Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA VIRginia International Raceway Friday Notebook
Friday, August 25, 2017

Competitors in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series hit the pavement Friday at a facility where drivers can tackle a “Rollercoaster,” a “Hog Pen,” and an “Oak Tree” all in one lap. The last of these named corners, of course, gives away the location of the bucolic, 3.27-mile rolling road course of VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia. And while the iconic Oak Tree landmark is no longer present, the 21-car pack of 911 GT3 Cup entries wound around its namesake corner during two practice sessions in preparation for a blazing 20-minute qualifying session that will take place Saturday morning.

It was McKay Snow that brought a change to the usual series scenery, topping the charts in combined practice for the first time this season, running a snappy lap around the 17-turn circuit of one minute, 47.911 seconds in his No. 63 Platinum Entry for Wright Motorsports/Snow racing on Lap 8 during the morning session.

19-year-old Snow has been steadily elevating his race craft and his pace as the season progresses, starting with a podium finish at Circuit of the Americas just two rounds into series competition.

Following a close second in combined Platinum Class timing was Snow’s teammate, Anthony Imperato in the No. 91 sponsored by Henry Repeating Arms. Imperato has also gained ground throughout the year in his 2017 Porsche 991 GT3 Cup entry, making him one to watch after a third-place finish at Watkins Glen International.

Not one to be shown up, Hurley Haywood Scholarship winner Jake Eidson cruised his No. 24 Kelly-Moss Road and Race GT3 Cup car across the line third in class in the combined session results. This season, Eidson has already secured 7 pole positions to his credit, and has only finished off the podium once in 10 rounds of competition thus far.

In Gold, Roman De Angelis and Victor Gomez IV finished the day’s running nearly even on the time charts, with De Angelis, in the No. 78 Gold Cup entry for Mark Motors Racing, setting the fastest lap of 1:50.671 to take point. With one race left in the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama, De Angelis has already clinched the Gold Cup Championship, and looks to accomplish the same feat in the U.S. series.

Gomez, from San Juan, Puerto Rico landed just under one second behind De Angelis, the pair of them setting their fastest laps in the first session of the day.

David Baker and his No. 56 TOPP Racing Platinum Masters entry set the pace Friday in the gentlemen class for drivers ages 45 and over.

The competitors will face two 45-minute sprint races on Saturday and Sunday respectively, which will stream live on IMSA.TV and IMSA Radio (IMSA.com).

For more information about Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama, visit www.imsa.com, and follow hashtags #GT3USA and @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

Schedule (all times ET):

Qualifying: 11:40 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 26

Race 1 (45 minutes): 5:55-6:40 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26

Race 2 (45 minutes): 11:05-11:50 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 27

Race Coverage:

Live timing: All on-track sessions at scoring.imsa.com and on the official IMSA app for iOS, Android and Windows.

Live streaming: All on-track sessions will be broadcast on IMSA.TV

TV: Delayed television coverage will be provided on major network affiliates in numerous U.S. markets by Sinclair Broadcast Group on Sept. 16, and the broadcast will be available on YouTube 24 hours after it airs on television.

Twitter: Live text commentary from all sessions at @IMSALive