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© 2019 Black Sheep Racing

September 18, 2019

Black Sheep Racing Earns Four Podiums at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

FAIRFIELD, Calif., (September 18, 2019) – In the penultimate race event of the Porsche Trophy West USA championship, Black Sheep Racing picked up four more podium finishes at the Monterey Sports Car Championship Powered by McLaren. Twenty-seven Porsches in eight classes competed in the double header racing event on the 2.238 mile circuit.

 

In the Gold class, Black Sheep Racing driver Laura Ely lead the team charge, earning two podiums in her Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup car. In Saturday’s race one, Ely started second in class and in lap 11 she made a smooth pass under braking into turn two, taking the class lead. She expertly pulled away, building a 30 second lead over the field. She suffered a spin when working her way through lapped traffic, and lost the lead as she worked to rejoin the race. She finished in second, determined to claim the top spot the next day.

 

She started Sunday’s race from pole position but struggled to maintain the position in the first lap. She dropped to second, but by lap 14 caught back up to the leader, who spun in turn two. Ely assumed the lead and held on to it to the checker flag, taking the Gold class win.

 

In the Platinum Masters class, Scott Daiger also celebrated a double podium finish weekend with his Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup car, finishing second in class for both races. He started race one in third place, but with two laps to go made the pass on Tom Tait to finish second. In race two, he started from fourth, but a lap one crash for another competitor moved him up to third. On lap 16, the second place car ahead of him spun, allowing him to capitalize and earn a second place finish.

 

Steven Ayers started race one in sixth place in the Platinum Masters class, setting a consistent pace to maintain position to the checker flag. In race two, he started sixth, and climbed two spots, and had a race long battle with Jim Slavik before finishing in fourth, just 0.5 seconds from a podium spot.

 

Ely now holds the Gold class championship lead heading into the final double header of the season. The 2019 Porsche Trophy West USA championship concludes October 11-13 at Sonoma Raceway. For more information, visit blacksheepracing.org.

September 15, 2019

Porsche Trophy West USA Enjoys a Weekend with the Pros

Salinas, California 15, August 2019 – Porsche Trophy West USA headed back to the commonly seen, dense fog of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Day two of Porsche Trophy West USA’s races aligned with the third day of the Monterey Sports Car Championship Powered by McLaren and marked the 14th race of the 2019 Sea-son. The drivers of Porsche Trophy West USA put on a phenomenal performance yesterday, driving with the skill and confidence that comes along this late in the season. While the racing was consistent and without fault for most yesterday, some were left with dreams of the next race. Redemption would be the theme of the day.

Twenty-seven Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars in 8 classes competed today at the world famous WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca: Platinum and Platinum Mas-ters Class (Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup), Gold Class (Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup), Diamond Class (Porsche 991.1 GT3 R and 997 GT3 R), Emerald Class (Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup MR), Silver Class (Porsche GT4 Clubsport SRO and Clubsport Comp), Bronze Class (Porsche GT4 Club-sport with Trophy Kit and Clubsport MR), GT3 Cup Class (Porsche 997.2 GT3 Cup).

Mark Davidian was another driver who was quick to receive pressure from his fellow driver in class, Laura Ely. Davidian passed Ely at the start and was able to put a car between them. A yellow flag in the second lap, and the arrival of the pace car gave her the opportunity to close in on him and park herself behind the traffic ahead. The pace car pulled off the track, and Davidian took advantage of traffic again, just as he did yesterday. The barrier remained for Da-vidian until Chris Bellomo passed him in the tenth lap, opening up an opportunity for Ely to chase him down. Ely continued to pressure Davidian into the fifteenth lap when she forced a mistake. Ely, Paul Bolton, and Kevin Westcott took their opportunity and passed a held-up Davidian. Ely had a significant lead on Bolton and Westcott at that point, giving her to go ahead to hold onto first in class until the checkered flag.

