We enjoyed joining the Yokohama Drivers Cup USA and left with 3 happy double winners of the weekend!
Now we are looking forward to planning the 2022 Race season with an exciting schedule to look forward to!
Meeker led the opening laps until Persico dove inside on lap 3 at turn 11, braking late for the overtake but not long term relief.
From pole position earlier in the day to chasing down the lead Meeker explained: “Steel vs carbon and stick versus paddle shift… I pushed as hard as I could… maybe I could have dove down in the carousel, but then he just outbreaks you again… The pitstops were nearly identical but its one thing to catch a guy, another to get by him.”
Meeker would retire on the penultimate lap after losing second gear, but set the race fastest laps on lap 9 (1:35.948s) and again on lap 15 (1:35.071s) in pursuit of Persico, who won the race with a fastest lap of 1:36.116s.
Persico, new to the series, felt the pressure: “He was right on my bumper and I tried not to look… It was like the longest race because I’m usually pretty good at endurance, but that was a lot of pressure and it added up because on this track there’s no place to rest. I didn’t think I was going to see him after he drove so well in qualifying.”
Lapped traffic and overtaking went by smoothly during the 45 minute session, and the GT class leader Tom Mueller (2014 Corvette C7R) managed a third place overall to share the podium with the co-piloting team of Ron Maiden and Marcus Jewell (2016 Ginetta LMP3) who took second.
“It’s not a car that you would typically throw around, but its forgiving…this is really my second event in this car.” said Mueller, with a best lap time of 1:41.256s. Doug Baron (2000 Porsche 996 GT3 RS) was the next closest GT Class finisher in sixth place with a best time of 1:45.398s.
John Cahalin (2016 GInetta LMP3) and Cal Meeker placed 4th and 5th for the remaining points positions.