TPC Racing on Podium at Lime Rock ParkAdmin
(May 27, 2014) Jessup, MD – Over Memorial Day weekend, the TPC Racing team was at Lime Rock Park for rounds five and six of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama Series. The weekend was a short and busy weekend, but the TPC Racing team was ready to take on the weekend in full force. For this event, there was not a promoter test day, so the track time was limited. Practice and qualifying all happened in one day and races one and two of the weekend were the following day.
Practice started off well for both Michael Levitas, piloting the 35 TPC Racing / Merkle / Under Armour entry and David Williams, piloting the 37 TPC Racing / Merkle / Under Armour machine. Levitas started off the day in the top three in Gold during practice and there was room to improve with the car. David Williams had a fantastic start to the weekend with times running in the top ten in Platinum and top three in Platinum Masters.
The TPC Racing team worked hard between practice and qualifying, making changes to both the 35 and 37 TPC Racing / Merkle / Under Armour cars. The team had high hopes for qualifying. Looking at the sky, the team knew rain was on the way. IMSA started the qualifying session early to try and beat the rain. With rain coming in, both Levitas and Williams knew that they had to turn their fast laps right away. The team was able to get seven laps in before the track became wet. During qualifying, the team is not allowed to change tires, so it was important to do well early in the session. Michael Levitas qualified second in Gold and first in Gold Masters. David Williams qualified ninth in Platinum and second in Platinum Masters. The TPC Racing team was happy with the qualifying results and looked to gain positions in the two races the following day.
The team got to Lime Rock early on Saturday morning to do last minute preparations on the 35 and 37 TPC Racing / Merkle / Under Armour entries before race one of the day. The weather was looking clear and the team was ready for a good exciting race. With Lime Rock being a small and tight track, both Michael Levitas and David Williams knew it was important to have a good clean start and to hold position. On the start, Levitas was held up by a Platinum car and got passed by another Gold car. Michael Levitas was running a strong race and running lap times faster than the Gold cars in front of him and made the pass for second in Gold and first in Masters. As Levitas was battling with the second place car, the leader pulled a gap and by the time the 35 TPC Racing GT3 Cup made the pass for second, there was not enough time to catch the leader even though Levitas was able to run faster lap times. When the checkered flag came out, Michael Levitas took second place in Gold and first in Gold Masters. It was a great race and a great race for points.
“I have to tell you that was one of the best races I’ve ever been in,” stated Michael Levitas. “I don’t know if it was a race or a bullfight. There were no mirrors. I noticed halfway through that from running over the gators my mirrors were facing down. At that point, I’m just thinking: ‘Who needs it? It doesn’t matter.’ It was really tight, and everyone has some really great racing. Our TPC Racing team worked really hard this weekend on setup. It was a little tight, but tight was working for us because it let us get really good lap times at the end. IMSA did a fantastic job with that race, and that was just classic Lime Rock action.”
David Williams ran a spectacular race in the Platinum Class running the 37 TPC Racing / Merkle / Under Armour 991 GT3 Cup. Williams started ninth overall and got passed on the start after being held up at the start. David knew he had to run a clean race and he did exactly that. Williams ran fast and consistent laps that were very competitive with the top five overall lap times. When the checkered flag came out, David Williams took tenth in Platinum and third in Platinum Masters. Williams ran a great race and the goal was to be on the Masters podium which David was able to achieve that.
“This was a great race,” stated Williams. “It was a dogfight out there. I started second and finished third, so I can’t be mad about it. The TPC Racing team did an awesome job setting up my car. The car was fantastic and easy to drive which gave me a lot of confidence. There were a lot of passes back and forth and a lot of hard racing. With everything going on you have to stay looking forward and not in your mirrors, and it’s a focus track; you have to stay focused. I love this place. It’s a great rhythm track. A huge thank you again to our TPC Racing / Merkle team for such a great car!
Four hours after race one, the TPC Racing team had both cars prepared and ready to take on race two. There were a lot of clouds, so the team was prepared for rain. IMSA did not declare it a wet race while the cars were on the false grid, so the team took tires to pit lane to be safe. As the cars were rolling from false grid onto the track, it started to pour. Immediately, IMSA came on the radio and declared it a wet race and all teams went to pit boxes for rain tires. The TPC Racing team worked hard and fast in what was already over two inches of standing water on pit lane. The team was ready for rain and all cars lined up on pit road waiting for the race to start. IMSA safety vehicles were on track and the rain kept coming down. At this point, the water was already up to the front splitters and the rain was not letting up. With more rain coming down and the track flooding, IMSA declared that race two of the weekend and round six of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama be abandoned due to unsafe conditions. IMSA will be determining how to apply points for this event. In the end, it was a good call by the series as they were looking out for the drivers.
The next race for the TPC Racing team is Watkins Glen for rounds seven and eight of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge series the weekend of June 27-29.
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.
By combining a lifetime of automotive enthusiasm, business experience and technical skill with advanced aeronautical training and certifications, Michael Levitas has managed to extend the engineering of some for the most advanced and well-regarded machines in existence – Porsche race cars.
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 Under Armour:
Founded in 1996 by former University of Maryland football player Kevin Plank, Under Armour is the originator of performance apparel – gear engineered to keep athletes cool, dry and light throughout the course of a game, practice or workout. The technology behind Under Armour’s diverse product assortment for men, women and youth is complex, but the program for reaping the benefits is simple: wear HeatGear® when it’s hot, ColdGear® when it’s cold, and AllSeasonGear® between the extremes.
Under Armour’s mission is make all athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation.
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