“Mark had a really good start,” said Ely. “He got by me, and then Chris Bellomo got by me before the yellow flag. Yesterday I was able to settle in and eventually pass him, so I figured I could do that today. So, I did that and bided my time until I caught up to him and forced an error through turn 2. I made a mistake yesterday and lost a thirty-second gap, so I made sure I wouldn’t do that again, and after that it was smooth sailing.”

September 14, 2019

An Electric Return to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

Salinas, California 14, August 2019 – Porsche Trophy West USA returned to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca today for race 13 of the 2019 Season.
 

The drivers of Porsche Trophy West USA walked amongst fellow race enthusiasts today dur-ing the second day of the Monterey Sports Car Championship powered by McLaren. Race fans crowded the paddock and peered over the GT3 and GT4 Porsche cup cars that were being prepped for their races this evening. Porsche Trophy West USA loaded in late Wednes-day, with testing on Thursday and race 13’s qualification on Friday. The lead up to today’s race coupled with the overall buzz of the track paved the way for a much-anticipated green flag at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Twenty-eight Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and Cayman GT4 Clubsport cars in 8 classes competed today at the world famous WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca: Platinum and Platinum Mas-ters Class (Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup), Gold Class (Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup), Diamond Class (Porsche 991.1 GT3 R and 997 GT3 R), Emerald Class (Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup MR), Silver Class (Porsche GT4 Clubsport SRO and Clubsport Comp), Bronze Class (Porsche GT4 Club-sport with Trophy Kit and Clubsport MR), and GT3 Cup Class (Porsche 997.2 GT3 Cup).


Fourteen seconds behind McAlister there was a significantly tighter race than up ahead. Mark Davidian and Laura Ely of the Gold class were locked in battle for fastest 991.1 by a separation of only 1 second. Davidian was seemingly unshaken by Ely’s aggressive driving until the seventh lap when she was able to cut his lead down to only two-tenths of a second. Ely continued to push as hard as ever, closing in on Davidian up until the tenth lap when she was finally able to fight past him. That wasn’t enough for Ely, though, as she continued to push past drivers from the Platinum class and create a barrier of her own. Unfortunately, Ely would go off the track in lap 16, and from that point on Davidian just had to keep his head down until the checkered flag.

“Ely got a great run on me after turn 11,” said Davidian. “I didn’t block her, and she took the inside lane. She deserved that pass. I had a great beginning to the race, but midway through I lost my focus. She is a really good racer and it was a lot of fun racing against her. Unfortunate-ly, she went off which is where I made my pass, and from that point on I just stayed disciplined. The track was starting to lose grip towards the end of the race, and was very unforgiving out there, but I kept hitting my marks and I had a great time.” The Platinum Masters class was led at the start with Jim Walsh on pole position, and in classic Walsh fashion, he would go on to finish the first race of the weekend on the podium. Walsh had this to say about the strategy behind his “pole-to-podium” race.

July 21, 2019

A Weekend of Thrills Comes to an End

Toole, Utah (21, July 2019) — Porsche Trophy West USA brings Round 5 to a close at Utah Motorsports Campus. 

The drivers of Porsche Trophy West USA returned to Utah Motorsports Campus today for race #10 of the 2019 season. The drivers were buzzing after yesterday’s races, and there was excitement at every turn as the GT3 and GT4 Cup cars wowed the crowds during the final competition of the weekend. Group 1 mirrored their results from yesterday with Hutton McKenna, David Donner, and Ray Shahi winning in their classes. 

Twenty-Three Porsche GT3 and GT4 Cup cars in seven classes competed today at Utah Mo-torsports Campus: Platinum and Platinum Masters (Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup), Gold (Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup), Silver (Porsche 982 GT4 Cup), Bronze (Porsche 981 GT4 Cup), Diamond (Por-sche GT3 R), and Emerald (Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup MR). 

David Donner of the Platinum Masters class mirrored his performance yesterday and imme-diately began vying for Platinum class driver, Calvert’s P3 position. Donner had a fair amount of traffic between himself and other Platinum Masters drivers, so he was safe to push hard for P3 overall, Calvert expertly defended Donner’s advances and kept him at P4 overall. 

