The 2014 PCA Season Begins
With the crazy weather that’s been bombarding the Southeast this winter, it wasn’t a surprise that the PCA season opener at Sebring International Raceway January 30th through February 2nd witnessed wet and blustery conditions for much of the weekend. But a little bad weather didn’t stop us from bringing ten cars to the track and winning 7 races.
The real weather issue wasn’t at the track, in fact. It was home in Charleston on the Wednesday departure date when roads and bridges were frozen and the sleet fell consistently. Without the salt-dispensing plows so common in Northern locales, Charleston’s best strategy to deploy in the face of inclement winter weather is to close the bridges and encourage everyone to stay home. The Autometrics crew delayed their 6am departure for a few hours, then tip-toed out of town when the temperature crept just above freezing and roads became passable.
At the track the crew quickly set about installing rain tires and briefing drivers Gary Pennington, Laurent Verstreken, Anthony Jernigan, Joe Toussaint, Russell Williams, Jimmy Martin, Charles Price, Bob Hahn, Chris Dooley and Kevin Violette about the band of precipitation extending from the Gulf of Mexico through Charleston.
None of whom, race results suggest, were particularly bothered by the wet track and ever-changing conditions.
Gary Pennington in the #50 2012 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup turned in quick performances in the C5 class with consistent 4th place finishes.
Laurent Verstreken in the #074 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup continually refined his driving style and car setup to the changing conditions and gained positions with every A2 session. Starting 11th in the wet qualifying session, Laurent turned in an excellent drive to finish 3rd in the enduro.
Joe Toussaint showed commanding speed in the A1 class #900 Porsche 996 GT3 RS with 1st place finishes in qualifying, the fun race, night qualifying, and the night race. In the second sprint race he finished 2nd.
Anthony Jernigan may have only been able to stay for the wet qualifying and damp fun race in the C4 class, but he took the #70 997 GT3 Cup from a 9th place qualifying spot to a 6th place race finish.
Russell Williams, too, could only stay for the A1 class wet qualifying and damp fun race but he nevertheless displayed consistent speed with 2nd place finishes in both.
Jimmy Martin in the H class #57 Porsche Cayman easily spent the most time on track by competing in, and finishing, every critical session. For his efforts in the rain, Jimmy started and finished first in the fun race, night qualifying and night race. Additionally, Martin earned a 2nd place finishes in the qualifying, and 3rd and 4th place finishes, respectively, in the two sprint races. Cory joined Jimmy for the enduro, and even with a broken sway bar link, finished within a half-second of the class winner.
Charles Price continued to dial-in his new H class #47 Porsche 997 with consistently quick drives. After earning a 7th in a very wet qualifying session, he finished second in the wet fun race. He also finished 5th and 3rd in the two sprint races, and 4th in the enduro.
Bob Hahn in the F class #787 Porsche 944 Turbo ran up front at all times with 1st in wet qualifying and second place finishes in both sprint races.
Chris Dooley and his beautiful new #324 Porsche 996 GT3 showed front running speed in J class with 1st place finishes in both the sprint race and enduro.
Kevin Violette in the #181 Porsche 996 GT3 raced to victory in the J class sprint race as well as qualifying 3rd in qualifying.
Please find below our gallery of the weekend and, as always, contact us if you’d like to campaign a Porsche on track, receive driver-coaching or engineering expertise from our record-holding team, or buy, sell, store or maintain a Porsche.