Round 2 of the 2017 International GT Series saw a return to Amelia Island, FL for the second annual event on the historic Fernandina Beach airport. The temporary course offered the competitors a unique challenge resulting in intense yet fun racing.
Current Maranello Cup champion, Steve Hill, joined his fellow Norwood Auto Italia teammates, Barry Fromberg and Colin Cohen in visiting the Amelia Island event for the first time. After a strong run in Sebring during the first round of the championship, Hill continued in his winning ways racing his Ferrari458 to victory in all three sprint races and partnering with Jason Hart to win the enduro.
Great racing across the classes for overall positions with Barry Fromberg in his F458 , Jeffrey Freeman in his Porsche GT 3.8, John Mauro driving a Porsche GT 3.6 and Colin Cohen in a F458. There was an ongoing and hard fought battle between John Higgins driving his Porsche GT 3.6, Howard Cherry also in a GT 3.6, Wayne Wilkerson in his GT 3.6 and Bill Riddell racing a Cayman 3.4, challenging each other to stay in the top 10 overall.
Last year’s overall winner Mac McGahee driving his Porsche GT 3.8 had a tough weekend while chasing a couple mechanical issues. All three 2016 champions swept their respective categories at Amelia Island with John Mauro extending his points lead in the Mission Foods GT3 Cup, while Bill Riddell won all three Stuttgart Cup – Cayman sprint races and teamed up with Larry Ligas to take the 60-minute enduro victory.
Jeffrey Freeman returned to International GT competition after a very successful run at Sebring earlier this month gaining valuable championship points in the Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy 3.8 class and setting lap times to rival the fastest cars in the other classes. The International GT podium celebrated with Martini and Rossi Champagne as a tribute to series marketing partner BRM Chronographs introduction of their Martini tribute watch. This beautiful watch features the colors of the classic racing sponsor. The limited edition watch is available at www.brm- manufacture.com
Next upon the International GT calendar, Road America, May 18-20
The event kicked off on Wednesday with several International GT and SVRA competitors driving through historic downtown Amelia Island and showing off their unique racing machines to locals and avid auto enthusiasts.
You might be thinking…what’s it really like to race on a temporary airport circuit?
Reigning Maranello Cup Champion, Steve Hill talks about his first visit to the Amelia Island Grand Prix. "I had relatively low expectations about the Amelia Island track and forthcoming weekend experience when I arrived for testing Thursday AM. I thought that the 'makeshift' airport track, including hay bales chicanes, would be elementary. However, each lap of the track and time with International GT competitors made me think very differently. The track and field of competition made for exciting racing and tests of self discipline to improve lap times. The hay bales gave character to driving errors, and the track configuration made the course, including the chicanes, challenging in a way that was anything but elementary! My impression of the event, as well as those of the other drivers on the Norwood Auto Italia team, was turned 180 degrees by Sunday. In fact, we thought the weekend was one of the more enjoyable race weekends in years. Bravo to SVRA and International GT for the ‘surprise party’.”