COTA Race Recap – The Racing is Always Bigger in Texas
The October Schedule for IGT was southbound and down with the first stop being Austin Texas to Circuit of the Americas. The Formula 1 track has taken on some character flaws similar to Sebring with a rather bumpy surface in a number of areas. The trials of the track and class competition were combined temps in the mid – 90 degree range making for a very fun but sometimes challenging weekend. The battle at the front was between past Stuttgart Cup Champion MARK SANDRIDGE, fending off newcomer from Newport Beach California, BRENT HOLDEN of GMG Motorsports. The two would have lively battles in each of the sprint races and enduro. Also, in the mix were Maranello Cup driver GIANO TAURINO and Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy JUAN GONZALEZ. At the end of the weekend, it was Sandridge with two sprint and an enduro win challenged at every turn by Holden. Gonzalez would finish third in sprint race 1 to complete the Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy podium.
The Marenello Cup was led by GIANO TAURINO in the 488 class however the Dallas based Norwood Auto Italia would rule the 458 category with wins from BARRY FROMBERG and closely competing COLIN COHEN. The ever-improving laps from Fromberg over the weekend was a reminder that he is always a contender for a Maranello Cup Championship. The final 458 podium spot was captured by Canadian BENOIT BERGERON, as he continues to challenge the front runners and gain points towards the Maranello Cup championship.
Savannah Takin’ it to the Streets with Southern Hospitality
The charm of Savannah and the challenges of the Hutchinson Island street circuit welcomed International GT and SVRA with festive events, great food and enthusiastic spectators and media. The star of the weekend came from north of the border, with BENIOT BERGERON taking overall wins in all three races. But drama in Sprint race 2 made it anything but a “sure thing” with the cars on the grid and 15 minutes until the green flag, a rain cloud totally changed track conditions and race strategy. The decision for Bergeron and his crew and a number of other drivers was to change to wets. But the drying track conditions made for an exciting finish as he held on for the victory. The native to the Montreal area of Canada, had his most successful outing yet with International GT, having joined the series as a Rookie mid-season.
BILL RIDDELL in his #00 Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy 3.8 liter RaceLink prepared Porsche took a sprint and enduro victory on the 1.94 mile circuit. Bill was focused and consistent all weekend as he was seriously challenged by CHRIS RUPPEL finishing second to Riddell in both the enduro with co – driver ERIC ZITZA and sprint race one. Ruppel took the win in the weather challenged sprint race 2 in the GT3 .8 class. Zotz teammate ANDREW UZAROWSKI was back with IGT debuting his newly liveried racecar in the Mission Foods GT3.8 car.
WILLIAM WACHS continued on his quest to win the Stuttgart Cup Championship, but not before being challenged and splitting victories with newcomer RUSSELL WITTENBERG in their Porsche Cayman S. Wachs had his moment in the sun even though it was raining as he chose to run rain tires in sprint race 2. He was 2nd overall at the midway point of the race, falling off as the track dried out but still finishing first in Stuttgart Cup. Next up the series will finish the season on the famous banks of Daytona International Speedway, December 6-8, 2019.