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May 16, 2013 - 05:56 PM
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Wright Motorsports' Snow Rules IMSA GT3 Cup Doubleheader
Posted by: newsla on May 16, 2013 - 05:52 PM
Sports Cars
Wright Motorsports' Snow Rules IMSA GT3 Cup Doubleheader At Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca


Madison Snow was in a class by himself at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Salinas, Calif. last weekend.

 

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Snow not only dominated both 45-minute IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama races on Friday and Saturday, he had a perfect weekend that most drivers only see in their dreams.

Driving the No. 62 UIS Porsche 997 fielded by Wright Motorsports and Snow Racing, Snow won the BBS pole for both races, led every lap of both races and set the fastest race lap in both races to boot.

It was a stunning performance by both the 17-year-old from Lehi, Utah and Wright Motorsports, the Batavia, Ohio-based defending team champion of this IMSA development series for Porsche 997s.

Another Wright Motorsports driver, Kasey Kuhlman of Cincinnati, won the Masters class in both races with a fifth-place finish on Friday and a seventh-place finish on Saturday in the Kuhlsport No. 15.

All three Wright Motorsports drivers were on the podium after Friday's race, as John Baker of New York City won the Yokohama Hard Charger Award.

Snow had to keep calm and collected and continuously hit his marks lap after lap for each of the 11 turns that are part of the 2.238-mile mountaintop road course near Monterey, Calif.

He got a great start on Friday but there was a multi-car accident behind him in Turn 3 before a single lap was in the books. It took about 17 minutes to clear the course, and on the restart on lap seven Snow was able to fight off the best challenges of the second-place driver, Colin Thompson. He turned his fastest lap of the race on lap 11 with a 1:29.908 (89.612 miles her hour), and he had stretched his advantage over Thompson by over 2 seconds before the next lap was scored.

Ashley Freiberg and Michael Mills both passed Thompson on lap 18, although Thompson regained third on the following lap. Their dicing allowed Snow to double his advantage over second to over 4 seconds. He backed off near the end to save his Yokohamas, but he still had a 2.011-second lead over Freiberg at the checkered flag.

Kuhlman started seventh on Friday but he moved up to sixth right away by missing the carnage around him. He moved into fifth on lap 18 when Eduardo Cisneros ran into problems. Two laps later he was embroiled in the fiercest battle on the track while he diced with Brett Sandberg, The latter got around him on lap 22 but Kuhlman rebounded to fifth on the very last lap when Michael Mills dropped back. He had a 0.519-second advantage over the second-place Masters driver, Daniel Duerson, on Friday.

Baker drove a terrific race too. He started 16th but he was able to turn that into an eighth-place finish so all three Wright Motorsports cars finished in the top 10 on Friday. Baker started 17th on Saturday but he blasted up to 11th at the start of that race, only to run into problems which caused him to finish 21st on Saturday.

Snow had a harder time on Saturday too because his 4.233-second advantage over Sloan Urry was erased by a full-course caution on lap 18 of that 29-lap race when David Williams' Porsche got off course in Turn 6 and got stuck in a sand trap. Snow was more than up to the challenge, however, and he had a 2.377-second advantage over Urry at the checkered flag. His fastest race lap came on lap five with a 1:29.558 (89.962 mph).

Kuhlman started third on Saturday and finished seventh overall to win the Masters class for the second day in a row. He was 5.968 seconds ahead of Duerson for the class victory on Saturday.

The doubleheader supported the American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patron endurance race.

The next event will be part of the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, N.Y. June 28-30. It will mark the 100th IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama event ever.

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