MADISON, Wis. (Sept. 17, 2014) – With 10 wins and 17 podiums in the Platinum and Gold classes this season Kelly Moss Motorsports is ready for a big weekend in Texas. The team will push full throttle to score vital championship points during Rounds 13 and 14 of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Sept. 18-19 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
With only four rounds of racing left to decide the 2014 championship, the team looks to capitalize on having six drivers under the tent for the COTA weekend. After a tough homecoming in August at Road America, the team fell to second in Platinum Cup Team Championship points, four points behind first place.
Kelly Moss spent time at the 3.4-mile, 20-turn road course testing earlier in September to gain any edge possible entering the event. Vice President Jeff Stone thinks his team is ready for the unique, challenging track.
“We really like COTA,” Stone said. “It’s great to see a track of that quality still being built in North America; though it has unique challenges. It’s a very technical track, but we had a good test result and are ready to go.”
Colin Thompson, Kelly Moss’ young gun, has a two-point lead over second-place Angel Benitez Jr. with 184 points in the Platinum Cup Driver Championship. He will look to capitalize on the extra seat time from testing to extend his lead heading to Road Atlanta, the last stop on the 2014 schedule.
“I think this will be a race of attrition,” Stone said. “It’s going to come down to who can manage their tires and their drivers in the heat. I anticipate an aggressive race. Coming down to the end of the season, people are going to put the bit in their mouth and go after it. We are, and we’re prepared to fight for it.”
As much as Road America was a homecoming, Austin is like a second home to the Kelly Moss team, with at least three drivers calling Texas home.
David Ducote, another Kelly Moss Texan, will look to continue his winning streak in the Gold and Gold Masters Championship. In his first stint in the Gold class this season at Road America, Ducote was a bright spot for the team by capturing four first-place finishes. Wayne Ducote, David’s father, will join him in the Gold class in the No. 68 Kelly Moss Porsche and also will be entered in the Gold Masters championship.
Rounding out the Kelly Moss lineup in Gold Cup and Gold Masters will be Paul Barnhart and Bill Peluchiwski. Barnhart, another Texas resident, will be back in the car for the first time since earning two consecutive podium finishes in May at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
“This is a great venue for our Gold guys,” Stone said. “We’re excited after what David was able to do getting back in the Gold class at Road America and having Paul back after a great run at Laguna. Wayne was having a good run in Wisconsin until he was knocked out under no fault of his own, and Bill is always solid for us. It’s a great lineup in both Gold and Platinum, and I fully expect for our guys to close out on the podiums. We’re looking for a big weekend.”
The team will have two 45-minute races, with the first starting at 8 a.m. (CT) Friday, Sept. 19 and the second at 7:25 p.m. Friday night. Qualifying for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama is 2:10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18 following two 30-minute practices.