Words and photos by Michael Chandler
It was a nice morning at Miller Motorsports Park. The paddock was buzzing with activity as drivers were preparing to go out on track, and crews were readying the cars. The first group out were the Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy, which featured a couple of locals.
Both Desire Wilson and John Scarlett were driving out of the Air Power Racing garage, and both did well on the weekend. Desire finished first in Platinum on both days, and John took home first in Platinum Masters on Saturday and second on Sunday. For those keeping track, with their wins that makes a total of 6 wins for MMP locals! Could Vesko do some upsetting in GTS and make it 7?
Unfortunately no. Vesko did wind up in second though, behind one Mr. Michael Cooper in his Blackdog Speedshop Z/28 Camaro. With his win on Sunday, and with Andrew Aquilante’s 12th and 10th pllace finishes in the weekend’s events, pushed him to a 107 point lead in the driver’s championship standings. Seeing a black and red Camaro cross the line 1st at the Ford GP of Utah gave me a feeling of deja vu.
The two cars involved in the big incidents on Saturday, the Swisher Z4 GT3 and the iRacerCoaching.com R8 LMS Ultra of Drew Regitz, were back and ready to go for the final GT/GTA/GT Cup race of the weekend. And things were different up top!
Collected his second second place finish of the weekend. Guy Smith on the other hand…
Yes, a previous winner at Miller in the Continental GT3 swooped in, and finished in third. Third!
But our guy Johnny took first. Again. See, the top spots were different because Guy… I’m not gonna spoon feed you on this one. Now, to address the fellow with the dog.
That fellow is Colin Thompson, driver of the #11 Porsche Bucks County/Penn Valley 911 GT3 Cup. The dog is his dog, which made the trip out from Pennsylvania to watch his owner claim the win in the GT Cup category, and join him in celebrating the win on pit lane. I forgot the dog’s name, but he was super chill.
GTA Shook out with a pair of SLS GT3s in the top two podium places, and a Ferrari on the last spot. Frank Montecalvo in the Bayshore Racing SLS crossed the line first, with Eric Lux’s Rembrandt Charms/Monticello Motor Club SLS following behind. Eric’s journey to second in class wasn’t easy. Martin Fuentes in the Scuderia Corsa/Hublot/Samsung Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia kept Eric in his mirrors most of the race, but Eric fought and got around Martin to take home second.
And there we have it, another amazing World Challenge event in the books. Opportunities to see cars, drivers and racing like this don’t come up too often, especially in our neck of the woods. Watching the GT, GTA, GT Cup and GTS cars stretch their legs on the massive front straight, and blast through the high speed corners, then seeing the Touring Cars bang around the track and hit the kerbing and getting air under the tires all in the same day is one of the best ways to spend any day. With the news that Miller Motorsports Park will become the Utah Motorsports Campus, and that the new ownership is just as excited to keep the racing going at the track, we’re hoping to see more Pirelli World Challenge events at our home track in the coming years. And we’re hoping to see more of you guys out there too! Seriously, where can you go from seeing this:
Then see the drivers up close:
And sometimes personal:
Before they grid up and take the green flag?:
Not a whole lot of events are this open to their fans, and feature this diverse a line up. If you get a chance to, come to the track and spend the weekend watching high caliber racing!
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