Patrick Lindsey placed his #73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche GT3 in the GT-class top ten after qualifying for the Rolex Series at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA).
Lindsey, who will share the Porsche GT3 with factory driver Patrick Long, set a time of 2:10.958 seconds around the 3.4-mile Formula 1 circuit, which will see him line up 6th out of the 16 car GT field.
“It was an improvement but I was disappointed with the result, truthfully,” said Lindsey, who drove to a 16th place finish at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January along with Long, Spencer Pumpelly, Jason Hart and Daniel Graeff. “I think it was a better car than the speed I showed in it. You just have to go back and remember that it’s a long race and we’re going to have to execute on pit road and, at the end of the day, nobody’s going to remember where anybody started, really. Third row is not terrible, but you always want to be at the front.”
“This track really sets up well for the Ferraris and they really set sail in that qualifying session.” he continued “We’re going to have to beat them on pit lane, beat them on strategy, and stay out of trouble, have a better focus and a better game plan. Really, we can’t afford to go off track. There are plenty of opportunities to hurt the car or lose positions just by making a mistake here. There’s going to be a lot of side-by-side racing so you have to remember it’s going to be a long race. Just stay out of trouble. It’s the most challenging track we race on, the best facility, it’s a phenomenal combination. It’s challenging and as a driver you always want to go to a track that’s challenging. It’s going to be a fun day Saturday.”
John McCutchen II, driving the #71 Porsche GT3 set the 14th quickest time of 2:18.958. McCutchen will share the car with fellow Texan Chuck Cole and Jason Hart.
“It went perfectly. I kept looking for the Jason Hart button so I could drop my time by several seconds,” said McCutchen “The car was perfect. I would say that the Park Place guys did an amazing job at making these cars easy to drive. We’re going to have to hustle a bit to keep up with the Ferraris. But the car is really set up well for racing. We were really working hard to get the car set up to go two hours and 45 minutes in a jungle out there versus trying to do one fast lap, which isn’t going to get us anywhere tomorrow. We love the track. It’s the most technical track I’ve driven in the United States. It reminds me of Donington in some places, European tracks. There’s nothing like it in the United States. And I’m not so sure even some of the big-time pro drivers have this place completely figured out.”
The final car in the Park Place Motorsports line up was the #72 Porsche GT3 driven by Mike Vess. Vess posted a lap time of 2:23.140, good enough for 15th in the GT class.
“The car did great. The car was great. The driver was a little weak, but the car was great,” said Vess. “I just didn’t push myself fast enough. I had the opportunity on one beautiful, clear lap. I should’ve taken great advantage of it and I just didn’t. I played it safe and it was stupid. I knew we weren’t going to qualify up front so it wasn’t a huge positioning thing as much as just getting me out there and going fast, getting engaged quickly. I had a beautiful lap to do that and I kick myself as I look back on it. I just didn’t push it in a couple of place where I should’ve and I would’ve had a much better lap time. The car was perfect, spot on, which bodes well for tomorrow. I’ll do my best to get us out there on the lead lap and Mike Skeen’s [sharing the #72 with Vess] a great driver. I expect that car to finish well as long as trouble doesn’t find us. The track’s fantastic. It’s a privilege for me. It’s challenging as a driver. It throws stuff at you. It’s a tough track to learn.”