GT3 Cup: Kinetic Motorsports Utah race notes

KINETIC MOTORSPORTS POSTS TOP RESULTS AT MILLER MOTORSPORTS PARK Buford, Ga. -- Kinetic Motorsports returned from Miller Motorsports Park just outside of Salt Lake City after posting top results in the popular IMSA Cup Challenge presented by...


Buford, Ga. -- Kinetic Motorsports returned from Miller Motorsports Park just outside of Salt Lake City after posting top results in the popular IMSA Cup Challenge presented by Michelin. With two cars entered in the Porsche based series, Kinetic supported Dino Steiner and Kinetic co-owner Russell Smith. For both drivers the race meant the first chance to get back out on the popular road course since the inaugural IMSA event there in 2006.

On Wednesday's first IMSA Cup promoter test day session, pro driver and Kinetic co-owner, Nic Jonsson tested Smith's Kinetic Motorsports Porsche 997 making slight shock adjustments to the car. Smith piloted the Porsche during the remaining two sessions running consistently. Steiner ran extremely well during each session on Wednesday placing his car within the top-five fastest laps for each round of driving.

The first official IMSA Cup practice session went characteristically well for Steiner as he set the second fastest lap. Smith who was shaking the car down during the same session came in the 25th spot. Just after the finish of the first session, Smith noticed something a bit off with the car and entered the garage for the team to look for a possible issue. It was determined that the clutch hydraulic line had a small hole causing a loss of fluid. The team repaired the faulty line only to then have the clutch go out in a freak mechanical incident. The team was able to repair the issue but it did in fact keep Smith out of the second and final practice session prior to qualifying. Due to debris on the track, Smith's Porsche also suffered a broken radiator after a rock tore through the right side of the car. The Kinetic crew made the change allowing Smith to compete. Steiner, who was able to make it out for the final practice session, took it easy after running successfully but still managed to keep his Steiner TDI / Common Rail Porsche 997 within the top-10 crossing the line in the 8th spot.

Fortunately for Kinetic, IMSA officials granted Smith a hardship lap following the clutch incident allowing him head out on track to make sure everything was in order prior to qualifying. During qualifying laps, Steiner ran very quick and was able to take the 5th spot. He managed to move up an additional place into the 4th position after the car ahead of him incurred an infraction following a post qualifying technical inspection. Smith was also able to subtract a few seconds from his best lap of the week finishing just under six seconds behind his teammate.

The events at Miller were a change from the normal protocol for the IMSA Cup. Typically running one 45-minute race, IMSA Cup competitors enjoyed the opportunity to compete in two separate 30-minute races allowing for an extra element of competition. Sitting on the outside of the second row for the first race, Steiner was in an excellent position to setup a run for a podium finish. Last years IMSA Cup championship points runner up was able to gain two positions after a hard fought battle with Tom Pank. Steiner managed to hold Pank off taking the second place finish. Having fixed all of the issues with the No. 38 Porsche 997 Smith started the first event in the 26th position. Throughout the event, Smith managed to navigate his way through several on track issues coming out of the turmoil clean each time. Smith gained five positions during the race finishing in the 21st spot.

For the second round of racing at Miller starting positions were based off of lap times from the first race. Steiner again began the event in the 4th position moving back to 5th after contact from behind during the first lap. He was able to hold on to the 5th spot until the engine began to lose power leading to engine failure. Steiner was able to coast off the track avoiding a caution and the car was transported back to the garage for the trip back to Kinetic where the team will review data to determine the cause of the failure. Smith started the second race in the 25th position. With air temperatures hovering around 90 degrees, the No. 38 ran with coolant and oil temperature higher than normal. Smith however was able to keep the car running all while gaining eight positions taking the Checkered Flag in the 17th spot.

The next installment of the IMSA Cup Challenge presented by Michelin is at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway in conjunction with the anticipated Formula 1 US Grand Prix event.

-credit: km

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About this article
Series IMSA Others
Drivers Nic Jönsson
Teams Kinetic Motorsports