GTE/GT4 Cup Series at Spa
April 1, 2020 – Who doesn’t love Belgium in the morning? This week’s GTE/GT4 Cup Series race started with the sun just over the mountains and with quite a chilly track temperature to go along with a 34 car field and the endurance length race, this event was destined to have a very interesting outcome with tire strategy playing a large part of the final standings.
Qualifying went as usual in the GTE class with Humberto Roca nailing a fast lap of 2:13.673 edging out Angle Ledesma by a mere 0.067 seconds for the top spot. In the GT4, Kurt Polter put in a fast lap of 2:30.659 to take the pole position in class, with Justin Hess starting shotgun missing the pole by a few tenths.
The race start saw many drivers pushing extra hard to make up for qualifying woes, and by the end of the first lap more than one car was already in the pits taking repairs. Out front, Roca saw Ledesma in his mirror for the first 5 laps, with the two trading spots the next few laps. The duel was interrupted when Lesesky D’Oleo worked past Ledesma for second place. On Lap 21 the leaders would pit, with D’Oleo staying on old tires and Roca taking new ones using his 17-second advantage prior to pitting aiding in the lost time for new rubber. Eventually Roca would take the lead back on Lap 27 and pull away for the win. Strategy paid off for D’Oleo with a second place finish, and Miguel Alcrudo finished in third after starting in 20th place.
The GT4 race had even more drama with Polter and Hess battling for the lead at the drop of the green, with the two swapping the top spot on Lap 6 and then again on Lap 15 when Hess would make his pit stop. After Polter made his stop, Jason Lundy assumed the class lead until Lap 20 when Polter would re-take the lead again and never look back. Falling back to as far as 7th in class, Hess would work his way back up to finish in second place, and newcomer David Shutt finished in third after starting fifth in class. This class has seen some close racing, and should be quite the battle for the championship.
After only two races, the GT4 class driver standings have Kurt Polter in the top spot, with Justin Hess only 6 points back. In third is JT Tami, with Douglas Ritter and Jason Lundy only a point or two back.
In GTE, Humberto Roca is 2 for 2 on poles and wins, and leads the standings by 18 points over Dion Smith who is having a great season so far. Only one point behind him is Lowesky D’Oleo in third, with Drew Lidkea in fourth and Angel Ledesma in fifth.
There’s plenty of racing left in this 8-race season, and our next event is scheduled for April 15th at Circuit de Catalunya, running the famed Historic layout at Night! This should be quite the race without daylight and the final chicane!
TCR/MX-5 Club Series at Barber
March 25, 2020 – This week the TCR/MX-5 Club Series took a trip to Alabama, but not that big oval everyone knows, but the twisty Barber Motorsports Park circuit with its multiple elevation changes, corkscrews up and down, and few passing zones. As the mid-season stretch starts, the points battles and on-track duels are heating up, and there’s a lot of racing left to do!
In qualifying, it was Mario Teixeira snatching the TCR class pole by less than two-tenths to lead the entire field at the start. In the MX-5 class, it was Samuel Scott on top with a qualifying lap of 1:39.844 edging out second by 0.17 seconds! The rest of the field in both classes had many drivers almost setting identical times, foreshadowing the battles ahead.
As the green dropped, Teixeira would take the lead but an off-track on Lap 2 would put him down the order and lead to Miguel Antonio Alcrudo and Jason Lundy exchanging the lead until Lap 9 when Alcrudo took the lead for the final time. He would go on to win the race by a margin of only 3.7 seconds over Lundy, with Teixeira charging back through the field and finishing on the podium in third only 2 seconds back of Lundy.
In the MX-5 class, Scott would lead from the pole until Lap 6, when impact with the inside wall out of the corkscrew would put his car on its lid ending his race. Behind him Drew Lidkea would inherit the lead and hold it until Lap 9 when Justin Hess worked his way past and held and pulled away for the class win, his first of the season. The battle for 2nd would heat up as Lidkea found a charging Peter Hebron filling his mirrors for the final laps of the race. Coming down to the front stretch, Lidkea would edge Hebron for second place at the checkers in what was a thrilling battle for both drivers.
After four races, the MX-5 class points standings have tightened up with Kurt Polter still in first place, Samuel Scott in second and Drew Lidkea in third. Brian Szabelski currently holds the points lead in the TCR class with teammate David Slee in second and Miguel Antonio Alcrudo in third.
The next scheduled race for this series is slated for April 8th at Laguna Seca Raceway.
GTE/GT4 Cup Series at Sebring
March 18, 2020 – The first race of a new season always brings about many questions…which drivers will excel, what’s the secret to saving those tires, and of course, what does it take to put my car in victory lane?! The questions were about to have answers as Champion Motorsports drivers, both new and seasoned took to the track at Sebring in the first official GTE/GT4 Cup Series race of the season!! The pre-season event two weeks ago at Road America was an awakening for many with the new Porsche Cayman GT4 as well as the updated tire models for all the cars in this series. The weather was warm, and the track a bit on the slick side with 34 drivers taking to the track!
