GT3 Cup Challenge USA Circuit of The Americas Thursday Notebook
Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama began series practice today in Austin, Texas at Circuit of The Americas for Rounds 5 and 6 of series competition as part of the Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown May 4 through 6.

A strong line-up of Texas-based drivers and teams dominated the series in two practice sessions today on the 3.4-mile sculpted circuit in sunny, but windy and cool conditions.

In the Platinum Cup class, comprised of the new 2017 model Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, 17-year-old Trenton Estep of San Antonio, Texas set the pace in his JDX Racing/Hertz No. 3 entry with a fastest time of two minutes, 10.484 seconds set in Practice 1.

Hurley Haywood Scholarship Winner Jake Eidson was hard on Estep’s heels in the No. 24 car of Kelly-Moss Road and Race to finish the day second in Platinum Cup in combined results. Eidson has won three of the last four races in Platinum competition.  

The Austin, Texas based team of Moorespeed slid into third overall in Platinum Cup practice with driver Corey Fergus in the No. 00, backed by US LED and Byers Imports.

Not to be outdone by Estep, 18-year-old McKay Snow led Practice 2 for Wright Motorsports with a fastest lap time of 2:11.693 which put him fifth in Platinum Class and overall in combined session timing.

The Snow family has strong roots in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA series with brother Madison and mother Melanie each earning prior championships. Melanie was the first female to win a class championship in 2009 in Gold Cup, while Madison grabbed the honors as the youngest driver to win a championship in 2011 in Gold. He followed up in 2013, taking the Platinum Cup championship for Snow Racing.

This was a strong change of pace for Snow, who finished eighth and ninth last year in GT3 Cup Challenge USA competition at Circuit of The Americas.

Another Austin, Texas-based hometown driver favorite, Jeff Mosing, was the fastest in the Platinum Masters category with a lap of 2:11.310 in first practice in the No. 01 TOPP Racing/Mosing Motorcars entry. This time pushed him into the top five overall. Experienced drivers 45 years of age compete for class and overall honors in the Masters category. TOPP Racing is also a Texas-based team, hailing from Cresson.

Victor Gomez IV led the Gold Cup competition with a fastest lap set in the first practice session in the morning of 2:14:220 in the NGT Motorsport/Mapfre No. 25 car. He led David Ducote, who has returned to series competition after a short hiatus in the Kelly-Moss Road and Race No. 6 entry.

Also hailing from the Lone Star State is Frank Raso from Cleburne, Bill Smith of Dallas, and a contingent from Austin – Fred Kaimer, and Alan Metni and the team of CJ Wilson Racing.

Qualifying is set for tomorrow, Friday, May 5 from 10:15 - 10:35 a.m. CDT, followed by two 45-minute races - the first, the series only night race, takes place at 6:40 pm Friday. The second race will take the green flag on Saturday, May 6 at 11:00 a.m. Live timing for every race is available at IMSA.com.

Both Porsche GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama races will stream live at IMSA.tv and will be broadcast live online by IMSA Radio at IMSA.com.

Follow IMSA on Facebook and @IMSA on Twitter with the hashtag #GT3USA for updates on the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.

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