It was a solid first day of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama practice for Canadian youngster Roman De Angelis, who posted the day’s fastest time of 1 minute, 26.556 seconds (95.660 mph) in the No. 1 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911.
De Angelis’ quick time came during the 30-minute morning session. He was fifth in the 45-minute afternoon session, but his morning time was more than two tenths of a second faster than afternoon leader Trenton Estep in the No. 3 JDX Racing Porsche.
After the morning session, De Angelis was confident in his and the team’s ability to find more speed as the weekend went on. They’ll get another chance in qualifying Saturday morning at 8 a.m. CT, and also in Saturday’s first 45-minute race of the doubleheader weekend, which starts at 11:50 a.m. CT.
“P1 is pretty good, but there’s definitely some things we can work on,” De Angelis said. “We didn’t get the optimal pace out of the car, there were a little bit of traffic issues, so I think there are two or three more tenths easy in the car and myself, especially, so I think we have the pace for the weekend. I hope we’re the guy to win at the end.”
It’s a big weekend for De Angelis and the team, as his No. 1 Porsche carries sponsorship from the nearby Children’s Hospital of Alabama. In fact, the livery on the car includes hand prints from some of the hospital’s patients.
“I mean, Children’s Hospital of Alabama and Medical Properties Trust are here this weekend as well for our event, so that’s going to be cool,” De Angelis said. “Hopefully, we can grab a win for them as well. I’m looking forward to it and to grab some valuable points back from Sebring.”
De Angelis finished second in Race 1 at Sebring and 10th in Race 2 after a last-lap incident while battling for the win with Estep. As a result, De Angelis currently sits fourth in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA Platinum Cup point standings, 14 behind Estep, who leads.
Fazekas Enjoying Atmosphere at Barber Motorsports Park
Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama driver Kurt Fazekas is making the most of his visit to Barber Motorsports Park.
“Just the environment here, the rolling hills, the elevation changes – we had a lot of down time between our morning session and our second session, so I took that time to go over to the museum,” said Fazekas. “I walked through all the bridges, around through all the woods and waterfalls. You get a real appreciation for the whole property and not just the course itself. It’s a real beautiful masterpiece they’ve done with this place.”
It also looked pretty good through the windshield of Fazekas’ Kelly-Moss Road and Race-prepared No. 52 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup machine on Friday. He was quickest in the Gold Cup class for cars built between 2014 and 2016 in the afternoon session.
“You know, I’m an old guy trying to keep up with these young kids,” said Fazekas after the day’s second practice session. “Just to keep pace and make sure that we’re staying out of everybody’s way but still be quick, I’m really pleased with it. We just have to keep it going for tomorrow when it really matters.”
Both of this weekend’s GT3 Cup Challenge USA races will be streamed live on IMSA.tv. The first race starts Saturday at 12:50 p.m. ET and the second is Sunday at 9:45 a.m. ET.