Practice

“Did three laps’ worth and called it good”

Super-fast kid shows Pirelli GT3 field how it’s done

AUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 16, 2012) – A Utah teenager upstaged a field of his seniors to set fastest practice time ahead of the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA West support race at Sunday’s 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™.

The last live action on the first day of racing at the Circuit of The Americas™ was a half-hour session featuring 30 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars. The fastest lap was turned by Madison Snow, a 16-year-old driver from Lehi, Utah.

“It was hard getting used to the track because I hadn’t really played it very much in the video games, I actually hate video games,” he said after the session. “I did like three laps’ worth on the game and called it good. So I just learned the track the first couple of laps during the session and as soon as I could get clear track out of traffic, I was able to turn the fastest lap.”

The Porsche GT3 Cup Trophy West, whose series is based in Newport Beach, California, is one of three support races that will be held during the Formula 1 US Grand Prix weekend at the Circuit of the Americas™.

The race will feature 30 drivers in stock racing versions of the fabled Porsche 911. The opportunity to compete during the Grand Prix’s inaugural weekend attracted all of the top series drivers from the 2012 season. And, at this point, 16-year-old Madison is showing them the way.

“I just feel great for this weekend,” Snow said. “This track is awesome, really high speed, its fast, its technical, but it’s smooth.”

Snow, the youngest driver to win a GT3 series race, has been driving go-karts since the age of four. His parents, Martin and Melanie, are also both drivers.

GT3 qualifying takes place Saturday at COTA, and their race is the first action on the card for race day Sunday morning.

“I just can’t wait to get back out there,” Snow said.

Qualifying

Young versus not-so-young in Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA West

Venezuelan driver grabs pole for Porsche race

AUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 17, 2012) – Venezuela’s Henrique Cisneros will sit on pole when the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA West race begins Grand Prix Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas™ track.

The field is set for the 9 am start with Cisneros being joined on the first row by Phil Fogg Jr. Starting third will be the fastest driver in Friday’s practice, Utah teenager Madison Snow.

Cisneros sounded confident in the paddock just after qualifying finished late Saturday afternoon. “The track is so new to us and every lap out you get a little bit quicker. I’m sure by the time we finish the race we’ll be going faster,” he said.

“The track is a lot of fun, it’s very technical and luckily the team gave me a good car and a good set-up and I was able to put a fast lap out. I’m looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow morning.”

Unlike Formula 1, the Porsche series begins the race from a rolling start.

The 16-year-old Snow commented that the morning start will be a lot different in the cool temperatures. “We’re going to start with somewhat cold tires and just see what happens,” said Snow. “I’m not a particularly strategic person, I’m just going to line up and let it go.”

The GT3 series, which features a racing version of the Porsche 911, has already finished its competitive season.

The race at COTA during the US Grand Prix weekend has attracted most of the top drivers in the series including the 2012 champion Jim Walsh from Seattle, Washington.

Unlike Snow, Walsh takes a sophisticated and detailed approach to his racing, collecting almost 90 streams of data from his car each track session. He qualified a disappointing 13th on the grid and was looking for answers afterwards.

“I don’t know, maybe it’s us old guys against these young kids or something,” said Walsh. “I was hoping to qualify higher than I am, but bottom line is it’s a glorious weekend here in Texas and I think the fans are having fun and my crew and friends here are all having fun. And that’s the main thing.”

The Race

Snow and Fogg enjoy the sun in Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA West

Utah teen takes out Porsche race at Circuit of The Americas™

AUSTIN, Texas (Nov. 18, 2012) – Teenaged driver Madison Snow from Utah has won the 10-lap sprint for the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA West to kick-start race day at the Circuit of The Americas™.

After a false start it was Phil Fogg Jr. in the #40 Truspeed Porsche who pulled a brilliant inside move through Turn 1 to claim the early lead as pole-sitter Henrique Cisneros was tagged, turned around and rejoined down in 8th position.

Snow, driving the #62 entry under his own name, was glued to Fogg’s rear bumper for five laps but took the lead with a determined move of his own up the inside at the tight left-handed Turn 15 and cruised to victory by a margin of x.xxx seconds.

The other main interest was in a brilliant comeback drive by Cisneros, in the other NGT entry #30, held on after going into Turn 12 too hot on the second-to-last lap to pull off the pass on Mike Mills#41 Effort car for fourth.

The Venezuelan was just too far back to catch D Duerson’s #27 NGT car for the final podium place.