PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East Series News and Notes

SPRINT 1 SUMMARY

Drivers competed in hot and humid weather at Barber Motorsports Park for Round 2 of the PCA Club Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport Trophy East series May 19-21. With temperatures hovering around 90 degrees, the drivers kicked off the competition with Sprint 1 Saturday morning.

Curt Swearingin, representing the Tennessee PCA Region, dominated and led from flag to flag in Sprint 1 as 14 drivers competed in their production-based Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport race cars on Barber’s 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course.

Swearingin started on pole after qualifying in his No. 18 ACI Motorsports entry with the fastest lap time during Friday’s qualifying session. Barber is Swearingin’s home track and his experience on the track shined throughout the weekend.

Rene Robichaud and his daughter Nicole Robichaud, both representing the Ohio Valley PCA Region in their Kelly-Moss Road and Race entries, competed in their first event of the 2017 season with R. Robichaud placing second in the Championship class after a back-and-forth battle with Pro class driver Jim Cox throughout the 30-minute race. David Baum, representing the Western Michigan PCA Region, followed in third place.

“The goal was to just get out front and stay ahead,” Swearingin said. “I tried to beat Rene [Robichaud] in Turn 1 because I knew he would be tough. We knew we were fast here and it showed. We’re happy to get the first win here.”

“Curt [Swearingin] is better than ever,” Robichaud said. “He did great and I had nothing for him but it was fun racing with Jim [Cox] today. He would always get right up on me and I had to be racing in my mirrors – it was great.”

Cox, who represents the Central Florida PCA Region, ran in the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Clubsport MR entry in the series’ Pro class. He placed first, with his BGB teammate, Bruce McKee, placing second. McKee is part of the Alabama PCA Region and this weekend marked his first race at his home track with the series.

In the Masters class, which is designated for drivers 57 and older, R. Robichaud came in first place followed by John Crosby, racing in the No. 47 NOLAsport entry, and, Kathy Mead, representing the Hill Country PCA Region, in third.

Sprint 1 Driver Quotes:

Jim Cox (winner, Pro) – “It was a good race. I was trying to get by Rene [Robichaud] for the entire race but after about 10 laps or so, I think we had both cooked ourselves pretty bad so it finished the way it started. Too bad that we had to tangle for the whole race and Curt [Swearingin] got to drive around by himself, but I’m sure he’s thanking us for it. I want to thank my wife for being here and supporting me.” Bruce McKee (second, Pro) – “I got passed and I passed some people – it was a great race. It was really hot but it was really good, clean racing by everybody and it was a ton of fun. This is a hard track to pass somebody on. It takes a long time to get around somebody and it almost takes them making a mistake and you driving perfect to pass. What a fun race!”
Curt Swearingin (winner, Championship) – “The goal was to just get out front and stay ahead. I tried to beat Rene [Robichaud] in Turn 1 because I knew he would be tough. We’ve been preparing for this – Cass Whitehead, my driving coach, my team has been great. We knew we were fast here and it showed. We’re happy to get the first win here.”
Rene Robichaud (second, Championship – winner, Masters) – “Curt [Swearingin] is better than ever. He did great and I had nothing for him but it was fun racing with Jim [Cox] today. He would always get right up on me and I had to be racing in my mirrors – it was great.”
David Baum (third, Championship) – “This track is very technical – you’re busy all the time and there’s not much time to relax. It was work, but it was fun. I can’t wait to do it again!”
John Crosby (second, Masters) – “This race went really well. I want to thank my NOLAsport crew members – they did a great job.”
Kathy Mead (third, Masters) – “The heat was no problem – I’m from Texas! It was fun, hard racing today.”

SPRINT 2 SUMMARY

Following a heavy rainstorm and severe weather early Saturday afternoon, drivers rolled out on the track for the second 30-minute sprint race just as the sun started to peak out from the clouds.

The technical Barber Motorsports Park track was clearly no problem for Swearingin as he swept the Championship class with his second win of the day in the No. 18 Advanced Collision Inc. (ACI) Motorsports entry. R. Robichaud and Baum repeated their second- and third-place finishes in Sprint 2.

“The group did a great job – I was really worried with the heavy rain that we may have some incidents,” Baum said. “Everybody kept their cool and we ran a great race. The track kept getting faster and faster, and I haven’t raced in the rain too much so I’m happy with my result.”

McKee gained his first win of the 2017 season in his No. 87 BGB Motorsports entry with Cox, McKee’s BGB Motorsports teammate, placing second in the series’ Pro class.

“It was wet and slippery out there,” McKee said. “I was actually a little bit nervous but everyone drove great. It was aggressive driving without being overly aggressive. There was lots of skidding but a fun race overall. I’m happy to have my first win at my home track.”

R. Robichaud swept the Masters class after winning Sprint 2. Series newcomer Charlie Craig gained his first podium of the weekend with the No. 76 Autometrics Motorsports entry and Kathy Mead, driving the freshly-wrapped No. 50 TOPP Racing entry, placed third.

