Pagerey records pair of fifth-place finishes at Miller TOOELE, Utah - Alex Job Racing driver Mitch Pagerey put together another solid performance with a pair of fifth-place finishes in the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama Round Three and Four ...
Pagerey records pair of fifth-place finishes at Miller
TOOELE, Utah - Alex Job Racing driver Mitch Pagerey put together another solid performance with a pair of fifth-place finishes in the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama Round Three and Four races May 16-17 at Miller Motorsports Park.
Heading into Round Three, Pagerey qualified the No. 23 Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 Cup seventh on the Platinum Cup grid and ninth overall with a time of 1:57.330 (93.521 mph). He accomplished this despite having no significant seat time on the 3.048-mile circuit. Pagerey started from the inside of row four and consistently hit his marks to advance two positions to finish fifth.
Interestingly, Pagerey turned the third fastest race lap with a 1:57.109 (93.697 mph), which was faster than the time he turned in qualifying, and this earned him a spot on the inside of row two for the Round Four race.
"The first race was difficult, I was nervous and failed to qualify well even though we had the speed," Pagerey said. "AJR gives me a car that gets better and better so we are always strong in the end. In the race, I just picked off as many drivers as possible for championship points."
To start the Round Four race, Pagerey had the pole winner and defending series champion Bob Faieta and series veteran Martin Snow in front of him. Early in the race, Pagerey passed Faieta for second - a position he held for several laps. Pagerey did everything he could to keep Faieta behind him, and despite Faieta's best attempts to pass Pagerey, the rookie continued to drive a smart race hitting his marks. With that in mind, it looked like Pagerey was set to record his second podium finish of the season when his Porsche GT3 Cup suddenly developed a misfire. This unfortunate mechanical gremlin forced Pagerey to fall from second to fifth, which is where he finished.
"The second race was going very well," Pagerey said. "I was finally able to get behind Faieta and Snow to see the line. I passed Faieta on lap five to take second place, but unfortunately we had an electrical problem that dropped the 911 GT3 down to only five cylinders. So, I am happy to have finished fifth. Snow was obviously dialed in and I have to give him props for his incredible speed at Miller.
"I feel very good about the weekend. Basically the problem is my inexperience. I need to work on the mental aspect of racing. There is so little track time, I need to learn to make the most of every second. AJR knows how to win and I am learning so much from them. It is only a matter of time before we win."
"We were all disappointed that we did not get the result that we had expected," Team Owner Alex Job said. "But, we are proud of Mitch's performance on a track he's never been to before - a track that is known for being difficult to learn quickly. But, he learned it to the point that he could compete to win. He set the third fastest race lap, which tells us that he got things figured out quickly, despite not have a whole lot of track time to learn its nuances. Mitch was real pleased with his performance despite not getting the result he wanted and so am I."
Alex Job Racing rookie drivers Jim Breakey and Steve Washburn had some mixed and frustrating results at Miller. Breakey qualified sixth (17th overall) for the Gold Cup Round Three race and finished fifth in class. But, in the Round Four race, things did not go so well for Breakey. His No. 92 Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 Cup was hit in the left front and the damage was so bad he was forced to retire with six laps remaining.
Washburn's weekend was over before it began. During the promoter test day, Washburn's No. 91 Alex Job Racing Porsche GT3 Cup was hit by another competitor in the rear so hard that it bent the tub. The heavily damaged Porsche was totaled, which prohibited Washburn from participating in the Utah Grand Prix weekend.
Faieta currently leads the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama series Driver's Championship with 76 points, followed by Snow (74), Galen Bieker (58), Pagerey (51) and Amadeo Quiros (47).
The Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama series next travels to the Autobahn Country Club for the Autobahn Grand Prix July 24-26 in Joliet, Ill.