The 2016 race season definitely hasn’t started the way we had hoped. After a massive crash at St. Pete, the team and I were left wondering how and if we were going to race the rest of the season. Luckily we have a lot of support behind us and we were able to rebuild our GT3 Cup car in time for Rounds 5 and 6 at Barber Motorsports Park, without missing a race in the process. I can’t say enough about how thankful I am for the time and effort everyone put into fixing this car and the safety of the Porsche GT3 Cup cars.
The weather for our races was fabulous. Barber is such a fun track but it’s extremely tough to pass on. It’s also the closest we come to racing at a country club all season. The facility is amazing. I’ve been told you even have to pay for the grass if you go off track and mess it up. If that doesn’t motivate you not to make a mistake, I don’t know what will!
We started off the weekend pretty well qualifying in second, our highest starting position all season. The first race was pretty busy for about 30 minutes while I defended second place, but for the next 20 minutes we spread out a bit and I maintained about a two second gap over third, which is where we would finish. I got my first podium of the season and my first in the new Cup car. It was a great reward for the crew guys who spent many hours getting the car back out on track. They deserved it.
For our second race we started from second as well, but it was much more action packed. The entire race I battled to keep second place, nose to tail with third. We were side by side many times. About 47 minutes in to our 50-minute race, only 0.4 seconds separated us. With two laps to go we caught a slower GTA car that was two laps down. As I was passing him on the outside of Turn 2, he moved over and hit my right rear, spinning me out into the gravel trap and ending our race.
It wasn’t the way we wanted to end the weekend by any means, but we proved that we are now a threat and will be coming into the next race with more confidence than ever. Every session I get in the car feels more comfortable and I feel like we’ve made big strides from where we began this season. I think we’ll soon be competing for the win. I’m already looking forward to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park May 19-22.