SMITH, EDUARDO SET NEW QUALIFYING RECORDS AT ROAD AMERICA ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN (August 21, 2010) Ross Smith and Carlos Eduardo set new Platinum and Gold Cup track records today in qualifying for the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama at Road...
SMITH, EDUARDO SET NEW QUALIFYING RECORDS AT ROAD AMERICA
ELKHART LAKE, WISCONSIN (August 21, 2010) Ross Smith and Carlos Eduardo set new Platinum and Gold Cup track records today in qualifying for the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama at Road America - both bouncing back from difficult race events two weeks ago.
For Smith, driving the #5 Maxwell Paper Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the Platinum Cup class, it was a chance to put his car on the front row and try to maintain his lead in the championship, after finishing last and first in two races at Mid-Ohio. Earning a new qualifying record of 2:14.932, eclipsing the old record by nearly two seconds, was unexpected.
"We didn't think we had a 2:14 car," said Smith. "We had some mechanical demons yesterday, so this is really special to my crew. This is one of the most important poles, to get the track record. But we have a race in front of us and this is a track with good drafting spots so I'd better look out.
Smith has learned the track quickly, figuring out the spots he needs to respect and the places he can push the envelope.
"A lot of cars have been trashed in the carousel and the kink. When you come into the kink, you can make a lot of time on people who aren't on the edge enough. I was on the edge there but I saw some marbles along the line, and I knew if I touched those marbles I was going to be in the wall. So I just gritted my teeth and went through there and got up to speed and that's what put us on the pole."
For Carlos Eduardo, driving the #24 entry for NGT Motorsports, putting his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car on the Gold Cup pole was the perfect way to put behind him a spectacular crash in the first race at Mid-Ohio. The car was so badly damaged, Eduardo jumped into the Porsche of absent teammate Eduardo Cisneros and was happy to reward the team's hard work with a pole and a qualifying record of 2:17.022.
"I'm very happy to be here," said Eduardo, "Thank you to Eduardo Cisneros for lending me his car! NGT knows the cars perfectly, I call them the Geek Squad of Porsches! They put the same setting from my car on this one in a minute. I feel great the cars are so safe, I feel I can push even harder than before. I feel even more confident in the car, knowing that Porsche does such a great job."
The Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama features semi-professional drivers racing head to head in one of the world's most successful race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. As a developmental series designed to prepare drivers and teams for professional careers in sports car racing, the multi-class structure of the series teaches drivers essential skills for an eventual career in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.
The series is broken into two classes, with the Platinum Cup Class featuring the more powerful 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car. The Gold Cup Class includes 2005 ½ - 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
The Speed TV production of Rounds 11 and 12 of the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama is scheduled to air on Sunday, September 191:00 am EDT (Rounds 9 and 10 from Mid-Ohio is scheduled for Sunday, September 5 at 1:00 am EDT). The 2010 season comes to a close at the legendary Petit Le Mans, September 29 October 2 at Road America. Follow along on the race weekend at www.gt3timing.com and visit www.imsachallenge.com for the latest track schedule, television information and updates.