TPC Racing Scores Win, Runner-Up Friday in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge
BRASELTON, Georgia (October 16, 2020) – TPC Racing driver Efrin Castro scored a Gold Cup win on Friday at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta during the first of three IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama races conducted this weekend, then followed up with a near-miss in the afternoon round.
Castro started on the pole and held off the field for a class win in the morning’s first race. The first track activity of the day and a cool morning made for a green track, and traffic added an additional challenge as Castro had to drive his No. 65 Fine Fare Supermarkets/TPC Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup through the rear of the quicker Platinum Cup class field while keeping his Gold Cup competitors at bay.
Castro did just that, including two separate late-race restarts, for his fourth win of the season.
With the second-quickest lap of the race, Castro started the afternoon round in second place. Much warmer temperatures meant entirely different track conditions, but Castro was ready to pose a challenge for the lead early in the race.
Coming down Road Atlanta’s long backstraight, Castro jumped on the brakes late and pulled side by side and then in front of the lead driver. The pair made light contact running side by side through the Turn 10 complex, enough to spin Castro off track.
He rejoined the race in fourth, then chased down third place, finally making his way back around for second place with just three minutes to go in the 45-minute race to save the runner-up position.
By virtue of the quickest lap in race two, Castro will start Saturday morning’s 9:55 a.m. ET race on the class pole position. Saturday’s race will also be a 45-minute timed sprint.
Harris Levitas, Director of Race Operations: “Efrin ran a really great race one to get the win, and was maybe even better in race two. I’m really proud that he didn’t quit and continued to fight back when he could have settled. The contact was unfortunate but deemed a racing incident, but he’ll have extra motivation on Saturday morning to stay clear of trouble and, hopefully, in front of the field. I’m really proud of his day today and looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”
Efrin Castro, Driver, No. 65 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup: “That was a great race. I had a lot of trouble at the beginning because of the track condition. I wasn’t ready for it. I was struggling a lot with the car and getting my head into the game. At the end, I was able to stay ahead and get the win. The traffic makes it tougher because you can’t get into a rhythm. Then you’ve got the guy behind you trying to pass, and that’s when it gets really difficult. I was able to keep the pace and come out with the win.”
On race two:
“I thought when I came out of the gravel that my alignment was off, because for the first lap and a half my car was very slow. But after the tires got hot again, I had a great car underneath me and I was able to push very comfortably and hard. I was just thankful that I had enough time to catch up to the other guys and pass them, and still see first place. First place was only a couple of seconds ahead of me. It was bad luck that we didn’t get a yellow, because a yellow would have changed the game all over again. But at the end, I’m happy with a P2. That’s a great finish.”
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