On Friday, Ian Lacy Racing’s Drew Staveley was fastest in practice for Pirelli World Challenge’s GTS-class at Utah Motorsports Campus. The Salt Lake City native turned in a lap during the morning session of 119.403 seconds (91.894 mph), which held up all day.
On paper, Staveley (who runs in the GTSA sub-class) being quickest is something of a surprise. It really isn’t. Staveley just so happens to work as an instructor at Utah Motorsports Campus. Arguably, that could be considered an unfair advantage.
“I probably have a little more experience here [than most],” Staveley said after practice. “I get to work here, so I literally drive this track four to five days a week. [The Ginetta] is great, a nice lively little car that we got dialed in.”
Practice No. 1
In the morning, Staveley was fastest by two-tenths of a second over the Maserati of Jeff Courtney. Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Rodrigo Baptista was another half-second back in third, followed by Mantella Autosport’s Martin Barkey. Nate Stacy in the second Flying Lizard Porsche was fifth quickest.
In the GTSA subclass, Staveley’s advantage was quite substantial. In fact, it was more than two full seconds over Mark Klenin‘s McLaren. Carter Yeung, making his season debut in a Porsche for GMG Racing, was third quickest followed by Racers Edge Motorsports’ Jason Bell. Frank Gannett in the second Ian Lacy Racing Ginetta was fifth.
With the wide open spaces available, track limits became an issue during the session, especially for Case-It Racing’s Adam Merzon. Merzon was pinged at least six times for violating track limits during the session. As a result, he was forced to serve two pass-through penalties.
Practice No. 2
In the afternoon, it was Baptista who was fastest overall with a lap of 119.460 seconds (91.850 mph), just a hair slower than Staveley in the morning. Baptista’s lap was more than three-quarters of a second faster than Barkey, who was second in the main class. Stacy was third fastest, followed by Team Panoz Racing’s Ian James. Courtney was fifth fastest.
Staveley was once again fastest in GTSA and second overall. His lap was nearly three-quarters of a second faster than Bell in second. GMG Racing’s George Kurtz was third quickest, followed by Klenin. Jason Alexandridis was fifth in the sub-class in the sole Aston Martin.
GTS teams are scheduled to hit the 3.0479-mile road course for qualifying Saturday at 11:20 a.m. EDT. That will set the grid for GTS Round 13, which is scheduled to go green at 5:10 p.m. EDT.