Although the forecast was less than optimistic for Round 3 of the 2019 International GT season at Road America, we welcomed dry track conditions for both qualifying sessions and all three sprint races. The weather was cold and foggy at times, but the competition was heated on track with three very competitive races on Saturday and Sunday morning.Above (left): the view most saw of #24 Friday and Saturday
Above (right): A great start to Saturday’s sprint races, led to some terrific racing
The fight for bragging rights for overall honors in Saturday’s two sprint races was fierce, with the Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy 4R category leading the way. The #24 car would take the overall win in both races with two different drivers, ROB BLAKE in sprint race 1 and JUAN LOPEZ-SANTINI in sprint race 2. MARK SANDRIDGE, Team Salad, out-qualified the #24 Orbit Racing car to start the weekend but ended up on the second step of the podium in both Saturday races.
Just as fun to watch was the ongoing battle between TOM PANK, in his Ultra Performance GT3 category 4 Porsche and MARK BODEN in his Fall Line Motorsports 3.8 liter GT3 Cup car. These GT 3.8 and GT 4.0 class leaders enjoyed a spirited engagement each finishing first in their respective classes in both Saturday sprint races. Boden would go on to also win the Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy category overall in Sunday’s sprint race 3. The 3.8 liter category has featured the largest class of cars all year. Although Boden dominated the top spot, the podium saw several familiar and new faces: BRIAN HICKS #22, TED GIOVANIS #64 Team TGM , ROBERT WISEN #27, and a newcomer who also happens to be Mark Boden’s son, JOSEPH BODEN #45.Above: Kiel Hogan sported a big smile on his way to the podium as overall winner in Sunday’s sprint race. Hogan’s #9 McLaren that he shared with dad Patrick. Guy Cosmo in his Team TGM AMG won in the exhibition category on Saturday.
The imminent threat of rain reduced the sprint field on Sunday. But a very fast group at the front created an epic rivalry between Boden and newcomer to the series, KIEL HOGAN in his RM Motorsports McLaren 605S. At 26 years old, Kiel had the unbridled speed while Boden, who calls Road America his home track drove a brilliant race with great technical talent. The thrilling last lap was highlighted by several lead changes with Hogan taking the overall win by less than a car length! Hogan shared the Saturday sprint races with his father, PATRICK HOGAN as the duo learned their new car and gained valuable experience in the McLaren. Joining Hogan in the Exhibition category was GUY COSMO in the Team TGM AMG GT4. Cosmo topped Hogan for top honors in sprint race 1.Ed Baus #52 returning 2018 champion.
Cameron McIntrye’s Cayman and most of the Ohio gang (where’s Mark Sandridge?…probably still on the podium!)
We welcomed back 2018 Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy champion, ED BAUS, in his #52 Demon Speed Porsche, for his first event in 2019. Ed did not disappoint winning the two sprint races on Saturday in the 3.6 liter category. However, fellow Ohioan, TODD SLOAN, was close behind pushing Ed all the way to the finish in both races.
CAMERON McINTYRE swept the Stuttgart Cup Cayman category winning all three sprint races. The gang from Ohio was well represented at Road America (l to r – Todd Sloan, Bob Wisen, Ed Baus, Brian Hicks, Cameron McIntyer) and all are looking to the home track advantage when International GT returns to Mid Ohio for Round 5, June 20-23, 2019. ZOTZ Racing made the long haul from South Florida to Road America with CHUCK SMITHEE, who had a strong showing in the Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy 3.8 category in his second start in International GT competition and newcomer NICHOLAS GROOMBRIDGE, also in a 3.8 liter Porsche.Cohen’s #15 signature red Ferrari won three of the four races at Road America
The Maranello Cup podium was split with COLIN COHEN in his Norwood Auto Italia Ferrari 458 winning two of the three sprint races and the enduro. SEBASTIAN COPPOLA in his RM Motorsports prepared Ferrari 458, with only his second start in International GT, took the Sunday morning sprint race win.Demon Speed and Speedcom merchandise certificates– Brian Hicks, Demon Speed winner
Rapidly becoming one of the highlights of the International GT podium ceremonies is the presenting of merchandise certificates from DEMON SPEED and SPEEDCOM. At Road America the certificates went to: Demon Speed – Brian Hicks and Mark Boden, and Speedcom – Cameron McIntyre and Robert Wisen.
Lime Rock Park Memorial Day Weekend
International GT will make its inaugural visit to beautiful Lime Rock Park in Connecticut this weekend, May 24-27. We are excited to be part of the historic and popular Memorial Day event at Lime Rock. Contact Julie Bentley for entry: firstname.lastname@example.org 770-380-7770