TPC Racing Dominates the Streets of BaltimoreAdmin
(September 3, 2013) Jessup, MD – For rounds eleven and twelve of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Series, the TPC Racing / Porsche of Towson / Merkle team took on the streets of Baltimore. Being that the event was held in the team and sponsors hometown, it was important to have a good showing.
The weekend was not a long weekend for track time since the track was a street circuit. The team was on track Friday morning and had two thirty minute practice sessions to learn the track before qualifying later in the afternoon. Practice went well for the 35, 36 and 37 Porsche of Towson / Merkle entries. Ben Keating in the Platinum Class 35 Porsche of Towson GT3 Cup got up to speed very fast and was in the top five during second practice. In Gold, Michael Levitas in the 36 Porsche of Towson entry and David Williams in the 37 Merkle / Porsche of Towson entry were very close in lap times. Michael was fastest in practice one and David fastest in practice two by four hundredths of a second. With these lap times, the team knew that qualifying and the race would be close and exciting.
During qualifying, Ben Keating went out in the 35 Porsche of Towson entry to put down a fast lap. Coming onto the front straight through the chicane, Keating made contact with a barrier which caused damage to the rear suspension. The damage would put Keating out for the remainder of the session, but the team would have the suspension repaired for Saturdays race. In the Gold Class, Michael Levitas got the pole position in his 36 Porsche of Towson entry, just ahead of teammate David Williams in the 37 Merkle / Porsche of Towson entry.
Saturday would start race one of the weekend in front of over one hundred thousand fans lining the streets of Baltimore. At the start of the race, all three TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup cars had clean starts, and right away Ben Keating in the 35 Porsche of Towson entry was able to make his way through the field after starting toward the rear of the pack. Michael Levitas and David Williams in their 36 and 37 cars worked together to make their way through the field as well, even passing Platinum Class cars. There was a caution early on which brought the field closer together, and when the track went green again, Ben Keating made great passes that would get him into seventh overall. Levitas and Williams stayed first and second in class, staying out of trouble and running consistent laps. After forty five minutes of hard racing, Keating crossed the finish line in seventh overall, winning him the Yokohama Hard Charger Award and in Gold, Michael Levitas took the win with teammate David Williams taking second in their Porsche of Towson / Merkle entries.
“Winning the Yokohama Hard Charger is a nice accomplishment,” stated Ben Keating, driver of the 35 Porsche of Towson entry. “I cannot say enough about this TPC Racing / Porsche of Towson team. We had an incident in qualifying and the team worked all night to rebuild the rear suspension so that we could make the race today. The team is fantastic and the car was perfect which made it easy for me to make my way through the field. It was great to race on the streets of Baltimore and especially to do it in front of the Porsche of Towson guests. I look forward to taking this great momentum forward into Texas where we will race at Circuit of the Americas next.”
“My Porsche of Towson 36 car was just amazing,” stated Michael Levitas. “It was so hooked up. It was so dialed in; the team did a fantastic job with the chassis setup. It was hot between the concrete. I had to short shift every gear but I can’t say enough about the Porsche of Towson and TPC guys. It was an honor to win here today in our home town but even more exciting to do so in front of our sponsors and supporters from Porsche of Towson. My teammate David Williams of Merkle did an amazing job. He pushed me hard. We were lap for lap.”
“It was awesome,” stated David Williams. I love the facility. I love street racing. It’s the first one I’ve ever done and I would love to do more of it. It’s great to be in my home town too. My company Merkle is located here and so is Porsche of Towson. I’ve lived here for 25 years and just these kinds of crowds and the energy and excitement is fantastic. Technical course, high speed, fantastic.”
For race two of the weekend, Michael Levitas would start on pole again with teammate David Williams right behind him. On the start, a Platinum Class car tried to split the field, hitting a car and spinning going into turn one. As this was going on, Levitas was making his way up the field, got pushed by another Platinum Class car and made contact with a spun car which broke the radiator and ended the race for the 36 entry. David Williams made it through turn one safe and clean, taking the lead and running away with it in his 37 Merkle / Porsche of Towson entry. Right away, David put a gap on the second place car and ran away with it. Williams was running faster and faster each lap, turning his fastest lap and Gold Class race record lap on the second to last lap. When the checkered flag flew, David Williams crossed the line first in his 37 Merkle / Porsche of Towson GT3 Cup, taking his first ever series win.
“To get first place in my first year in my hometown is great,” Williams said. “It’s fantastic. To do it in front of a big audience with lots of hometown people here makes it even better. We had fans from Merkle and Porsche of Towson watching us and it was a fantastic win. It would not have been possible without the great support from the TPC Racing team and our driver coach Randy Pobst.”
Next on the schedule is Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for rounds thirteen and fourteen. The team goes into Texas leading the driver and team point’s championship.
About TPC Racing:
TPC Racing is the Mid-Atlantic’s premier maintenance, service, tuning and modification center dedicated solely to Porsche sports cars. This long time focus on only one make, Porsche, has enabled us to become experts in Porsche service, tuning and racing.
TPC Racing has its roots in the IMSA Supercar Series of the late 1980’s and early 1990s, as well in the Grand Am Rolex Series with over 28 race wins and 40 podium finishes. In 2004, the team won the team and drivers championship in the SGS class. In 2006, TPC Racing won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the GT Class.
By combining a lifetime of automotive enthusiasm, business experience and technical skill with advanced aeronautical training and certifications, Levitas has managed to extend the engineering of some for the most advanced and well-regarded machines in existence – Porsche race cars.
About Porsche of Towson
Porsche of Towson is Baltimore’s only exclusive Porsche center. That means that our Porsche staff is 100% dedicated to the Porsche brand and nothing else. They will be able to assist you with all of your Porsche needs. On behalf of the entire Priority 1 Automotive Group family of dealerships, welcome to Porsche of Towson. We look forward to meeting all of your Porsche needs.
Porsche of Towson is a part of the Priority 1 Automotive Group which is a family owned and operated group of dealerships. As a family dealership, the family’s reputation in the community is of the utmost importance. Therefore, there is a tremendous focus on providing exceptional customer service. With a brand new state-of-the-art Porsche dealership (completed in 2010), the most elite and experienced group of client advisors for sales and service, and a highly trained team of service and support personnel, your sales and service experience is assured of being second to none. Our clients appreciate the way we do business. We know you will too!
Merkle is the nation’s largest and fastest-growing customer relationship marketing (CRM) agency. For more than 20 years, Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to maximize the value of their customer portfolios. Employing data-driven strategies, Merkle combines a complete range of marketing, technical, analytical and creative disciplines to offer complete integrated customer marketing solutions. With a strategically led, consultative approach, we work closely with clients to design, execute and continuously evaluate CRM programs throughout the buying cycle, across channels and media.
About CrunchDaddy Popcorn
CrunchDaddy Popcorn makes “Popcorn Unusual!™”, an array of sweet and savory inventions that take the sophisticated snacker beyond the common recipes for caramel, kettle and cheese popcorn. All CrunchDaddy Popcorn flavors are available on-line through their website, www.crunchdaddy.com