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May 08, 2014 - 06:12 AM
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Crazy Race Weekend Leads to Career Finish, Safety Concerns
Posted by: newsla on May 08, 2014 - 06:09 AM
Sports Cars
Crazy Race Weekend Leads to Career Finish, Safety Concerns

SERKET Racing driver Mark Llano fought his way to a career-best sixth- and seventh-place finishes in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama last weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.


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"I thought this was one of the toughest races I've been in, even more so than last year," Llano said. "There was absolute craziness out there, but it was great to end the weekend in sixth place, so we're happy about that."

Llano had to fight for every inch of track in the No. 24 Multicam-wrapped Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. Both races in the ultra-competitive Gold Cup Masters class included multiple yellow flags and plenty of contact, which raised concerns for the driver.

"There are times when I think; if I'm going to be taking shots like that, I would rather be taking them back in the Marine Corps," Llano said. "It's a tough track to begin with, but when there are teams driving so recklessly during the race, it can lead to some extremely dangerous situations on the track that can be avoided by just keeping in mind that the rules are there for a reason: to keep us all safe."

Llano is much more conscious of track and driver safety issues since joining the board of the Motorsport Safety Foundation with NGT Motorsport teammates Henrique and Eduardo Cisneros.

"I think as far as the track goes, it has great safety conditions," Llano said. "But I do feel like there needs to be a review of the last race. Driving rules like the 2-feet-in rule aren't always being abided by. When someone is trying to get back on the track and they don't pay attention to that rule it creates a very hazardous situation for other drivers.

"There are things we need to be conscious of in order to maintain the highest level of safety, but overall it really was a great weekend of racing."

In addition to a race-filled weekend, Llano and SERKET Racing joined Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in its efforts to support the nation's veterans and warriors by celebrating a Military Appreciation Day at the track.

Llano met with various members of the military, signed autographs and talked to them about the SERKET Racing mission. The team also donated multiple items to a silent auction, which raised funds for the Monterey Bay Veterans Foundation and VET Motorsports.

Monterey Bay Veterans Inc. (MBV) is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization, which exists to honor and support those who have served and sacrificed for our nation.
VET Motorsports honors and empowers disabled combat veterans through active participation in motorsports.

"There was a lot going on at the track this weekend," Llano said. "But we always want to remember our mission and continue to support those who sacrifice so much defending our freedoms. This was just a small way for us to say thanks to those great people."

Llano will race again May 23-24 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut, a new track for the driver, in the next round of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.

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