“My first objective today was to have a better start,” said Donner. “That worked out, and I was able to stay with the lead pack for a while. Everybody stepped up their game today, so I wouldn’t have gotten away with what I did yesterday. Preston and I battled back and forth, and I chased him a good portion of the race, but it was mainly about getting a good start today.” 

In the Gold class, Laura Ely quickly worked her way past traffic to look for an opportunity to compete with class leader, Ray Shahi. Ely found herself stuck behind Platinum class driver, John Kerr until lap seven when Kerr spun. Ely began chipping away at the gap between herself and Shahi, but Shahi was able to maintain a buffer and win the race for a double-victory in the Gold class this weekend. Kevin Westcott fought hard to catch Robert Hanely, and nearly pas-sed him before the checkered flag, but Hanely was able to defend his lead by 0.244 seconds. 

“I think I had my best qualifying lap ever today,” said Shahi. “My team did a great job of set-ting my car up to do what it wanted, and my Porsche Irvine GT3 Cup car was immaculate today. We set up the car for the long haul today because of the heat, so at the end, I was pul-ling away from everyone.” 
 

July 20, 2019

The Race of the Season at Utah Motorsports Campus

Toole, Utah (20, July 2019) — Porsche Trophy West USA kicked off Round 5 at Utah Motor-sports Campus. The drivers of Porsche Trophy West USA returned to Utah Motorsports Campus today for race #9 of the 2019 season. 

Twenty-Five Porsche GT3 and GT4 Cup cars in seven classes competed today at Utah Mo-torsports Campus : Platinum and Platinum Masters (Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup), Gold (Porsche 991.1 GT3 Cup), Silver (Porsche 982 GT4 Cup), Bronze (Porsche 981 GT4 Cup), Diamond (Por-sche GT3 R), and Emerald (Porsche 991.2 GT3 Cup MR). 

Group 1 followed soon after and was led at the start by Platinum class driver, Michael Zuie-back on pole position. Hutton McKenna pressed hard on Zuieback and maintained a gap of less than a second throughout the opening laps. Zuieback and McKenna’s quick driving gave them a solid lead on the pack, and they were left to battle with one another. McKenna held on tight to Zuieback through the entirety of the race and consistently pushed Zuieback deep into the corners. Zuieback defended McKenna’s advances until late in lap 11 when McKenna made a pass at Turn 15. 

“I was driving with a lot of patience, and a little bit of aggression,” said McKenna. “Micheal didn’t make any mistakes, and he outdrove me for the first half of the race, so I had to be very patient. I paid attention to how he was driving through turn 12 and was able to get next to him and make a pass. I had to be patient and work for it.” 

Platinum class driver, Chris Bellomo made an impressive three-position advance to P3 in the first lap but was soon under pressure from an inspired David Donner of the Platinum Masters class. Donner made a massive recovery to P3 after dropping two positions from P4 to P6 at the beginning of the race. His eventual class victory and P3 overall finish was well deserved. 

“I made some aggressive moves at the start and lost a couple of positions, but I just let it go,” said Donner. “I was hungry to get back to where I started, and I eventually got to a point where I just had to defend my position. I’m very happy with how I finished the race.” 

Meanwhile, Gold class driver, Ray Shahi was on his epic conquest to recover lost positions. Earlier in the day, Shahi qualified P1 in his class, but a penalty from his previous race at Circuit of the Americas set him back five spots on the grid. Shahi advanced four positions in the first lap to find his class competitor, Laura Ely. Once he found Ely, Shahi was able to make a pass in lap seven. 

“I was motivated today by the fact that I had that five-spot penalty,” said Shahi. “I was upset with myself about what happened at COTA, so I tried hard to make up those positions. After I did that, I had Laura in front of me, and I just made sure I stuck with her, and I passed her at the right time.” 
 

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