Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama - Races 14 & 15, Road Atlanta 2012

Uploaded by drive on 25.10.2012

-The last race of a racing season can mean
many things to a racer.
A chance to celebrate a championship.
A last chance for redemption from a season of missed
opportunities, mistakes, or bad fortune.
Or a chance for redemption from a season of wouldas,
couldas, and shoulda-beens.

Whatever the case, last competition always means the
chance to leave a lasting impression.
When the Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama arrived
in Road Atlanta for the final rounds of the 2012 season,
Sean Johnston and Angel Benitez, Jr. had already been
crowned champions of their respective classes.
Platinum for the faster Porsche GT3 Cup racecars, and
gold for the still fast, but earlier generation of 911s.
But the battle for championship standings two
through seven in both classes were still open competition.
So rounds 14 and 15 would be even more pressure intense.
And with a season of learning and experience downloaded in
the psyche of each and every Porsche Cup racer to call
upon, the fight for the best possible last of season
results was on.
The knowledge gained from 2012 racing was both
profound and useful.
MILES MARONEY: The thing that I'm learning the most is--
a couple things, really.
It's approaching the Porsche as a whole.
All the weight's in the rear, so that's a completely
different feeling from anything I've ever done.
MADISON SNOW: This year's been different because I've been on
like a team--
Wright Motor Sports.
I've learned a lot about more team driving and
team playing together.
That's what I've learned this year.
I mean, so much of this, people put it all on the
driver, but they don't see what goes
on behind the scenes.
-The experience of a Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup racing season was
the teacher and textbook for valuable lessons
and teachable moments.
FERNANDO PENA: We have learned, or I have learned
personally, through [INAUDIBLE] and coaches and
whatnot, if you're having fun, chances are
that you will do well.
So it would be a double whammy, but my number one goal
to finish the season is let's finish in one
piece, let's have fun.
-Race one came to the hills, S's, and fastback stretch of
Road Atlanta with a starting grid sorted by the variable
factor of a damp track in qualify.
That's not to say, BBS pole award winner Madison Snow
would not have taken P1 without the help of those who
struggled with the low grip conditions.
Like Sean Johnston, starting only P5 after locking a front
brake and sliding into the Georgia turf.
He was not alone.
And Effort Racing teammates Michael Mills and Bryce Miller
each tried different qualifying strategies that had
limited results.
So while the front of the race did have the familiar names of
the fast guys from the 2012 season, it was in a somewhat
reordered progression.
Which immediately started to change as the race began.
But that is the norm with the competitiveness
of the Porsche Cup.
-Suddenly, and sometimes patiently, the lessons learned
about how to race in this series were translated from
knowledge and theory to execution and action.
Close racing, measuring the on-track tendencies of the
racer in front, and pushing, pushing, pushing, made the
action intense.
Except for gold champion Angel Benitez, Jr., who started P1
in class, and methodically held station to race end,
stamping another grade of authority
on this 2012 dominance.
David Calvert-Jones did make come through the field moves
to capture P1 in class and in the championship standings.
In platinum, they're definitely were passes and
close racing happening.
Bryce Miller and Sloan Urry showed each other vigilance
and determination.

Michael Mills started an unsatisfactory for him P16,
the victim of that failed qualifying strategy.
But then turned in a case study of Porsche Cup passing
to raise his finishing grade to P5, and earn himself a
Yokohama Hard Charger Award of the race.
Sean Johnston, educating the rest of the field by winning
more than half his races, finishing on the podium every
race except one, again showed the class of 2012 why he is
the professor of them all.

Measuring the competition, waiting for the right moment,
and then, into turn one, Sean passes Madison for the lead in
yet another winning validation of his 2012 championship.
Fernando Pena finished P3 to solidify his hold on that spot
in the championship standings, behind Madison's P2 season
spot, and Sean's P1 dominance.
Track battle's such as that of Bryce Miller and Sloan Urry
made it useful for fans to monitor the entire field for
great racing.
It was clear that a season of Porsche Cup had not diminished
the fervor to compete.

Race two proved that point right from the start.
This race was it.
The absolute last chance in the 15 race, 2012 season to
make a last impression.
First impressions may be important to socializing and
sales, but in racing, it's all about the last.
What have you done lately is the measure.
And to start the race, Sean Johnston put himself back on
pole position to impress all one more time with his speed.
Michael Mills, Fernando Pena, Madison Snow followed in
order, making last race qualifying statements
consistent with season performance.
These racers were most consistently
the 2012 front runners.
But if 2012 was about lessons learned, the two most basic of
racing lessons got lost in the urgency of-- this is the last
race, I've got to make something happen now.
Lesson one, the race is never won on the first lap.
Lesson two, to finish first, first you must finish.
-You shouldn't cut class if you want to learn.
You can't cut corners if you want to race to the end.
The penalties are severe.
For these racers, studying the Turn 12 action and run to the
start line will be frustrating, but should be
educating, too.
And when the restart green flew, so did Sean Johnston.
One final time proving his class of field status.
Angel Benitez, Jr. did the same in gold.
Like always, the action in all positions was Porsche Cup
Classic right to last checker for the 2012 season.
Congratulations to champion John Johnston and Angel
Benitez, Jr., and all the racers who put their talents
on the line and their willingness to learn in front
of the American Le Mans Series audience.
The IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama teaches
racers young and old, racing career aspirants, and
gentleman drivers the lessons of motor sport competition.