful 2011 and 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, and the Gold Cup, which includes 2005½ - 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars. Both classes race on environmentally-focused Yokohama ADVAN ENV-R2 racing tires.
Rounds 2 is set for Friday at 4:20pm EDT, ahead of the 59th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.