KINETIC MOTORSPORTS FINISHES UNSCATHED DURING SEBRING IMSA CUP MONSOON Sebring, Fla. -- Kinetic Motorsports traveled to the world famous Sebring International Raceway again this March for the annual IMSA Cup Challenge presented by Michelin.
KINETIC MOTORSPORTS FINISHES UNSCATHED DURING SEBRING IMSA CUP MONSOON
Sebring, Fla. -- Kinetic Motorsports traveled to the world famous Sebring International Raceway again this March for the annual IMSA Cup Challenge presented by Michelin. Driving for Kinetic along with co-owner Russell Smith was Dino Steiner who finished second overall in points in the Porsche series last season just two points behind the series champion.
The weather at the track took a turn for the worse today as the sky opened up and light rain quickly turned into a monsoon covering the 3.7 mile road course with standing water. The usual 45-minute race was shortened to 30-minutes due to the rain that was becoming more of a problem minute by minute.
Upon the fall of the Green Flag there were immediate problems as several competitors began sliding sideways bouncing off of each other and the wall. Steiner who was at the front of the pack managed to escape the carnage behind him, keeping his car in enough control to continue the race. The Kinetic crew immediately instructed Smith to back off the throttle and ease back in order to let the incidents occurring ahead of him come to a complete stop. Smith was then able to navigate down the front stretch and resume under the first caution of the event.
Steiner who was making his official debut under the Kinetic Motorsports banner qualified 5th for the event in his No. 15 Porsche 997. Regardless of the difficult conditions, he was able to gain a position in the field and took the 4th spot. While running in the same position, his Porsche began to hydroplane due to the incredible amount of water. Fortunately, he was able to make the save without losing position and go on to take the Checkered Flag in the same spot.
"It was very dangerous out there," said Steiner. "There was way too much rain. At the start Wayland went into the wall and hit Melanie resulting in a double yellow. I had one big moment on the front stretch as there was so much water. I was completely sideways but got it back. I said to myself let's just finish the race and not worry about position so much. The most important thing was to keep the car in one piece which I was able to do. I am more than happy with 4th in these conditions as this was a survival deal. Thanks to the whole team for their support. The guys did a fantastic job. Everything is top notch and everyone here at Kinetic works together which makes it so much fun for me!"
Smith, who also managed to stay incident free throughout the duration of the event, gained several positions during the race even though the field only completed a few laps under Green Flag conditions. He piloted the No. 38 Kinetic Motorsports Porsche 997 from a 25th spot in the field crossing the finish line in the 18th position.
"I think I aged 10 years during this race," said Smith. "The shear amount of water on the track made it extremely difficult to strive for position. I was able to gain several positions during the event so I am pleased with that. To be able to leave today with my car intact is amazing considering what happened to many fellow competitors. Thanks to the guys for all of their hard work and I know we are looking forward to the next and hopefully drier event at Miller!"
Kinetic Motorsports' General Manager, Ed Hall summed up the event for Kinetic one of a select few teams to be leaving the track today unscathed.
"At the Green Flag as many as 12 cars were spinning," said Hall. "There was standing water all over the track making it almost impossible to get any traction when trying to accelerate. The weather was so bad, timing and scoring locked up here in the pits. We told Russell to slow down and let the wrecks stop instead of trying to navigate through the mess of cars and parts. Dino had an incredible save on the front straight as he hydroplaned. He kept his head in it and was able to keep going without losing position. We are fortunate to leave today with our cars in one piece and with two top-20 finishes. The guys did a great job and the cars ran well. The next race is at Miller and fortunately it doesn't rain too much out there."