International GT hosted round three of the 2020 Championship season at the ever-popular Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. The field of more than 30 cars was the largest attendance for this event with about a third of the field claiming the 2.4 mile circuit home asphalt.
We welcomed 10 new drivers to the series including ANDY PILGRIM Exhibition Class #53 Ferrari 458 GT3 with SKI Autosport claiming the top overall position in all three races. Andy didn’t have it easy though with ever consistent pressure from FRED POORDAD #20 in his Mission Foods GT3 Cup Porsche 4R from Wright Motorsports. Another newcomer to the series and also from the Wright Motorsports stable was ERICH JOINER #10 who finished second in the first sprint race behind Poordad in the 4R category.
A wide variety of cars filled the Exhibition class joining Pilgrim with KEN THWAITS #35 Showtime Motorsports Audi R8 second place podium in sprint race 1. STEVE SCHNEIDER #441 had a terrific weekend in his Porsche finishing second and third in Saturday’s sprint races. NORM GOLDRICH #04 Porsche an IGT newcomer, finished fourth in both sprint races. EFRIN CASTRO #65 TPC Racing Porsche returned to IGT competition and had a great run with a third in sprint race 2 and a second in the enduro. Rounding out the Exhibition category was series favorite, CAMERON McINTYRE #8 VW TCR. As Cameron says, “Driving a slow car fast is always more fun than driving a fast car slow…”
2019 Maranello Cup Champion BENOIT BERGERON #127 Etcetera Racing Ferrari 458 stretched his points lead by winning both sprint races. However it was COLIN COHEN #15 Norwood Auto Italia Ferrari 458 with co-driver JASON HART out-dueling Bergeron for the enduro race win. SEBASTIAN COPPOLA #288 RM Motorsports joined Bergeron and Cohen on the podium for the sprint races.
In the Stuttgart Cup Cayman 3.4 category, reigning champion WILL WACHS #017 swept the weekend winning all three races ahead of newcomer, LAWRENCE TRUNK #338 from New Orleans who finished just behind Wachs in the two sprint races. TIM HORRELL #45 Stuttgart Cup 3.8 Breathless Racing pulled double duty in International GT and Trans Am throughout the weekend. Horrell claimed the victory in sprint race 1 but JENS HANTSON #125 from Speedsport Tuning came back for the win in sprint race two and the 90 minute enduro. MICHAEL CLARK #33 Cayman 3.8 returned to the series with a change of cars and classes for a strong run to round out the podium for both sprint races.
The largest group by far belonged to the various classes that make up the Mission Foods GT3 Cup Trophy. We welcomed Wright Motorsports driver, CHARLIE LUCK #145 to the series, who won the first sprint race in the 4 liter category and finished third in sprint race 2. A consistent winner in his 3.6 liter Porsche, TODD SLOAN #25 moved up to the 4 liter class in late-2019. With the help of Wright Motorsports he found the sweet spot in the car’s set up, taking his first IGT win in the 4 liter category in the second sprint race. It was an unusual weekend for two-time Mission Foods GT3 Cup series champion, TOM PANK #42 in his Ultra Performance Porsche, as he never stood on the top step of the podium throughout the weekend. He did however spend more time on the podium than anyone else, taking two seconds behind Luck and Sloan in the sprint races and third in the endruo.
Georgia based Goldcrest Motorsports joined International GT with four cars at Mid Ohio. All newcomers to IGT, the best finish of the weekend was JEFF SMITH #115 teaming up with GRADY WILLINGHAM to take a commanding win in Sunday’s enduro in the Mission Foods GT3Cup 4 liter category. Willingham #21 also had podium finishes in both sprint races. Goldcrest drivers JOE STILL #08 and JOE LOMBARDO #92 had good outings finishing just off the podium in the 4 liter category in the sprint races.
There was a fierce battle in the Mission Foods GT3 Cup 3.8 liter category all weekend as ROBERT WISEN #27, Ultra Performance, and BRIAN HICKS #22 were nose to tail in all three races! The two finished first and second respectively in the sprint races with some of the closest finishes of the weekend. The enduro featured TED GIOVANIS #64 Team TGM teaming with HUGH PLUMB to take an impressive 3.8 liter victory and finishing second overall behind Pilgrim in the 90 minute race.
IGT series photographer John Kernodle has more great photos from the Mid Ohio event. Click on the photo above (Smithee #55-Wachs #017) to link to the Kernodle Photography site.
LUKAS PANK #41, Ultra Performance, joined the series for the first time this year, being otherwise occupied by his classes at Virginia Tech. Just finishing his junior year at VT Lukas had a great weekend sweeping the Porsche 3.6 category in all three races. Pank’s main competition came from Ohioan BRANT GIERE #56X in his Maplecrest Racing “Goat Powered” Porsche who took second place in both sprint races.
It has been busy two weeks of racing for International GT at Road America and Mid Ohio. We have introduced 14 new drivers to the series and shattered the participation record at Mid Ohio. The most exciting was the launch of livestream broadcasting and recording of IGT races from Mid Ohio. You can view both IGT sprint races from Mid Ohio by downloading the SVRA app, just click on the app photo above.
Stay safe, stay healthy. The majority of the schedule resumes at Watkins Glen in September, then on to VIR, Lime Rock, Road Atlanta and Daytona.
Updated June 4, 2020
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