Race 1 Quotes from the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
ArmsUp Motorsports, USF2000
Started 12th // Finished 11th
Will start Race 2 in 14th
I had a pretty good start. I put myself in a position where I could make some passes. There was some wreckage in the first turn, and I just tried to do everything I could to avoid that. I ended up getting around that incident without damaging anything on the car. I had a decent pace out there and the team did great giving me a better set up this time out there to put down better laps. I was battling with a few guys out there and went side by side through turn three with another competitor and ended up making contact. That put him in the wall, and knocked my car out of alignment, so we had to fight that gremlin the rest of the race. I was able to bring it home and finish, which I am happy about. I want to thank ArmsUp Motorspots for all their hard work and Juniper Networks and Cinicon for making all this possible. Tomorrow, we are looking to keep building on our pace and keep a clean race by staying out of trouble and finishing.
Started 15th // DNF
Will start Race 2 in 16th
Not the way we wanted to start the season. We cane to grid and the brakes didn’t feel quite what they should I tried working on it on the formation lap, and then they were just never there. I never had the bite, and it was a soft pedal. I came in after the first lap after really struggling to get around. We bled the front brakes and it didn’t do anything, and still had some issues. I ended up clipping and spun in Turn 4 when I went to hit the brakes. That’s racing, so we will look back at it and plug away to try to get some points tomorrow. It’s frustrating, but there’s always another day.
Keyvan Andres Soori
Started 9th // DNF
Will start Race 2 in 10th
I was having a good start, but then going into the corner in Turn 1, another driver just charged the entry and hit me. It bent my rear tire, so I just had to withdraw. I’m looking forward to tomorrow to have a good race and finish the weekend off well.
Pirelli World Challenge
Kevin Estre // #9 K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports McLaren 650S GT3
Started 2nd // Finished 5th
Will start Race 2 in 4th
For the first race here in St. Petersburg, we started 2nd and finished 5th, which is not really the race we wanted to have. In the end, we survived, which is a good point because there was a lot of trouble out there. We lost a place at the start then another at the restart. The Cadillac definitely has a lot more power in the straight line and then I got in a big fight with the Lamborghini. Then he passed me and then was given a drive through contact, which placed us in 5th. It was a tough race, and I think we can improve the car for tomorrow and try to have a better start. Our start was much better than what we experienced in race one at COTA, but we still need to improve on that a little bit on the set up. It was okay because we took some points, and I think we are still right there with the championship. It’s going to be a long season and I’m so glad I survived this race.
Robert Thorne // #6 K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports McLaren 650S GT3
Started 5th // Finished 24th
Will start Race 2 in 16th
It was a tough race today. We had a nice start and kept the car in the top 10, which is an improvement from the previous event. Unfortunately, a few laps after the first caution, we had some minor contact in the right rear of the car which got us turned around. Apparently the other driver missed his braking zone which is fortunate for him, but unfortunate for us. It kind of put a stopper to our race even though we were able to continue. But we weren’t able to improve on positions as the race was called a bit short due to another incident. We will have another go at it tomorrow. I’m happy to see Kevin keep his car in the top five.
Program Manager Darren Law
All in all, it was a pretty hectic race, between the beginning accident and the traffic, which you expect on a street course. We will be happy with coming home in 5th with Kevin, and unfortunately for Robert, he got turned around early in the race, which put him back. It will be a tough start for the second race being from that position. Right now, this is one of the street courses we just want to come away with points and move on to the next event.
Ryan Dalziel // #31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R
Started 3rd // Finished 2nd
Will start Race 2 in 7th
Good race, good points. We definitely had a faster car than the Acura to win, but it was a chill race and very difficult to overtake around here. I’m happy with second and we will make the car a little bit better for tomorrow because we are starting a little further back than we want to. It’s good though. We’ll take the points lead and move on to tomorrow and try to leave St. Petersburg with a couple of podiums.
Michael Lewis // #41 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R
Started 3rd in GTA // 1st in GTA
Will start Race 2 in 18th overall (4th in GTA)
Big thanks to EFFORT Racing. The car was pretty solid throughout the race, and it was just a matter of survival, really. From the green flag up until the end of the last lap, it was really just surviving a lot of cars hitting each other, and we got through it clean. From there, it was just making sure my tires were warm and my engineer and crew chief Ricky Martino was giving me updates on when the green flag was going to happen so I could really get the tires hot. Once we went green for the majority of the race, at the end, I was just trying to get around the Acura, which had a good pace. It wasn’t in my class, so my team again was giving me good information on what I should really do and what I should focus on, which was the GTA class lead. We got the win, and I couldn’t be any happier. It’s pretty awesome to be able to travel from practice all the way into the race and be this successful. Congratulations to my teammate Ryan, who was hauling up front the whole time. So now we will focus on the car and my driving, and try to get better for Race 2.