With a large field of Porsche GT3 Cup and Cayman Clubsport GT4 machines entered for the race weekend, the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA championship will return to action at Utah Motorsports this weekend as the series stages round five of the 2017 championship.
Three different classes – Diamond (2014-2016 Porsche GT3 Cup), Platinum (2010-2013 Porsche GT3 Cup), and Silver (Cayman GT4 Cup) will be in action this weekend, with both the Silver and Diamond classes also featuring Masters championships.
With 34 different Porsche machines entered for the double header race weekend, the field is large and will likely once again feature competition all through the pack under the guidance of Series Director Steven Costello and Race Director Randy Buck.
Leading the Diamond championship is 911 Design driver Loren Beggs (No. 08 Porsche), who will look to replicate his perfect weekend at UMC this weekend.
“I am looking forward to returning to Utah Motorsports Campus this weekend,” said Beggs. “Our last trip there for the Pirelli GT3 Cup was my best outing for the series. I was fortunate enough to score the maximum points possible for the race weekend. Two pole positions, two fastest laps and two wins. We have some really good set up data for the car and have kept really good notes on some slight improvements we can make to the set up on the car. Everyone here at 911 Design has been focused on getting the cars prepped for the event for myself and Dave Elsner (No. 93 Porsche in Diamond Masters) and are excited to be returning to a track we know very well.”
The Diamond Masters class has seen a number of different drivers taking the top step of the podium in the first eight races of the year, with WinWard Racing’s Bryce Ward leading the charge heading into the UMC event weekend.
“I am really looking forward to the weekend,” said Ward, who is teammates with his son Russell, who competes in the Diamond category. “I do enjoy this track, and had some good success last time we were here. Grant and the crew have given me a great car this season and they are just getting better as the season progresses. The championship is very tight and I expect strong competition all the way to the end of the season.”
Ray Shahi (No. 65 Porsche) leads the Platinum battle after winning the opening seven races of the year. His TruSpeed Autosport teammate Larry Schnur (No. 32 Porsche) took victory in the most recent race to end Shahi’s winning streak. It is sure to be to another great battle in the popular class, which features the 2010-2013 iteration of the Porsche GT3 Cup machine.
The Silver class, which was introduced with the Porsche Cayman Clubsport GT4 platform ahead of the 2016 season, has been an all-out duel between Jeff Kearl (No. 26 Porsche GT4) and Sean McAlister (No. 00 Porsche GT4), who have shadowed each other all year long. Kearl leads the championship battle by just 11 markers and hopes to return to UMC victory lane as he did in June.
“This is a pretty quick turn-around for us with just two weeks between events and we are looking forward to this weekend,” said Competent Motorsport President Greg Franz. “It is great to be racing with another Pirelli group like World Challenge and Utah Motorsports Campus is a track that we’ve been racing on for years. It is a home event for some of our drivers and teams, so it is always one that folks have highlighted on their calendars.”
Thursday will open with testing ahead of Friday’s two official practice sessions. Saturday and Sunday will both feature qualifying and a 45 minute race.
Thursday, August 10
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy Testing
11:20 AM – 11:50 AM Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy Testing
3:30 PM – 4:15 PM Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy Testing
Friday, August 11
8:30 AM – 9:00 AM Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy Practice
11:50 AM – 12:20 PM Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy Practice
Saturday, August 12
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy Warm Up
9:50 AM – 10:35 AM Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy Qualifying
3:45 PM – 4:30 PM Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy Race 1
Sunday, August 13
8:25 AM – 8:55 AM Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy Warm Up
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy Qualifying
1:45 PM – 2:30 PM Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy Race 2
Source. Sunday Group