Porsche Napleton Racing (PNR) and driver David Heinemeier Hansson will return to IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama action in the No. 37 PNR / 37signals Porsche GT3 this weekend at Lime Rock Park in the Northeast Grand Prix, July 8 – 9.
Saturday’s doubleheader features the day’s first race at 10:25 a.m. before a second sprint following the featured ALMS event at 5:00 p.m.
Hansson and PNR haven’t raced in the GT3 Cup Challenge in over two months but they will still carry some momentum from their season-best fourth-place overall and Platinum Cup Class finish on May 1 at Miller Motorsports Park, the last time they took the green flag. Hansson is ready to go for this weekend.
“I can’t wait to get back in the No. 37 at Lime Rock,” Hansson said. “It’ll be my first time at Lime Rock, but it’s a short track and I love fast sweepers, so I’m hopeful it’ll be a quick learning curve.”
Although the only GT3 Cup race missed in the two-month time span after Utah was Montreal – the team is not contesting the pair of Canadian races on the 2011 schedule – Hansson stayed sharp with some racing in Europe, nearly scoring a victory.
“It’s been a while even though I’ve been keeping busy racing Radicals in Europe,” Hansson said. “In the latest race at Imola in Italy, as a support race of the 6 hour ILMC race, I would have finished first in the last race if not for a fuel-pump issue on the very last lap.”
Hansson and the PNR team have had a competitive 37signals Porsche in each of the opening double-header rounds of the 2011 GT3 Cup season, but not always the results to show for it. They scored a strong sixth in the team’s series debut in the season-opening race at Sebring in March only to be taken out the following day after competitor contact at the race start. Another blow from the same competitor dropped Hansson and the PNR team from contention at the start of Saturday’s first race at Miller before they recovered for the season-best result on Sunday.
Putting a pair of strong races together at Lime Rock is one of the main goals for what will be a tight weekend. The two-day event marks the first time this season the GT3 Cup Challenge will run a pair of races on the same day.
The IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama features semi-professional and emerging drivers racing head to head in Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars. The series is broken into two classes, with the Platinum Cup class featuring newer and more powerful Porsche GT3s and the Gold Cup class for 2005½ to 2009 specification GT3s.
Friday’s opening day of activity includes practice and qualifying. Race-day Saturday begins with the first 45-minute sprint at 10:25 a.m. while the second GT3 Cup race the weekend’s overall racing schedule at 5 p.m.