Porsche Goes Pole To Checkered Flag In Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
Monday, May 2, 2016

MONTEREY, Calif. (May 1, 2016) – After winning the GT Daytona (GTD) class TOTAL Pole Award on Saturday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Alex Riberas said, “Everybody tells me this is a Porsche track.”

And in Sunday’s two-hour Prototype Challenge (PC)/GTD race at the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda at least, it truly was a Porsche track. Riberas quickly pulled out into the lead in the No. 23 Heart of Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R for Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing and stayed there throughout his hour-long driving stint.

Co-driver Mario Farnbacher made it more of the same through the second half of the race, as the No. 23 Porsche led every lap en route to its first IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship victory of the season. Farnbacher finished 3.632 seconds ahead of Alessandro Balzan in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3.

It was the second WeatherTech Championship victory for Riberas and his first since co-driving with Farnbacher and Ian James to the GTD victory in the 2015 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida.

“I have to say the guys did a fantastic job,” Riberas said. “Everyone from AJR and Porsche. Through Free Practice 1, Free Practice 2 and Free Practice 3, Qualifying, all P1. Then, during the race, P1 and the fastest lap. It shows Porsche had a very fast car here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It is my first time here and I have to say this is probably my favorite race track now.”

For Farnbacher, it was his fourth major U.S. sports car racing victory and third in WeatherTech Championship competition. His last win was at the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers last year alongside James.

One race after earning the first WeatherTech Championship victory for the new Ferrari 488 GT3, Balzan and co-driver Christina Nielsen – who qualified second on Saturday – brought the Scuderia Corsa machine home in second place. Finishing third in GTD in the No. 007 LaSalle Solutions Aston Martin Vantage GT3 were Brandon Davis and James Davison.

NOTEBOOK

·     All seven GTD manufacturers were represented in the top-seven finishing positions in the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix. Finishing behind the Porsche, Ferrari and Aston Martin that finished first, second and third were the No. 6 Stevenson Automotive Group Audi R8 LMS GT3 co-driven by Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis in fourth, the No. 96 Spectra Resources / United Steel / Valspar Paint / IHG Rewards Club BMW M6 GT3 of Bret Curtis and Jens Klingmann in fifth for Turner Motorsport, the No. 33 ViperExchange.com/Gas Monkey Garage Dodge Viper GT3-R co-driven by Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen in sixth and the No. 48 Castrol / Universal Industrial Sales Lamborghini Huracán GT3 of Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow for Paul Miller Racing in seventh.

·     Alex Job Racing earned its 59th victory in major U.S. sports car competition in the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix. “It’s really special to add to Alex Job’s wins,” Farnbacher said. “Alex is one old fox in motorsport, so it’s a pleasure to drive for him. He has a lot of history in his racing career and his team. We both are proud to be on this team.”

·     It was the 559th victory in major U.S. sports car competition (IMSA GT, USRRC, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, American Le Mans Series) for Porsche.

·     Unofficially, Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan lead the WeatherTech Championship GTD driver standings with 95 points, followed by Mario Farnbacher and Alex Riberas with 89 and previous leaders Andy Lally and John Potter with 86 points after three of 11 GTD races now complete.

·     The next WeatherTech Championship round for the GTD class is the 100-minute Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers at Detroit’s Belle Isle Park on Saturday, June 4. That race also will include the Prototype and Prototype Challenge classes and will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.

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