CARLISLE AND SMITH GAIN REVENGE, WIN ROUND 14
BRASELTON, GEORGIA (October 1, 2010) Darrell Carlisle and Kendall Smith, each finishing second in their class championships, exacted some revenge today and ended the season on a high note by winning the Platinum and Gold Cup classes in the 29-lap Round 14 of the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama at Road Atlanta.
For Carlisle, driving the #92 Kelly Moss Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, it puts a happy ending on a season spent chasing Platinum Cup champion Ross Smith (#5 Maxwell Paper Racing). The Virginia native was glad to earn his second victory of the season on a circuit he considers his home track, gaining the lead when Smith cut a right front tire. Inheriting a large lead, Carlisle was not happy to see a late yellow flag that put eventual second place finisher Amadeo Quiros (#58 AASCO Motorsports) right behind him.
"I know this track pretty well," said Carlisle. "I've been working with Andrew Davis as long as I've been racing, this is his home track and it's mine too. It makes all the difference in the world to be comfortable out there, to not get too excited and keep your pace up. I was hoping to be a little closer to Ross early on and be in his mirrors, but he checked out - it was quite a gap. I wish I'd been closer and maybe by the end I could have been. I had good pace, but not quite his pace. I wasn't happy to see the yellow; I'd found myself thinking about the finish too early, so I had to regroup. I knew I had pace over Amadeo he's a great driver, but this is my track."
Kendall Smith (#4 Maxwell Paper Racing) knew he couldn't catch Gold Cup champion Henrique Cisneros (#26 NGT Motorsport) in the standings but a spin early in the race nearly ended his hopes for the day as well. Still smarting from an incident that took him out of the lead of Saturday's race, Smith also benefited from problems suffered by the leader to take his third victory of the season.
"A little revenge from yesterday!" smiled Smith. "I wanted to go out and do my race, stay clean and not take chances early. I had a great start but I got a little bit ahead of myself on the first lap - I may have overcooked it a little bit. I don't know if someone got into the back of me or I spun on cold tires. I was frustrated, but I kept my head down, everyone on the radio was keeping me cool. I drove my pace, going as hard as I could and got a lucky yellow. I was pushing hard and it looked like Carlos locked it up in turn one and blew a tire and I took advantage of it. I got the win in the last race and some momentum for next year."
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 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 Patron.
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 2005? - 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
The Speed TV production of Rounds 13 and 14 is scheduled to air on Sunday, October 24 at Midnight. Follow along on the race weekend at www.gt3timing.com and visit www.imsachallenge.com for the latest track schedule, television information and updates.