Team News: NGT’s Cisneros Earns His Third Victory of the Season at Lime Rock
KAUFFMANN FNISHES SECOND TO CISNEROS IN RACE ONE
LAKEVILLE, CT (July 9, 2011) – NGT Motorsport’s Henrique Cisneros won the first of two IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama races at the 1.5 mile Lime Rock Park road course on Saturday, but a tangle with a slowing car on the opening lap of race two knocked him out of the second race.
The first race was also a good one for teammate Carlos Kauffmann, as he finished second behind Cisneros. But a late spin in race two cost him the chance to better that finishing position in race two.
The NGT Platinum Cup teammates, Cisneros and Carlos Kauffmann, were both stellar in Friday afternoon qualifying, despite the difficult, rainy conditions – or perhaps, because of them. Cisneros put the #26 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car on the Platinum Cup class pole position, with Kauffmann (#24) starting third.
“I was watching the radar closely before qualifying,” said Cisneros. “I was actually hoping for rain! I didn’t quite have the pace to keep up with McKenzie in the dry – I was quite comfortable in the rain, so when it came, I knew that was my chance to clinch the pole. I was able to get a quick lap in early, before it really started to rain. So I was in the right place at the right time.”
“We didn’t have much dry practice time,” said Kauffmann. “Only about 15 minutes in the morning. But this is a beautiful racetrack, it reminds me of a very small Laguna Seca! There are some walls here, so you have to be very aware. But Henrique is starting on the pole, so it’s very good!”
NGT’s Ray Arthur (#28) started in the 19th position in Platinum Cup, with Andres Cisneros (#25) starting fifth in Gold Cup class.
Rounds 6 and 7 of the the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama were both on Saturday, bookending the American Le Mans Series Northeast Grand Prix. The first race, run in the cooler morning conditions, saw a race-long battle between NGT teammates Cisneros and Carlos Kauffmann, after Tim McKenzie (Kelly Moss Motorsports) spun out of second place early in the race. Kauffmann grabbed the spot behind Cisneros and filled his teammate’s mirrors for the rest of the 39-lap race.
“I was keeping McKenzie behind me,” explained Cisneros. “He made a couple of aggressive moves but he spun twice, which left Carlos behind me. He got really close to me in turn one and I would gap him in some of the other turns, but he was in my rear view mirror the whole time. I’ve always said that Carlos is my biggest competition; he’s a very fast driver.”
“Henrique was pushing hard,” said Kauffmann. “There were a lot of yellows, but this is a track that if you commit any error, you can’t pass. But we had a fun race – it was a team race! I’m glad Henrique is up in the points! I always say that I’m here to have fun and today, I had a blast.”
Ray Arthur finished ninth in the Platinum Cup class, while Andres Cisneros just missed the Gold Cup podium, finishing in fourth position.
Round 7 of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama took place immediately after the American Le Mans race, on a very warm afternoon – which meant the track was much more slippery than it had been in the morning’s race.
Henrique Cisneros was the first to suffer from the conditions, as a car in front of him going up the hill on the backstretch suddenly slowed, coming back into Cisneros and causing a puncture of his radiator, which ended his day and left him in 19th position in the Platinum Cup – putting a dent in his championship lead.
“It was the first lap out,” explained Cisneros. “We made it through the chicane and were going on the uphill when it seemed as though the car in front of me missed a shift or something. His car suddenly lunged toward me on acceleration and his tow hook pierced my radiator. That was it – I didn’t complete a lap. It’s a letdown, but there are eight more races to go and I’m still leading the Championship by 27 points.”
Carlos Kauffmann also endured his share of difficulties, spinning in turn four late in the race to finish just ahead of Cisneros in 18th position. Ray Arthur finished 16th in Platinum Cup, with Andres Cisneros earning another fourth place finish in Gold Cup – but his move from25th starting position overall to 20th garnered him the Yokohama Hard Charger award.
NGT Motorsport will be back on the track in two weeks as part of the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport July 23 and 24. Rounds 8 and 9 are scheduled for 11:35am Saturday and Sunday at 12:55pm. To see all the results for NGT Motorsport and for more information on the team, visit http://www.ngtmotorsport.com/.