Kevin Estre: St. Pete Recap

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Courtesy: Kevin Estre

Courtesy: Kevin Estre

The 2 sessions of free practices were under dry conditions and went pretty well but we did not have much track time, as there were quite a lot of red flag sequences. It was enough to learn the track and work a bit on the set up, but not as much as we wanted.

Qualifying was during a pouring rain and went well as our K-PAX with Flying Lizard Motorsport McLaren is a weapon on the wet! I was able to clinch the 2nd position with a 1 second gap to 3rd place as the Acura 4 wheels drive took the pole position.
In the 1st race we had a much better standing Start than in COTA and I was P3 after the 1st corner. We had quite a long safety car phase starting from lap 1. During the restart a Cadillac overtook me as they have a lot more torque than we do, and I lost one more position to Mike Skeen, who made a really clever move outside in Turn 4 as I was stuck behind the Cadillac under braking and couldn’t do anything. ┬áThen the race went under the safety car again for the last 10minutes and it was over with a 5th place result. Some big points but a bit disappointed.
Race 2 went a lot better. I started P4 regarding my fastest Race 1 lap. I had a good start and made a brave move on

Courtesy: Kevin Estre

Courtesy: Kevin Estre

the outside of Turn 1 and ended up P3 on the 1st lap. The Lambo in front of me made a mistake on braking from T1 and I was able to pass him. Right after that was the safety car on track after a big crash in T2. I had a good restart and our car was really fast for the 1st 5 laps but I couldn’t pass the Ferrari for P1 as they had a much better top speed than us and St Pete is not an easy track to pass. Then I gave back the position to the Lambo while doing the same mistake that he did in T1 a few laps earlier. We had a bit too high tire degradation so Dalziel came back a little but not enough to overtake me so we ended up P3.

I’m quite happy with the result because St Pete was not going to be our “track” in its configuration. We are still right there in the championship and learning fast from our McLaren 650S GT3! Rendez Vous in Long Beach on April 18-19!

 

Tony Tellez

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