ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – If it’s summer, then we’re deep into racing season and our team is headed to the legendary Road America road circuit in Wisconsin for the next round of the Pirelli World Challenge.
We competed in the first two GT Sprint weekends at St. Petersburg and Long Beach, but our GAINSCO Auto Insurance/Bob Stallings Racing team took off the SprintX events at VIR, CTMP (Mosport) and Lime Rock.
Despite not racing, we have been testing in Louisiana and California as we prepare for the rest of the PWC season. In addition, we will run the last two SprintX race (60 minutes and two drivers) at Utah and COTA and we’ll have a great Porsche factory driver in Wolf Henzler as my teammate.
It was good to have Wolf at the tests to compare our driving styles and to help a little with car setup. Ironically, we both like the same settings on the No. 99 “Red Dragon” Porsche 911 GT3 R. Just a few adjustments on brake bias but, overall, we were close and that is helpful with a two-driver program. It’s good to have a teammate with a good working personality and we have that with Wolf.
Now, this week, we head to one of the top road circuits in the world and one of my favorites in the four-mile Road America track. I have raced at Elkhart Lake many times but just have never won there. I’ve been second several times but I want to get to the top of the podium at that place. It’s such a historic course and so much fun to drive. There are fast sections, slow turns and plenty of elevation changes. It has everything you want if you are designing a track and it was built over 60 years ago.
Every driver looks forward to going to Road America. It is always fun because of the legendary track and the fans are into racing, whether it’s sports cars, IndyCars, motorcycles or bicycles. I do a lot of mountain biking and cycling around Road America is fun too.
I finished second at Road America in Formula Atlantic back in 2002 and 2004 and I have run a number of sports car races that we were close to winning. It would be awesome to win there.
But the field will be tough with the Bentleys, Mercedes and others which are fast on the long straightaways. I think the Porsche 911 GT3 R will be right in the hunt for the two PWC 50-minute sprint races on Saturday and Sunday. We have learned quite a bit about our “Red Dragon” Porsche since Long Beach and I believe we are ready to run up front at Road America.
There are a lot of great things around Road America like the food stands and various places to watch the action on the track. Many years ago, a fan couldn’t go to the places they can now. You can go down to the ‘kink” and watch the cars really going fast through that area. Or you can go down by Canada Corner where the cars come down the back straightaway. Seems like each time I go to Road America, there are new places to go or things to do at the track.
I heard they put in a “Frisbee” golf course in an area at the track. That’s great for the kids to have something new to do at the race track. Of course, Elkhart Lake is a fun area to hang out away from the track – the little shops and restaurants as well as the lake too.
Hope you can come out to Road America this weekend with our Pirelli World Challenge action, the IndyCars and the Road to Indy open-wheelers too. It’s great experience.
If not, you can watch our races on www.motortrendondemand.com and the PWC website, www.world-challenge.com. Our Sunday GT race will be shown on the same-day (this Sunday, June 25) on the CBS Sports Network at 3 pm EDT. Please tune in and watch for the No. 99 GAINSCO “Red Dragon” Porsche 911 GT3R.