ROOKIE SCARDINA TAKES RACE WIN IN WET OPENER FOR IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY MICHELIN SEBRING, Fla. - March 16 -- It was a day of firsts for Charles Scardina on Friday at Sebring International Raceway. He started his first race in the...
ROOKIE SCARDINA TAKES RACE WIN IN WET OPENER FOR IMSA GT3 CUP CHALLENGE PRESENTED BY MICHELIN
SEBRING, Fla. - March 16 -- It was a day of firsts for Charles Scardina on Friday at Sebring International Raceway. He started his first race in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge. He began on his first pole, no less. It also marked his first race on wet tires. And of course it all ended in his first Series victory.
Ironically, Scardina made the winning pass on the last turn of the last lap as his No. 33 Orbit Racing Ansca Homes Porsche GT3 Cup beat Bryce Miller to the line by 1.212 seconds. The two were the only drivers to lead the eight-lap race that saw flooding rains delay the race start and caused the first four laps to be run under yellow due to cars spinning at the start line.
"I want to thank Orbit Racing and my parents," a clearly overjoyed Scardina said in Victory Circle. "It was definitely different. I was able to get around Bryce in Turn 17. I had the line and was able to get inside of him."
Scardina had spent most of his short racing career running regional spec Miata races. Admittedly, this was a little different. He was fortunate enough, along with some of the other leaders, to make it under the famed Sebring bridge on the frontstretch. Five other cars weren't as lucky as they spun in the standing water, which resulted in a nearly 12-minute cleanup period.
Once back underway with about five minutes left, the race went off without a major hitch. Miller, in the No. 48 Farnbacher Loles Marquis Jet entry, took the lead on the sixth lap and held it nearly to the end. He said he wasn't aware the race was on its final lap.
"It was unfortunate," Miller said. "I had moved to the outside line with all the grip there. I had no idea how hard to push."
Dino Loles finished third, followed by Dino Steiner. Mark Andrews won the 'Hard Charger' award by moving from 34th at the start to 14th at the checkered flag.
The next event for the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin is scheduled for the Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park on May 18-19.