Thirteen different drivers made it to the podium in Round 5 of the International GT 2017 Championship. It was close , it was unpredictable, it was good fun setting up the final races of the season this fall at Watkins Glen, VIR and COTA.
Resorting to Thursday’s practice times after Friday’s qualifying being washed out by storm Cindy, the top 6 positions were within a second with Mission Foods GT 3.6 liter, 3.8 liter and Maranello Cup Ferrari 458 all in the mix.
Race 1 featured beautiful weekend weather and a large spectator showing. Tom Pank finished first overall in his Porsche Cup 3.8 followed closely by Maranello Cup Ferrari 458 winner Steve Hill and the Porsche Cup 3.8 of Mark Sandridge. John Mauro ran close to the front all weekend in his Porsche Cup 3.6 liter, finishing 1st in class and 4th overall, and 2nd in class and 7th overall in the enduro. IGT newcomers showed well with Ed Baus‘ Porsche Cup 3.6 2nd in Class, 5th overall in race one and first in class, 5th overall in race two. Baus would team up with Robert Wisen for 3rd place in class and an 8th overall enduro finish. The final Porsche Cup 3.6 podium spot was filled by Brad Waite finishing 9th overall. Chris Haehn was rewarded for good consistant racing with 3rd place class finishes in each race finishing 6th, 5th and 4th overall. Moving up overall every race and gaining valuable championship points was Maranello Cup driver Colin Cohen finishing 2nd in class each race and 8th, 7th and 4th overall. Jeffrey Freeman continues to collect valuable championship points with 4th place in both race one and two.
The deck was shuffled for race 2 later that day. This time it was the Ferrari of Steve Hill across the line first followed by the Porsches of Sandridge and Pank. The Porsche Cup 3.6 class podium would change with Ed Baus moving to the top spot followed by Todd Sloan in 2nd and Brant Grier in 3rd.
Pit strategy, traffic and mechanical issues would all come into play to effect the outcome of the 90 minute enduro. As time ran out it was Steve Hill in the Ferrari 458 followed by the Porsche Cup 3.8 of Pank and in 3rd the Porsche Cup of Mark Sandridge and Joe Varde. Brian Hicks jumped up to the top spot of the Porsche Cup 3.6 liter podium. Matt Coffman just missed the Porsche Cup 3.8 liter podium finishing 4th, in class and 9th overall.