It was off to the Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC) for the next round of the Porsche Sprint Challenge USA West program as Black Sheep Racing would bring a pair of drivers to the ultra-fast facility. Taking on the 3.048-mile Outer Loop track, championship contender Laura Ely and Stephen Ayers looked to take the fight onto the track in their quest for race wins and podium results in Grantsville, Utah. Closing the weekend with four top-five results including two podiums at the hands of Laura Ely, the Black Sheep Racing driver then took over the championship point lead with two events remaining.
After progressing through the three practice sessions on Friday, it was time for the pair of Black Sheep Racing drivers to hit the track for qualifying on Saturday morning. With the 25-minute session going green at 10:35am, Ely and Ayers looked to put their Black Sheep Racing prepared Porches at the front of the 911 class.
Qualifying did not go as planned for Ely and Ayers as they were pushed further down the running order than usual and mired back in the fourth and fifth positions. Focusing on their race cars rather than qualifying speed, the duo aimed to move forward when the green flag flew for the first wheel-to-wheel action of the weekend at 1:50pm.
Laura Ely turned her best lap of the 19-lap event on lap two as she was able to move her way into the third position, a spot that she maintained for most of the race. Stalking the lead duo and looking to force them into a mistake, the opportunity to take home the win never came as she finished third, 3.441 seconds behind the winner. Despite not meeting her goal of the race, it was some more points towards the end of the year championship chase. Stephen Ayers was able to maintain his starting position to have a solid drive to fifth putting two Black Sheep Racing drivers in the top-five yet again this weekend.
Back to the track Sunday for the second race of the weekend, Ely was once again one of the drivers to beat as she raced hard at the front of the field. Battling for second at the start, the BSR driver fell to third on the first lap where she ran most of the first half of the race. Biding her time and concentrating on good drives off the last corner to get a run down the straight, Ely accomplished a late braking pass in turn four to move to second. At the same time, teammate Ayers battled for fifth as two Black Sheep Racing drivers would run in the top-five.
As time wound down, Ely maintained her second place running position to climb on the podium for the second day in a row. Ayers pushed his way forward but was unable to make any headway forward as he eventually finished fifth. With two more top-five results, Black Sheep Racing proved that they are a force in the Porsche Sprint Challenge USA West program with Laura Ely now the outright point leader.
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For more information and sponsorship opportunities on Black Sheep Racing, please contact Chris Stiffler at (330) 419-2445 or via email to Chris@BlackSheepRacing.org. Black Sheep Racing can also be found on social media by searching Black Sheep Racing.
Photos: RTD Media