Matching the largest entry ever at any International GT event and almost double any entry for the series at the beautiful New York Finger Lakes area track. Perfect weather, great competition and good fun for the series regulars and new customers was the outcome of a very successful International GT race weekend.
With 35 cars on the grid, there was plenty of great racing on all areas of this challenging historic circuit. Up front was a classic Porsche-Ferrari battle with GIANO TAURINO in his Maranello Cup Ferrari 488 and MARK SANDRIDGE in his Porsche GT3 Cup 4R. Each had an overall win in the two sprint races. Taurino did not compete in the enduro leaving Sandridge and co-driver JOE VARDE, to defend against the hard charging TOM PANK from Ultra Performance and MARK GREENBERG from Extreme Velocity Motorsports, before winning overall in the Sunday race. The consistent third place finisher in the 4 liter class was JOHN HIGGINS who says that if only there are no more 4 liters sold and competing in International GT he’s safe on the podium! JUAN GONZALEZ would finish second in both sprint races to Sandridge in the Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy 4R class.
In the 4 liter category Pank and Greenberg split the sprint victories. Pank would take the win after a very hard fought battle with Greenberg and co-driver LONNIE PECHNIK, in the enduro.
In the 3.8 category, the second sprint race saw Fall Line Motorsports taking a sweep! Third went to MARK BODEN, second to TOM HERB and the win to TIM KEZMAN. Kezman also won the first sprint race and Herb was second. Championship contender BOB WISEN was strong in all three races gaining valuable championship points making the podium for the enduro. Being our largest category, we also had entries from Zotz Racing from ANDREW UZRAWSKI, NICHOLAS GROOMFIELD and CHUCK SMITHEE, while JEFFERY FREEMAN returned to IGT competition after missing a couple races and CHIP VANCE joined us for a second race with the series.
The Maranello Cup 458 category was dominated by the Canadian delegation from Etcetera Racing. ROB METKA, BENOIT BERGERON, brothers NICK and TONY FERRERO and GABOR FOTI represented the majority for the prancing horse. While Tony Ferraro and Gabor Foti struggled with mechanical issues, Benoit (in his rookie season) won both sprint races and Rob Metka took the top step of the podium in the enduro. Starting strong was BEN JOHNSTON but transmission issues would short circuit his weekend after practice and qualifying.
A competitive group in the Stuttgart Cup Cayman category had JOHN REISMAN winning both sprint races in his #5, Speed Racer inspired Cayman. On Sunday John co-drove with his dad PAUL REISMAN to a win in the Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy 3.8 liter class. Newcomer DAVE WILDRICK was impressive with a couple second place sprint finishes and a first in Sunday’s enduro! He was joined on the podium by FRANCIS FLORIDO, another first timer to International GT and WILL WACHS who took second in the enduro. SCOTT WELLIVER and co-driver MIKE MAMMANO split drive time for podium finishes in the second sprint race and enduro.
The Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy 3.6 category had current championship points leaders and Ohio Players BRAD WAITE and TODD SLOAN as the weekend class favorites. A driver miscue by Todd in a practice session left Brad to defend against local favorite ROCCO CANNATA with his son Rocco as co-driver. Brad had a stellar weekend, sweeping every race in the 3.6 category!
The exhibition class had a wide and fun variety of entrants! Mark Boden started in his BMW but ended up switching to his Porsche midway through the weekend due to some mechanical issues. Two brand new cars to the series were MICHAEL WILLIAMS, with co-driver JOHN MAURO in an Audi R8, RON KIRSHNER in a Porsche and CAMERON MCINTYRE swapped his Cayman for a VW TCR car. They all had a great time running with the Porsches and Ferraris! Wins went to a variety of entrants. Sprint race 1 winner was Mark Boden, Sprint race 2 was won by Ron Kirshner and the enduro was won by Williams and Mauro.
Find more photos from the Watkins Glen round of International GT on our website: InternationalGT.net
Check out the entire photo gallery at https://www.Kernodle.photography
It was a great weekend for International lGT at Watkins Glen and we look forward to VIR this week!!!
Circuit of the Americas Transportation and Garages
There are some racers who would like to go to the COTA race, October 3-6 who are looking for transportation for their car. If you are in need or have space please call Julie Bentley at 770-380-7770. Additionally there are a couple garages left for rent, again if you are interested call Julie.