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Sep 20

Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA heads East to Road America

The series makes its way to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA logoAs the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA enters its final two races of the year, the combined-class field of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and Cayman Clubsport GT4 machines heads to Road America for Round 7 of the 2017 championship.

With most of the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA races staged on the West Coast, the series makes its way to Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin to compete at historic Road America. A driver favorite, the stop marks the longest road course on the 2017 schedule with the circuit totaling 4.0-miles that includes various elevation changes, twists and turns, and lengthy straights.

Loren Beggs continues to lead the Diamond category, driving the No. 08 911 Design Porsche. But with tough competition in the top class, the championship gap is closing as Beggs is pressured by fellow Diamond class competitors, Max Root (No. 07 GT Technik Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) and Alex Kirby (No. 01 Aasco Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup).

In the previous event at Circuit of the Americas (COTA), Root took home the victory for Race #11 with an impressive 14-second lead on the field. Kirby scored his first victory of the season on Sunday which moved him up to third in the championship points and is now also vying for the top spot with two races yet to run.

“The previous two weekends have been tough – we have had electrical gremlins that we thought were remedied by the end of the weekend at Utah Motorsports Campus only to reappear at Circuit of the Americas,” said Beggs. “We definitely have the problems sorted at this point and the car ran well for the Sunday race at COTA. Unfortunately I made a mistake in the race that damaged my radiator, spun my competitor and put us out of the race while contending for the lead. I try and approach each race weekend the same way – drive within my abilities and within the car setup. This weekend is no different. We have been to Road America quite a bit over the years. I think we have a really good setup for the car as well. I have had some great results at Road America in the past. I was on pole for the last Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA race I attended. I want to take the time to thank everyone here at 911 Design, we have a great group of very talented employees who work hard to provide great customer service. Everyone here at 911 Design has put a big effort in to get my car and Dave Elsner’s car prepped and ready to roll off the trailer and run fast this weekend.”

In addition to the season-regulars of the Diamond class, a new face will make an appearance at Road America for the first time this season. Veteran racer Paul Barnhart will campaign the No. 6 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911 GT3 Cup at the Madison, Wisconsin-based team’s home track. A self-proclaimed “Porsche guy”, Barnhart will be targeting a podium finish at Road America – a place where he has experience.

The Diamond Masters championship points battle continues to tighten as Bryce Ward (No. 57 WinWard Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) remains at the top of the standings. Unfortunately, due to the flooding in Houston following Hurricane Harvey, Ward and his son Russell were forced to sit out the previous event at COTA as well as this weekend’s event at Road America. Dave Elsner (No. 93 911 Design Porsche 911 GT3 Cup), Mike McAlister (No. 18 Competition Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup), Michael Zuieback (No. 2 Discount Tire / Competition Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) and Tom Haacker (No. 45 Mother’s Polish / TruSpeed Autosport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) all look to make up valuable points in the championship this weekend. Each have earned podium finishes throughout the season.

The Platinum class will feature five entries with TruSpeed Autosport’s Larry Schnur (No. 32 FuelSafe Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) and Jim Slavik (No. 89 Grainger Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) looking to gain ground on their fellow TruSpeed Autosport teammate Ray Shahi (No. 65 Sterling Collision Porsche 911 GT3 Cup) who has led the championship standings all year long.

The fight for the Silver category title remains tight between Jeff Kearl (No. 26 Rearden Racing Porsche Cayman Clubsport GT4) and Sean McAlister (No. 00 Competition Motorsports Porsche Cayman Clubsport GT4). But after the COTA round, the point gap increased for Kearl as McAlister suffered an unfortunate gearbox issue after leading the entire race on Sunday. That forced him to settle for a fourth-place finish after he stopped on track just short of the checkered flag.

Steve Goldman (No. 1 Competition Motorsports Porsche Cayman Clubsport GT4) added to his list of wins – now nine – at COTA and has increased his point lead over second place Martin Brauns (No. 59 Flying Lizard Porsche Cayman Clubsport GT4) who was not in attendance at COTA. A new face on the top of the COTA podium was Carl Toffelmire (No. 62 Competition Motorsports Porsche Cayman Clubsport GT4) who scored his first win of the season, moving him to third in the championship.

“We are very excited to return to Road America – it’s been since 2014 that we raced here in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin,” said Competent Motorsport President Greg Franz. “It is such a historic place for racing and we’re thrilled to bring our field of Porsches to this incredible track. I think we’ll see some really great racing with all that Road America has to offer. I know our racers are really looking forward to it and we are too!”

Round 7 will begin on September 22nd at Road America with practice on Friday and two full race days on Saturday and Sunday.

Road America Schedule (All Times CT)

Friday, September 22nd
9:00 – 10:00 AM GT3 Practice 1
10:00 – 11:00 AM GT4 Practice 1
11:00 – 12:00 PM GT3 Practice 2
1:00 – 2:00 PM GT4 Practice 2
2:00 – 3:00 PM GT3 Practice 3
3:00 – 4:00 PM GT4 Practice 3
4:00 – 5:00 PM GT3 Practice 4
5:00 – 6:00 PM GT4 Practice 4

Saturday, September 23rd
8:00 – 8:20 AM Practice
11:00 – 11:20 AM GT3 Qualifying
11:20 – 11:40 AM GT4 Qualifying
1:15 – 2:00 PM Race #13

Sunday, September 24th
8:00 – 8:20 AM Practice
11:00 – 11:20 AM GT3 Qualifying
11:20 – 11:40 AM GT4 Qualifying
1:15 – 2:00 PM Race #14

source: Pirelli GT3 CUP TROPHY USA, sundaymanagement.com

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