IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Qualifying Report
Utah Grand Prix
IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama qualifying for the Utah Grand Prix was a display of young talent flexing its muscles to break Miller Motorsports Park track records.
Sixteen-year-old Utah-native Madison Snow snagged the pole with a lap time of 1:53.759 and shattered the previous track record of 1:54.796. Driving for Snow Racing/Wright Motorsports, Snow will lead the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama field to the green flag in front of a crowd of his family and friends.
Twenty-one-year-old Sean Johnston of Wright Motorsports and 20-year-old D. Bryce Miller of GMG Racing rounded out the top-three and joined Snow setting a new Miller Motorsports Park track record. 19-year-old Sloan Urry of TruSpeed Motorsports qualified fourth and Kasey Kuhlman of Wright Motorsports will start fifth. Interesting fact: the combined ages of the top-four starters is the exact age of Utah-native and presidential hopeful Ron Paul.
There were no on-track incidents during the seamless qualifying session, as the Yokohama tires held their grip despite cool temperatures in the Utah mountain air. The combination of cooler temperatures and tire grip contributed to the record setting laps.
The highest Gold Cup qualifier was Angel Andres Benitez, with a lap of 1:57.053. Driving for Ansa Motorsports, Benitez is coming off two Gold Cup victories at the series' first races of the season at the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.
The Utah Grand Prix will feature two 45-minute IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama races. Race one is Saturday, April 28 at 12:30 p.m. and race two is Sunday, April 29 at 1:15 p.m. Follow live timing and scoring at http://imsachallenge.com/timing Follo.w #PorscheGT3US, #UGP and #UtahMMP hashtags for live tweets from the races.
Pole sitter Madison Snow:
"This is my home-track, so I know how to run fast and safe. It’s great for drivers because there is nothing to hit out here. You can push the car harder than you can at most tracks because we have no walls to worry about. If you spin out—you’re clear. So it’s easier to be more aggressive and take more opportunities to pass."
P-2 qualifier Sean Johnston:
"Miller Motorsports Park is the only track on the schedule I have ever been to, and I have been here twice. I just really love it out here, it’s a really fast fun sweeping track that’s fairly technical as well. Very high speed, and lots of fun corners. I think the first four corners of the this track might just be the most fun I will have in a car all year. Just great high speed combinations. There are a few things I could be doing in the car to extract more performance out of it, but I know what I need to be doing, and we have a great race strategy for tomorrow."