ROSS SMITH TAKES WIN ...
ROSS SMITH TAKES WIN #FIVE IN PLATINUM CUP
KENDALL SMITH EARNS FIRST GOLD CUP VICTORY IN CRASH-FILLED EVENT
TOOELE, UTAH (JULY 10, 2010) A wild day on the racetrack ended under the yellow caution flag, but the results are very familiar for the Platinum Class in the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama, as Ross Smith brought the #5 Maxwell Paper Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car home in first his fifth win of the season.
Rounding out the podium in Platinum Class were #16 Chris Cumming (World Speed Motorsports/ Innovative Fitness) and #21 Michael Schein (Alex Job Racing). But the podium was a family victory as well, as brother Kendall took advantage of the on-track mayhem to get back in front in the Gold Cup class and earn his first series victory.
The story of the race was a series of incidents that started with contact between #14 Amadeo Quiros II (AASCO Motorsports) and #24 Carlos Eduardo (NGT Motorsports). Repeated exchanging of paint between the two resulted in a penalty for Eduardo, who subsequently retired. The incidents caused a significant tightening of the field, which lead to contact between #33 Peter LeSaffre (Kelly-Moss Racing) and #28 Joseph Sposato (Sposato Motor Racing) that couldn't be cleaned up in the remaining laps. The checkered flag flew five minutes early, at 19 laps not that Ross Smith minded.
"I saw Cumming behind me," said Smith. "I had a good gap in the beginning, but I saw the line he was taking off the corners - he was doing the exact same pace as me toward the end, so when that double yellow came out, I was a little afraid. I knew I had a couple of tenths left in the car, but I knew he'd be just as smart and save his tires, just in case there was a yellow. But then we finished under caution.
"It was amazing. We made a great rebound from New Jersey and it was great to have my brother beside me, his first pole and his first race win!"
Older brother Kendall earned his first Gold Cup class win with a smart race that saw him avoid the worst of the chaos going on around him.
"It was all about consistency today," noted Smith. "We were able to find clean track, have a clean start and had a great race. It was unbelievable - I could go another 45 minutes!
"I have to dedicate this to my Dad, who's done everything for me, and my brother, who's helped me along!"
Local girl Melanie Snow, with more than her share of car trouble throughout the weekend (switching from her familiar #56 to her husband's #57 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the Gold Cup class) also dodged the havoc on track to bring her car home in second place in class. A former competitor in GT3, Snow returned just for this race. Page 2 Round 7, Saturday, July 10, 2010
"I tried to stay clear of most of the craziness," said an excited Snow. "I was avoiding and dodging but I had to take advantage when I could. I was able to get around cars I just dove around the side and was able to take advantage of it incidents and pull out when they were busy banging on each other!"
#7 Tim Rosengrant (Tim's Auto Body ) won the Yokohama Hard Charger award, with his rise through the field from a 13th starting position to a 7th place finish.
The Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama 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 2005½ - 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars.
Round 8 of the Patron GT3 Challenge by Yokohama is tomorrow at 11:0am MDT. Live timing is available on www.gt3timing.com, please visit www.imsachallenge.com for the latest track schedule, television information and updates and join us on Facebook and Twitter.