Austin TX.- EFFORT Racing keeps it close to home at COTA. The Circuit of The Americas, one of the most pristine tracks in the United States, is host to races 13 and 14 of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama. Heat again played a factor in testing for the series, but rain was an even bigger factor in qualifying, so much so that qualifying was scrapped all together. The decision was made to use the lap times that were laid down during testing to determine placement for Race 1.
Early Friday morning produces a promise of rain throughout the day and a wet track challenge for Race 1. The starting line-up was dictated by the results of Thursday’s dry-tracked Practice 2. EFFORT Racing’s #41, Michael Mills lines up in P2 behind Snow Racing/Wright Motorsport’s Madison Snow. EFFORT Racing’s Young Gun, Sloan Urry takes P5 with his #20 car. EFFORT Racing’s Guest Gentlemen Driver Mark McKenzie has an impressive showing in Practice Race 2 as well, taking P7 in the #63 car. As predicted, Race 13 of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama starts with a very wet track and steady rainfall. Lap 1 puts driver #56, David Baker of Topp Racing in the gravel and gives us our first yellow flag of the race. It was a fierce battle between Sloan Urry who was creeping up behind TruSpeed Autosport’s #46 Brett Sandberg for 3rd position. NGT Motorsports Angel Benitez Jr. was quick to take the 1st position and was able to hold on with Snow Racing/Wright Motorsports’ Madison Snow a good distance behind in 2nd. NGT’s Mark Llano was the second to spin off the track bringing the 2nd yellow flag and tightening the stack again with only 9 minutes left in the race. This yellow would dictate the outcome of race one as the clock runs out under a yellow flag.
The results are 1st place, Angel Benitez Jr., 2nd place Madison Snow and 3rd place going to Brett Sandberg. EFFORT Racing’s Sloan Urry pulls off a 4th place finish, Michael Mills had a very fierce battle, which included some bumping on the track, ending him in 7th. Our guest gentleman driver Mark McKenzie also showed an extraordinary display of driving ability giving him a 9th place finish. Race 2 starts with a break in the clouds, no rain and a dry track. EFFORT Racing’s Michael Mill’s starts P3, right behind him is Sloan Urry P4, and our guest gentlemen driver Mark McKenzie starts P6. When the green came out, it was on, with Urry taking 2nd and Mills 3rd very quickly. You certainly feel the heat between Madison Snow and Sloan Urry in a fight for P1. Urry was relentless in not letting Snow develop a large gap between the two of them. Michael Mills was holding strong to his P3 even with a lot of heat from TruSpeed’s Brett Sandberg. EFFORT’S guest driver Mark McKenzie was giving Sandberg a lot of pressure from behind in P5. 12 minutes into the race, NGT’s first place winner in race 1, Angel Benitez Jr. found himself off the track and unable to restart his car causing the first yellow of the race. The battle at this point was focused on Mills and Sandberg and Mills’ determination to hold on to P3. At the 30 minute mark, the EFFORT Team was holding strong with Urry still putting the heat on Snow. At 36 minutes in, 2 cars spin out with a quick yellow. Back at green, Michael Mills regains P3 from Brett Sandberg during an extremely fierce battle, along with Snow and Urry still battling way ahead of the pack. After some heated competition in race 2, the results at the checkers are Madison Snow P1, Sloan Urry P2 and Michael Mills P3. After another extraordinary battle, our guest driver Mark McKenzie came in P11. #20, Sloan Urry was quoted… “EFFORT came in with some strong cars for COTA’s rounds 13 and 14 of the IMSA Cup Challenge. We started out the first few practices struggling a bit, but the guys immediately responded and gave us a great car for both the rain race and the dry race today.
Unfortunately in the first race we had a lot of yellow flags and didn’t get to show our pace too much and move up through the field, but was lucky to secure 4th place and give us some good points. Today we had a good start in the second race, going from 4th to 2nd. I had some contact in turn 6 which knocked my car out of alignment and made it a little bit exciting the rest of the race. We chased Madison the entire time and showed pace to get up on him, but unfortunately we had some issues with our fuel pumps and caused me to have to fall back and barely got across the finish line. It’s all good, we took 2nd place and once again I’m second in the championship.
Good weekend for EFFORT, two guys on the podium today and you can’t ask for much more than that.” #41, Michael Mills was quoted… “I’m really proud of the guys and the set up on the cars was really, really good. For us to be up front this weekend and for Sloan and I to be on the podium together at COTA is a big deal and I’m very happy about that” EFFORT Racing… We Come To Win!