Steiner captures round five IMSA Challenge Win in Montreal Steiner and Haering finish second and third in round six TAVARES, Fla. - IMSA Challenge by Michelin Platinum Cup point leader Dino Steiner led flag-to-flag to capture his...
Steiner captures round five IMSA Challenge Win in Montreal
Steiner and Haering finish second and third in round six
TAVARES, Fla. - IMSA Challenge by Michelin Platinum Cup point leader Dino Steiner led flag-to-flag to capture his second win of the season in the Grand Prix of Canada. Steiner followed-up his round five win with a second-place finish in round six, while his Alex Job Racing teammate, Juergen Haering, finished third.
Steiner started the round five race from the pole position after turning a record qualifying time of 1:44.006 (93.768 mph) around the 2.709-mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Steiner got a great start in his No. 15 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. He led the field into turn one and never looked back. En route to his 9.031-second margin of victory over Bob Faieta, Steiner turned the fastest lap of the race with a 1:45.673 (92.288 mph), which qualified him for the pole in round six.
"Dino led into the first corner," Kerry Foote, Alex Job Racing crew chief, said. "Basically, he controlled the race from then on. He led the whole way. Dino drove a very disciplined race just like what he and track engineer Phil [Pierce] had talked about. Ian James even offered some advice over the phone. It is not an easy track to pass on, unless you get good launches out of the corners because of all of the chicanes. That is the way Dino played the game. He was getting off the corners well, getting down the straights and did not make any mistakes. He just drove an awesome race. He led from start to finish. He turned the fastest lap of the race, which put us on the pole for the second race."
Round six started much the same way round five did with Steiner on pole and leading after the first corner. However, a costly spin a few laps later in the hairpin cost him the lead as Faieta passed him. Frustrated by the spin, yet undaunted by the result, Steiner regained his composure and finished second in class and third overall.
"In the second race, we started on the pole again," Foote said. "They [the race organizers] shortened the race by 10 minutes because the track was coming apart. In fact, the Formula 1 guys did not want us to race at all. Again, Dino led into the first corner. But, going down into the hairpin, where they had made some repairs overnight, Dino stayed wide and Tony Rivera got by him. That was not a major deal because Rivera is in a different class than us. I think that [pass] got into Dino's head a little bit and two or three laps later he spun the car in the same corner. And, that's when [Bob] Faieta got by us for the lead in our class. Dino was pretty upset about spinning the car and any good driver would be. But, after that, Dino kept his head down. He drove the rest of the race pretty well, stayed out of trouble."
Haering started from row four in the No. 17 Alex Job Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and also drove an impressive round six race. In fact, he continued to get faster throughout the race-shortened 12-lap event. He set his fastest race lap of 1:47.359 (90.839 mph) on lap 10, which helped him finish third in class and fifth overall.
"Jurgen can drive," Foote said. "He might not be as good as Dino right now, but he's real close. I told him if he ran more races, he could be in the top-five every weekend. He finished third, which means we had two cars on the podium and everyone was happy about that."
Through six races, Steiner has two wins and four second-place finishes. He leads the IMSA Challenge by Michelin Driver's Championship point standings with 112 points. Faieta is second with 90, followed by Patrick Kelly (62), Martin Snow (58) and Haering (50).
"I think it shows that we've got the talent and the knowledge to take any car, especially a Porsche, and make it go fast," Foote said about the team's performance this season. "Obviously, we've got two good drivers in Dino and Jurgen. I think it shows that we are a force to be reckoned with in that paddock. I think next year we could have four or five guys wanting to drive for us. I look to see more business coming our way, thanks to the way that we are able to perform in this arena."
IMSA Challenge by Michelin series rounds seven and eight are set for July 18-20 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, as part of the Acura Sports Car Challenge of Mid-Ohio.