Porsche GT3 Utah pre-event notes

PORSCHE RACERS READY FOR TWO ROUNDS OF RACING AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK; SELECTED COMPETITORS ALSO IN ALMS EVENT TOOELE, Utah May 13 - After a two-month break, Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama drivers head to Miller Motorsports Park outside of...


TOOELE, Utah May 13 - After a two-month break, Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama drivers head to Miller Motorsports Park outside of Salt Lake City, Utah for rounds three and four of the 14-race series.

Defending race winner and local resident Martin Snow, Pleasant Grove, Utah, hopes to use his experience at Miller Motorsports Park to halt 2008 champion Bob Faieta's two-race winning streak.

"At Miller I can usually be pretty quick, we'll just work a little harder this year," Snow said. "We were quick here last year."

Martin Snow and Faieta race in the Platinum Cup, the class designated for 2008 and 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars. Series newcomer Mitch Pagerey, Deerfield Beach, Fla., showed he had speed in the first two rounds of the series, but will be up against the experience of veteran GT3 drivers like Snow, Faieta, Darrell Carlisle, McLean, Va., and Galen Bieker, Burbank, Calif.

"It's verydifficult because in any other series you race in, your cars are a little different. One car is better under braking or accelerating, so it's easier to pass," Martin Snow explained. "These cars are all so identical you really have to be on it all the time. One little mistake and you lose a position. If you try to take a position you've got to be careful who's behind you. If you move out of line to pass and you don't execute the pass, the guy behind you is going to get you. You really have to be careful about what you are doing. You don't only look ahead but you look behind you."

Martin's wife Melanie will be racing in the Gold Cup, the class for 2005-2007 GT3 Cup cars. Melanie won rounds one and two at Sebring International Raceway in March. Racing their Porsches in the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama isn't enough track time for the Snows. They have also entered the new ALMS Challenge class and will race in the Larry H. Miller Utah Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon. Round three of the 2009 Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama takes place Saturday, May 16 at 5:20 p.m. The green flag will wave for round four at 10:40 a.m. Sunday, May 17.

The Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama features semi-professional drivers racing head to head in Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars - one of the world's most successful race cars - with sealed motors and transmissions. The latest purpose-built race cars have sealed 420 h.p. engines and six-speed sequential transmissions, providing for close racing where the driver's talents are exemplified.

Porsche Motorsport North America provides technical support for the series with personnel, parts and expertise both away from and at the track.

Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global producer and distributor of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation offers a complete line of tires, including high- performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, as well as off the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama's extensive product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

In 2009 there are 14 rounds at seven famous tracks in North America including Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Fla., Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis. and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif.

Selected Competitors Also in the "Big" Race

The official entry list for the fourth round of the 2009 American Le Mans Series, the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix, features a first look at participants in the Series' new Challenge class. Gruppe Orange, Snow Racing and ORBIT Racing each have entered their Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars for the two-hour, 45-minute event.

Of note, Martin and Melanie Snow were winners in the first American Le Mans Series race, the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1999. They drove a Porsche 911 Turbo in the GTS class and teamed with Patrick Huisman; the Snows are the only husband-wife team to win a race in the Series. The Series announced the formation of the Challenge class nearly a month ago as an effort to promote the brightest and best of a new generation of sports car drivers. The Challenge class will compete with the American Le Mans Series for five races in 2009.

To be eligible for selection by sanctioning body IMSA, drivers and teams must have had notable success for at least a year within GT3 level of racing. Teams may only field Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars from the Platinum class of the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama, which is supplying the spec tire for both its championship and the Challenge class.

Certain technical regulations for the American Le Mans Series' GT2 class will apply for Challenge entries, most notably rules governing refueling. Sporting regulations for the Challenge class also differ slightly from GT2. The number of crew members allowed over the wall during a pit stop is reduced, and only two members with only one wheel gun are allowed to change tires per stop. Teams also will have to make at least one stop to change all four tires at one point during the race.

The distribution of points will follow the American Le Mans Series championship. In a two-hour, 45-minute "sprint" format, class winners receive 20 points, runners-up 16, third-place 13 and down the line to 1 point for 10th place. A Challenge entry is limited to three drivers per car; however all competitors who drive an entry during the season will share the points awarded to that entry throughout the season. To score points, an entry must complete 70 percent of the overall race winner's distance.

Drive time requirements from other Series classes apply - a two-hour maximum per competitor at Utah with each driver required to complete at least 10 laps.

-credit: porsche motorsport

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About this article
Series ALMS , IMSA Others
Drivers Patrick Huisman , Martin Snow , Darrell Carlisle , Galen Bieker , Melanie Snow , Bob Faieta , Mitch Pagerey