Sonoma Strikes Back at GTSport Racing
Kennesaw, GA - September 2, 2015- Among the vineyards and rolling hills at Sonoma Raceway, there is triumph and heartbreak for GTSport Racing. Championship hopes were dashed in 2013 and in 2014 Championship hopes were renewed. 2015 brought a new narrative of which the ending is unwritten.
Jack Baldwin began the weekend uncharacteristically in sixth place for Race 1. This was a new experience for GTSport Racing as he had historically led every session. Baldwin got a great start and held his position. Unfortunately, slower cars ahead kept the field, including Baldwin, at bay while the leaders were able to drive away for a race of their own. Baldwin clawed his way into the top three and scored a podium finish and the third fastest race lap earned him the third spot on the grid for Race 2.
As Baldwin was entering turn two on the pace lap, his Porsche Cayman S came out from under him and spun. No damage was caused but he was issued a drive-through penalty for the off, placing him dead last. Baldwin put his head down and started picking off his competitors passing an amazing 17 cars in 14 laps to earn a fourth place finish. Baldwin now sits in the third spot in the Driver's Championship with only two races left.
"Sonoma was bittersweet for us," said Baldwin. "Our team was spot on as always and we had great cars but the current configuration gives us nothing to compete with the Camaros. In many ways I am incredibly proud and in many ways I feel incredibly frustrated. Our team effort, I believe, is unparalleled. We will head to Laguna looking to end our season with a win!"
Buz McCall qualified his No. 72 GTSport Racing Porsche Cayman S in the 21st grid position for Race 1 with a fast lap almost a second quicker than his best time in 2014. McCall, more familiar with this course than many of his competitors, used his experience to his advantage in Race 1 to execute passes and overtake six cars to finish in 15th position, earning him the Hard Charger Award and putting him in the same 21st place on the grid for Race 2.
Race 2 brought one of the greatest battles of the weekend between McCall and Preston Calvert in the Phoenix Performance Mustang. McCall and Calvert raced door-to-door for multiple laps, exchanging smooth passes until McCall was able to make a textbook move in Turn 1 on Calvert and proceeded to drive away. McCall again took the checkered flag in 15th position.
"After two straight weeks on the road and back to back races I have renewed respect for NASCAR, Indy Car, and other series drivers and crew members that do this all year long," said McCall. "PWC teams don't typically have backup cars there is extra pressure to make sure the car comes back in one piece as there is no time to make extensive repairs. There is added pressure to hit your marks, and not other cars. I had a fun race and was pleased with my effort, particularly where I had a good race long battle with one of the 7 liter Mustangs. It is a David and Goliath feeling racing around those huge V-8 cars, and particularly fun to bite them in the ankle and runaway. It was great to be home for a few days before heading back to California for the season finale and celebrate my 69th Birthday in seat of my #72 Porsche Cayman."
Watch GTSport Racing take on Sonoma Raceway on CBS Sports Network.
Next stop for GTSport Racing is the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca .