By Taylor Burris, Podium eSports
Opening Night for Zone Group 5, 10 & 13
The Zone Group kicked off their season last night at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. PCA members fielded the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR in an exciting form of multiclass Porsche racing.
The race was an hour in length along the challenging 2.4-mile course known for its elevation changes and technical turns. Mid-Ohio is a challenge even for many veterans of the sports car world.
On the pole for GT3 Cup was Leon van Haandel who hails from the Kansas City Region while in GT4 Ken Tubman from the Lone Star Region set the pace during qualifying.
The Mid-Ohio Battle
As the green flag dropped, van Haandel and another PCA favorite from the Pro class Christopher Paiz from the Lone Star Region along with Jordan Dyar from the Schones Land Region pulled out to an early three-car breakaway.
Meanwhile, in the opening laps for the GT4 class, Tubman spun coming out of turn one making contact with the barrier and allowing Lanre Sarumi from the Chicago Region to take the lead.
Unfortunately for Sarumi, his luck would run out as he would go off course through turn eleven allowing Andres Castella from the Maverick Region to lead the opening lap.
Trouble struck the GT3 Cup leader on lap number nine as van Haandel entered turn six while approaching lap traffic. He lost control of his GT3 Cup car and went off course, falling back to the third position and allowing Paiz to take the lead.
On lap eleven there was even more trouble for van Haandel as going thru the Esses he lost control of his car ending his race.
Paiz continued to extend throughout the race. Meanwhile, in GT4, on lap twenty GT4 leader Andres Castella went off course coming out of the Carousel handing the race lead over to Ryan McGee from the Nord Stern Region.
McGee would never look back as both he would take the checkered flag in P1 followed by Tubman.
Lap thirty-two saw trouble for Greg Palmer from the Milwaukee Region as he tried to let by P2 of GT3 Cup, Dyar. Palmer went off course and impacted the barriers.
Jean-Paul Lanaux from the Mardi Gras Region also found trouble when he lost control of his race car out of turn fifteen, nearly collecting Joe Stiefel from the Chicago Region.
In the end, Christopher Paiz from the Lone Star Region would win in dominating fashion, finishing by over twenty seconds over second-place finisher Jordan Dyar from the Schones Land Region, rounding out your podium in GT3 Cup was William Anderson from the Longhorn Region in his Brumos inspired car.
Back in GT4, after the mistake from Castello, McGee would never look back and claimed victory followed by an excellent recovery drive from Tubman. Castello rounded out the GT4 podium.
The race’s biggest movers were Joe Stiefel from the Chicago Region and Patrick Gill from the Central Wisconsin Region who both gained five spots by the end of the race, each finishing inside the top ten.