Lakeville, Conn. – What was predicted to be a rain-filled race day ended up being only half true as the first IMSA GT3 USA Cup presented by Yokohama race event saw bright, sunny and dry conditions at Lime Rock Park and all three Competition Motorsports drivers capitalized to bring home top-10 results, including a podium finish for Fred Poordad.
Michael Lewis finished just a step off the podium with a fourth place finish in Platinum class competition, while Fred Poordad led the charge in the Gold class with a third-place finish as well as a Masters class podium. Blair Chang rounded out the Competition Motorsports effort with an eighth place finish. However, the lacking morning rain came back with a vengeance in the afternoon, leading the series to cancel the second race of the day.
The short 1.50-mile track of Lime Rock Park presented unique traffic challenges for the packed 25-car Porsche field and all three Competition Motorsports drivers felt the effects. Lewis fought through traffic at the front of the field in his No. 98 Competition Motorsports/Curb-Agajanian Porsche 911 the entire race, eventually catching the end of the Platinum class field. Lewis ran as high as third but settled for a finish equal to his starting position along with a healthy portion of points, leaving him just four points behind the new championship leader, Angel Benitez Jr.
Poordad suffered misfortune on the start, but fought back hard to bring home a double podium, even on wearing tires and a slight power issue in the final laps of the race. After dropping back to ninth from his sixth place start, Poordad charged back up the pack in the No. 02 Affinity Motorsports/TLI/Competition Motorsport machine, capitalizing on the only restart of the race to gain positions and then maintain momentum until the end of the race. In addition to his third place Gold Class result, he also brought home second place in Masters Class competition, giving him a heaping helping of points and securing first place in both the Gold and Masters Class Championships.
Chang fought similarly hard throughout the race, running as high as third place around the halfway mark, but unfortunately got caught up in the Platinum class battle for the lead and suffered damage to the No. 9 The Agency/Competition Motorsports Porsche 911, ultimately ending his race day and forcing him to settle for a result behind what he knew the Porsche was capable of.
With the cancellation of round six of the IMSA GT3 USA Cup presented by Yokohama, the series looks to possibly add a makeup race later in the season, although the track has not yet been specified.
The Competition Motorsports team now looks forward to a short break in racing action ahead of the next rounds of competition at Watkins Glen June 26-29.
Fred Poordad – “Yeah, some guys jumped the start and I got passed illegally by one or two cars on the start there, so that wasn’t the greatest and it put me back in the pack. But I managed to fight back. I lost a lot of grip as the race went on. I had a great car at the beginning, but towards the end it got harder, but we will make some adjustments and learn from that. I lost power in fourth gear on the last few laps there so we will have to check that out for the next race as well. But I’m happy with this result. It’s a bit frustrating to not get to run the second race, I really felt like the car was good and the guys worked really hard on it so I think we could have brought home a solid result. But such is weather and racing.”
Michael Lewis – “That was a pretty gnarly race! It was a lot of fun though because everyone was attacking the whole time and trying to mess the car in front of them up. I was able to capitalize on the misfortune of the guy in third and popped up into third place. Then I got caught up in lapped traffic and it became a game of who could get through the cleanest, so I finished up in fourth because of some of those traffic issues. But it was okay, I started and finished fourth so that is good. With some hard fighting I nearly got third so that is good. I’m happy with the result, although I was really looking forward to race two! I brought the car home clean for the first race and I was going to start further up for the second so I was hoping to not have to deal as much with lapped traffic. I was hoping it would stay dry because the first race gave us a really good frame of reference for that, but obviously that didn’t happen. So oh well, on to the next one!”