2009 GOLD CUP CHAMPION MELANIE SNOW RETURNS TO SERIES IN PLATINUM CUP
SEBRING, Fl. (February 7, 2011) 2009 GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Gold Cup champion Melanie Snow has made a full-season commitment to the series in 2011, this time in a 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the Platinum Cup class.
It took a while, but it finally worked after taking a year off to stay at home with their four children, Melanie was able to convince husband Martin, who finished second to Bob Faieta in the 2009 Platinum Cup, that it was time for her to return to racing full time. Snow competed in the 2010 Utah Grand Prix but the two second place finishes in the Gold Cup class at Miller Motorsports Park, her home track, only fueled the fire for the Utah resident.
"I'd been trying to talk my husband into getting back into racing since last year," explained Snow. "He kept saying "no, I'm done with it." But I knew his passion was still there. I talked him into going to Daytona this year and we sat down with Jens (Walther, President of Porsche Motorsport North America) who said "she needs to be out there!" He told us that we'd love the 2011 car.
"When we got home, he finally agreed. But this time, it's up to me I'm the team manager, I'm racing the car and I'm a mom! But it's so worth it if I get to go back out on the track."
For Snow, the two races last year at Miller Motorsports Park were easy. Going to Miller every day, where she helps out at the driving school, has been the hard part.
"It was hard at the beginning of 2010, watching everyone racing at Sebring and not being there. We pulled out for the right reasons but it was still hard. But being able to race at Miller last year was great it's actually been harder to teach and be around racing, but not being able to do the real thing.
"I've been teaching since 2007, so for the full seasons I raced in GT3, I raced and instructed at Miller. I love it when you're telling someone else what to do and watching them, you see the mistakes that you make and it helps you improve your driving. You learn from your own instructing and you learn from watching other people. So it's great to do both it just makes my life extremely busy!"
For now, Snow is focused on filling out all her IMSA paperwork, completing the order of her new car and figuring out how that car will look. She'll barely see her new 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car before it gets on a truck for Sebring for the first race. So her expectations of the season and especially that first event are pretty basic. Especially since the memory of what happened to her first new race car is still pretty fresh.
"My only other new car was a 2007 and it was totaled on the front straight in a massive pile-up in the rain in the first race at Sebring! Right before the green flag, an absolute monsoon came down. The water had nowhere to go the car in front of me hydroplaned and went sideways, I hit him then all the cars behind me hit me. That was my very first brand new car, so I'm not doing that again!
"I'm just looking forward to being out on the track, to getting back out there. There are so many new drivers you take one year off and everything changes! So I just want to out there, have fun and stay out of trouble."
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 Patron.
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 2005Ѕ - 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
The Sebring Support Series Winter Test continues on Tuesday, February 8. The first two races of the season are Thursday and Friday, March 17 and 18, before the 59 th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Live timing, news and schedule information are at www.imsachallenge.com.