Stanton enjoys trouble-free run in Long Beach April 20, 2009 (Long Beach, Calif.) -- Eyebrows were raised when Craig Stanton of Long Beach, Calif., wheeled his ...
Stanton enjoys trouble-free run in Long Beach
April 20, 2009 (Long Beach, Calif.) -- Eyebrows were raised when Craig Stanton of Long Beach, Calif., wheeled his #07 Aasco Motorsports Porsche GT3 Cup to a ninth-place starting position for Sunday's ACS Grand Prix of Long Beach presented by Lala Motorsports at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. As one of the competitors in the GT3 Cup Shootout, Stanton displaced several faster and more powerful World Challenge cars in the Sunday morning qualifying session, while also qualifying first in the GT3 Cup Shootout.
"The car was really good this morning," said Stanton after the session. "We learned more in the last practice session and got more speed out of this Porsche. The team and I were trying really hard to get the most out of qualifying, since that standing start is going to be wild. I can't wait!"
Stanton would sit through Indy Lights, Formula Drift, and IndyCar competition before he was strapped back in his Porsche GT3 Cup for the afternoon 50-minute race. Despite his relative lack of experience with standing starts, Stanton got away cleanly and held his ninth place position into and out of turn one. Traffic behind him allowed him to build a gap before the long front straightaway -- where his horsepower disadvantage showed the most -- allowing him to focus on putting in clean laps and catching the cars ahead.
However, an early-race yellow flag bunched up the field, and on the restart there was little Stanton could do as several more powerful cars simply motored by on the long Long Beah front straightaway. After being displaced by the Corvette of Tony Gaples and the Vipers of Jeff Courtney and Ritch Marziale, Stanton was able to retake one position thanks to lapped traffic. He then ran trouble-free to the checkered flag, finishing Sunday's race in eleventh overall and winning the GT3 Cup Shootout. Clearly punching above his weight in his Porsche GT3 Cup, Stanton's Aasco Motorsports car received significant airtime as he gave chase to the Vipers of Courtney and Marziale.
"That was a really, really fun race," said Stanton, all smiles after the race. "This little Porsche ran great the whole time, thanks to this great Aasco Motorsports team. They put a lot of work into making it fast around Long Beach, and it showed. It was fun to drive here and mix it up with the Speed World Challenge guys. This was a great experience -- to race here, close to home, with all of my friends and family that came out to support us. And this is a great series. I hope I am back sometime soon."
The ACS Grand Prix of Long Beach presented by Lala Motorsports will be broadcast Friday, May 22 at 2pm on SPEED Channel.