Qualifying was a tight in both classes, with Humberto Roca taking the GTE and overall pole position edging out Angel Ledesma but a half-second, and in the GT4 class Kurt Polter grabbed the top spot in class by 0.6 seconds over JT Tami. With 24 GTE’s and 10 GT4’s taking the grid, the start would need to be clean.
The first lap had some cars sliding off track, but fortunately nothing terminal and they each rejoined the race. By midpoint the classes had stretched out into small battles, the closest of which was Polter and Justin Hess battling within a second of each other for the GT4 lead for most of the race. Roca stretched out his lead over Ledesma and began to slowly put distance between them by the end of the race.
As the checkered flag fell, it would be Roca winning by a margin of 46 seconds over Ledesma, with Carlos Ramos finishing in third to complete the podium in GTE. Only 8 cars would finish on the lead lap, a testament to the steady pace of Roca throughout his run.
The GT4 battle would continue until the waning laps as Polter would take the class win over Hess in a hard fought battle. The battle for the third spot was eventually won by JT Tami, with 7 GT4’s completing a tough race and setting the stage for a close Championship fight in the weeks ahead.
This series will head to Belgium next, for the first Endurance length race of the season at Spa-Francorchamps in what should be a very interesting race in terms of pit strategy for the 75 minute race length on April 1st. No joke, as this series has seven more races on the schedule!
TCR/MX-5 Club Series at Watkins Glen
March 11, 2020 – This week, the TCR/MX-5 Club Series headed to upstate New York to visit Watkins Glen International, using the full “Boot” layout in the first of two endurance events on this season’s schedule.
Times posted in qualifying indicated the track was getting faster as the clouds moved in, with Brian Szabelski putting in a sub-2 minute lap time to take the TCR Class pole position, and in the MX-5’s it was the same with Samuel Scott blistering the track taking pole by more than half a second!
The race start was uneventful, and the two classes began to file into line and concentrate on clean laps, and keeping the tires fresh for as long as possible. In the MX-5 class, Scott would take the lead from the pole and never look back for his first win of the season. Behind him, Kurt Polter moved up 7 spots from his starting spot to take second place and grab important championship points. The battle for 3rd place was tight for much of the race with Kenny Rodriguez winning his first podium of the season.
The TCR Class was Miguel Antonio Alcrudo’s from the start as he took an early lead and in the end earned his second win of the season. Behind him a three-car battle for the remaining podium steps would last till the final lap with Dave Slee charging through for a second place finish, and Brian Szabelski finishing in third.
The points standings in both classes have tightened up with the next race in this series scheduled for March 25th at Barber Motorsports Park.
GTE/GT4 Pre-Season at Road America
March 4, 2020 – With the release of the Porsche Cayman GT4 this week, it was time to put the rubber on the road and see how well it grips. Tonight’s pre-season race at Road America was a multiclass affair featuring the GTE class cars of iRacing on the track with it’s latest release. The new tire model for all the cars proved to be an additional factor for some drivers, but as usual many adjusted along the way and found the groove once again.
In qualifying Justin Hess would start on pole for the GT4 class with a blistering lap 1.2 seconds faster than his next closest competitor. Humberto Roca started up front in GTE with a 0.2 second gap back to second.
The race start had some interesting moments, but as predicted the racing was tight in both classes. After a few laps the field began to spread out but the battles continued till the end in both classes.
Roca would go on to win the race by almost 30 seconds over Delta team driver Lowesky D’Oleo, with another Delta member Angel Ledesma taking the third spot on the podium. There’s no doubt this class will be a hard fought one over the course of the 8-race season ahead.
In the GT4 class, Hess drove off from the field in a dominating race to easily win the event. Behind him in second was fan-favorite Jimmy Hume making a return to racing at CMS in what seems to be forever. Not far behind him was Kurt Polter, who has been dominating the MX-5 class in the Club Series, bringing his Porsche home in third place to cap a great run.
This series will kick off it’s official season on March 18th with a 60-minute race at Sebring International Raceway.
TCR/MX-5 Club Series at Road Atlanta
February 26, 2020 – This week, the TCR/MX-5 Club Series took to the famed Road Atlanta circuit for the second race of the season. The heat and marbles made for a thin line to turn a fast lap, and everyone in attendance was up to the task.
In qualifying, Samuel Scott started on the pole in the MX-5 Class while Liam Park would grab his first CMS pole to lead the entire field to the green.
The start of the 30-minute race was tight racing, and after a few laps both classes would stretch out into several battles that lasted the entire race. At the end it was Miguel Alcrudo taking the win with Brian Szabelski edging out Douglas Ritter for second place, the two of them only 7.7 seconds behind Alcrudo at the end.
In the MX-5’s, Samuel Scott and Kurt Polter pulled away from the field, with Polter passing Scott on the opening lap and holding off Scott for the win. In third place, Drew Lidkea would make a last lap pass in the grass to finish in third completing the podium.
This series will race again on March 11th at Watkins Glen International (Boot Layout) in the first of two 45-minute endurance races this season! With a required pit stop this will be the first big test in the battle for the Driver’s Championships!