Sprint 2 Driver Quotes:

Bruce McKee (winner, Pro) – “It was wet and slippery out there. I was actually a little bit nervous but everyone drove great. It was aggressive driving without being overly aggressive. There was lots of skidding but a fun race overall. I’m happy to have my first win at my home track.”
Jim Cox (second, Pro) – “I didn’t do so well but it wasn’t a steady rain – just a lot of puddles scattered all over. This changed throughout the race so it was challenging conditions. I’m glad everyone is here with no incidents – that’s the most important part.”
Curt Swearingin (winner, Championship) – “It was fun. I have mad respect for Rene [Robichaud] – he drove smart and he’s a great competitor.”
Rene Robichaud (second, Championship – winner, Masters) – “I think Curt [Swearingin] got me by ten one-hundredths of a second – maybe twelve. It was so fun when you race like that and it’s close but you can’t find a hole because Curt never makes a mistake. If he out-qualifies you, you have to wait for a mistake but he rarely makes them.”
David Baum (third, Championship) – “The group did a great job – I was really worried with the heavy rain that we may have some incidents. Everybody kept their cool and we ran a great race. The track kept getting faster and faster, and I haven’t raced in the rain too much so I’m happy with my result.”
Charlie Craig (second, Masters) – “I’ve always been very proud of my Michigan heritage. I learned how to drive in the ice so rain was no problem!”

ENDURO SUMMARY

Swearingin’s experience once again led him to victory as he won overall in Sprint 1, Sprint 2 and Sunday’s 80-minute enduro race.

“It was a great weekend. I’ve had a lot of fun here with Rene [Robichaud] and David [Baum] – especially David during that last part of the Enduro,” Swearingin said. “It was fun chasing David – he’s a great driver. Our team, our car and everything was great. We didn’t want to come in too confident but we felt like we could do it. I had great driving coaching and now we have two straight sweeps.”

Baum won his first second-place podium of the weekend and had the fastest lap of the entire weekend on Lap 23, following his 5-minute pit stop.

“I felt more comfortable here today,” Baum said. “I haven’t had a lot of track time at Barber so I said, ‘I’m going to drive my butt off and leave everything on the track’ and that’s pretty much what I did. The Autometrics guys did a great job on my pit stop – it was five minutes and one second so you couldn’t ask for better crew work.”

The father and son duo of David and Russell Walker, both representing the Maverick PCA Region, gained their first podium of the weekend after R. Russell passed R. Robichaud with just four laps left in the race.

“I think the Walkers did their job today,” R. Walker said. “Dad hung in there and we were with the pack. I’m a little surprised I was able to catch Rene [Robichaud] after pitting with him but he made me work for it. I have mad respect for him.”

D. Walker agreed and said he set up his son for success.

Cox won in the Pro class and R. Robichaud swept the weekend after winning first in the Masters class once again. Mead wrapped up her successful weekend with a second-place finish.

“When I come to a track I don’t know, I feel like it’s during the Enduro that I truly learn the track and TOPP Racing did a great job,” Mead said.

Next up for the competitors is a trip to Watkins Glen International June 2-4 as part of the Porsche Clash at the Glen PCA event.

Enduro Driver Quotes

Curt Swearingin (winner, Championship) – “It was a great weekend. I’ve had a lot of fun here with Rene [Robichaud] and David [Baum] – especially David during that last part of the Enduro. It was fun chasing David – he’s a great driver. Our team, our car and everything was great. We didn’t want to come in too confident but we felt like we could do it. I had great driving coaching and now we have two straight sweeps.”
David Baum (second, Championship) – “I felt more comfortable here today. I haven’t had a lot of track time at Barber so I said, ‘I’m going to drive my butt off and leave everything on the track’ and that’s pretty much what I did. The Autometrics guys did a great job on my pit stop – it was five minutes and one second so you couldn’t ask for better crew work. What a weekend – three podiums and I’m excited for the next one.”
Russell Walker (third, Championship) – “I think the Walkers did their job today. Dad hung in there and we were with the pack. I’m a little surprised I was able to catch Rene [Robichaud] after pitting with him but he made me work for it. I have mad respect for him.”
David Walker (third, Championship) – “I had a good drive. I felt good about it. I hung in there and set up Russell [Walker] so I feel like I did my part today.”
Rene Robichaud (winner, Masters) – “The tire strategy seems to matter here at Barber. Your tires go off so hard in the second half – it was hard. Some people had better strategies than I did and some people just raced faster than me. Everyone ahead of me raced very well – I’m really proud of the whole group.”
Kathy Mead (second, Masters) – “When I come to a track I don’t know, I feel like it’s during the Enduro that I truly learn the track and TOPP Racing did a great job.”

NEXT EVENT:
WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL

June 2-4, 2017
Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen, New York

Source. LST Marketing

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