hich was on display this summer at Porsche Design at the South Coast Plaza) claimed the first win for the team, as well as his own first win in the Series, in Saturday’s race one. Having done 8 laps in qualifying, Miller saved his best for last, going from p8 in class to p2 on the last lap of the session. In the race, he passed for the lead on the third lap, and had an untroubled run to his first win.
Orange County’s own TruSpeed Motorsports of Costa Mesa/Newport Beach went to Laguna Seca this past weekend aiming to dip a toe in the waters of the IMSA GT3 Challenge Series. TruSpeed did it in preparation for a full season in the Series in 2012 and emerged with a victory in their first race. Bryce Miller, driving the #35 TruSpeed / Verve / Oakley Porsche GT3 Cup, (w
Team Manager Tyler Tadevic was enthused about the team’s form on the weekend. “It’s been a big challenge for our team to get ready for our first IMSA GT3 Challenge race here, and that challenge extends to our drivers as well. Bryce has been progressing in his racecraft all season long, and he showed on Saturday that he’s got a lot of speed and savvy about him. We couldn’t have asked for a better result, and I think Bryce has showed there’s a lot yet to come from him.”
Tadevic continued, “The team made a mistake in preparing for tech with Sloan Urry’s #12 H2O Overdrive / TruSpeed car in qualifying for Saturday’s race, and as a result, he had to start from the back of the grid. He took it really well, even though he was disappointed to lose his 3rd place qualifying position. He drove the wheels off the car in Saturday’s race though, going from dead last to finish 4th in class, which is really a testament to his skill.”
David Hansson qualified sixth in the #37 37Signals / TruSpeed Porsche for Saturday’s race, .4 of one second off of pole position, finishing 4th and in the process qualifying 5th for Sunday’s race, based on his best lap time in race one.
Tadevic said, “David performed as advertised. He was humble, eager to listen and learn, and he definitely showed speed on track. His enthusiasm for driving is pretty infectious, and he was our most consistent finisher this weekend. We were really pleased with Tom Haacker in the #80 TruSpeed/G22 Racing car, too. He’s only been racing one year, and managed to improve his times in every session on what was a very busy track. He had a good race on Saturday, gaining experience, and in Sunday’s race he got pushed wide and went into the wall in turn 11, but we’re proud of the job he did and excited to see him progress as a driver. With Bryce’s win and Hansson’s 4th place finish in Saturday’s race, though, TruSpeed placed two cars in the top 5 in its inaugural GT3 Challenge race, which is a stellar accomplishment for the team.”
Sunday’s race two was a bit more unkind to TruSpeed. Bryce Miller started 3rd – resulting from his fastest lap in Saturday’s race – and was shuffled back to 4th place on the start. He spent several laps circulating, and held up behind the 3rd placed car before passing for position. On a later restart, he inherited 2nd place when the car in P1 went off track, but a flying rock punctured his radiator and he was forced to retire out of second place rather than detonate his engine.
David Hansson was able to climb to 4th on the start and worked his way up to 2nd over the course of the race. He had a small bobble on course, ripped off the splitter on a kerb, but was able to nurse his damaged car home to 4th place.
Sloan Urry, by virtue of his fast lap in Saturday’s race, qualified 4th for Sunday’s race, and unfortunately got punted from behind while racing for a podium spot, pushing him into the car ahead of him and puncturing his radiator and forcing the retirement of the car.
TruSpeed is planning a full-season program in the IMSA GT3 Challenge Series for 2012, and will run four cars again at Road Atlanta in the 2011 Series finale Sep. 30 – Oct. 2.