The Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA enters its final stretch of races this weekend with the first of the final three events that will mark the end of the 2017 season. This weekend features a return to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. The challenging 3.4-mile Formula 1 grade road course is a popular one among the field of Porsche racers with a 30-car field set to take part.
Though heavy rain has enveloped the Austin area this week following Hurricane Harvey, the weather is expected to clear for this weekend’s racing.
Loren Beggs (No. 08 911 Design Porsche) leads the way in the Diamond class championship with seven podium finishes – including four victories – to his credit already this year. He is followed by Max Root (No. 07 GT Technik Porsche) who won the season-opener at Thunderhill and Russell Ward (No. 35 WinWard Racing Porsche).
“I was fortunate enough to drive in the inaugural Formula 1 event with the Pirelli GT3 Cup Porsche Trophy USA – winning first in class,” said Beggs. “I have been back to the track subsequently five times for different events. Performance is critical for this upcoming weekend in terms of physical and car preparation. It’s going to be hot and humid so I have increased my regime with my trainer and everyone at 911 Design has done an excellent job preparing the cars for myself and my teammate Dave Elsner.”
The father-son duo of WinWard Racing – Bryce and Russell Ward – call Houston, Texas home and have been dealing with the severe flooding in the area following Hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately due to the flooding in area, the two will not be able to compete in this weekend’s event.
The pair had been looking forward to competing once again in their home state at their home track. Bryce Ward has stood on all but one Diamond Masters class podium this year and continues to sit atop the championship standings heading into the COTA event – where he experienced his first-ever Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA race just last year.
“Our thoughts are with all of those affected by the hurricane and wish them a speedy recovery,” said Bryce Ward. “COTA is a wonderful track and is the track where I had my first race event ever (in the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA) and where I had my first ever podium so there are lots of fond memories there. I want to thank the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy organizers for all the improvements they have made to the series and I wish everyone safe travels to Texas.”
In the Platinum category, it’s the familiar name of Ray Shahi who leads the championship. The TruSpeed Autosport driver of the No. 65 Sterling Collision Porsche has been at the top of the charts in almost every single race this year.
The Silver class has seen a battle between Jeff Kearl (No. 26 Rearden Racing Porsche) and Sean McAlister (No. 00 Competition Motorsports Porsche) all season long, but it’s Kearl that leads the way with his seven wins to McAlister’s two wins.
It’s also been a familiar sight at the top of the Silver Masters leaderboard with Steve Goldman (No. 1 Competition Motorsports Porsche) leading Martin Brauns in the championship. Goldman has won eight races this year while Brauns has scored victory twice.
Round 6 will kick off at COTA on Friday with three practice sessions followed by two full race days on Saturday and Sunday.
Friday, September 1
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM Practice 1
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM Drivers Meeting (Series Trailer)
1:15 PM – 1:45 PM Practice 2
5:45 PM – 6:05 PM Practice 3
Saturday, September 2
8:10 AM – 8:35 AM Practice
8:50 AM – 9:05 AM GT3 Qualifying
9:05 AM – 9:20 AM GT4 Qualifying
1:00 PM – 1:30 PM Drivers Meeting (Series Trailer)
2:50 PM – 3:25 PM Race 11
Sunday, September 3
8:00 AM – 8:20 AM Practice
9:10 AM – 9:25 AM GT3 Qualifying
9:25 AM – 9:40 AM GT4 Qualifying
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM Drivers Meeting (Series Trailer)
1:45 PM – 2:20 PM Race 12
Source. Sunday Group