Lexington, Ohio (10 April 2021) – After fighting through challenging race weekend for the team at Barber Motorsports Park last month, Round 3 Racing returned to World Racing League (WRL) competition with a run to the GP2 class victory on Saturday, and backing that strong result up with a podium result in the GP3 class.
The eight-hour race opened a double-header race weekend of endurance racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
The No. 601 Team Cooper Tires Porsche Boxster of Loni Unser, Mike Gilbert and Mo Dadkah led the charge for Round 3 Racing (R3R), securing first place in the GP2 class. The No. 605 Porsche Boxster of Cole Loftsgard, Carter Pease, Dennis Neel, and David Kicak took home a second place result in GP3 class competition to make it a double-podium day for R3R.
The run to class victory added momentum for the No. 601 Team Cooper Tires Porsche Boxster of Unser, Gilbert and Dadkhah, after the trio combined for a podium finish at the last round at Barber Motorsports Park.
Slated with the opening two-hour stint, Loni Unser battled with fellow GP2 traffic to keep the car clean and in contention before handing over the Porsche Boxster to Mike GIlbert. Despite a door to door battle that saw the No. 601 sent spinning on lap 159 and causing light suspension damage, Gilbert quickly recovered to keep the effort on the right path.
Unser took over control of the Boxster and began working her tools in the car to maneuver through lapped traffic for 56 laps. Dadkhah closed out the final two hours of racing at Mid-Ohio for the Cooper Tires team. An incident on the last lap saw the field take the checkered flag under a yellow, with the No. 601 Team Cooper Tires Porsche Boxster capturing a first GP2 class win of the season.
“Johnny (Unser, father of Loni and accomplished racer and coach) always tells us to let the race come to you and we did that,” said Mo Dadkhah. “We stayed consistent the whole race and let the race come to us. It came down to Loni (Unser), Mike and I pushing hard to keep the car fast and not get into trouble. It was an awesome race and we are already looking forward to going out there again tomorrow.”
Joining R3R for the first time this season, the No. 605 Porsche Boxster of Cole Loftsgard, Carter Pease, Dennis Neel, David Kicak made an impressive opening run in the entry to score second in GP3 competition.
“The day went really well today,” said Pease. “Cole (Loftsgard) had an amazing first stint with fast lap times and when he handed it over to David (Kicak) who maintained that pace that was able to keep the car in the top five. Dennis (Neel) took over, had a great stint as well, and eventually got it to me for the last two hours and 45 minutes. My stint went well and I was able to keep the car on track with no mistakes. In this series, attrition can be very big, especially in endurance racing. No incidents and keeping the car on track really paid dividends for us in the No. 605 in the end that helped us achieve a great finish.”
The No. 604 Sentinel Porsche Boxster of Christain Maloof, Mike Smith and Hannah Grisham completed 272 laps, crossing the finish line in fourth in GP2 competition. The eight-hour race was the first WRL event for Grisham with the R3R team.
“It was really fun driving the Boxster today,” said Grisham. “We have a predictable car and with a good team like Round 3 Racing made our on-track efforts that much more successful. I did a three-hour stint, which is the longest I’ve ever been in a car at one time, but I learned a lot and I’m really excited to get to do it again tomorrow.”
Sarah Montgomery opened the eight-hour race from fourth in the No. 702 Hagerty Porsche Cayman. The Atlanta-native quickly showed her natural speed pushing the Porsche up into second on the opening corners. Montgomery went deep into the braking zones to take over the overall and GTO class lead. She led 25 laps before coming to pit lane to hand over the No. 702 Hagerty Porsche to Brad McCall.
Returning to the 2.4-mile Ohio course in 13th, McCall quickly worked his way through traffic to take the lead on Lap 158 where he stayed until the next scheduled pit stop on Lap 171 for fuel and a driver change. Sports car veteran and team co-owner Buz McCall completed 59 laps before Montgomery took the No. 702 Hagerty Porsche Cayman across the finish line in fifth.
The second race of the weekend goes green tomorrow Sunday, April 11th at 8AM ET. Live streaming will be available on the World Racing League Youtube channel as well as in-car streaming from each of the R3R Porsche entries via Sentinel.
Live Stream Links:
No, 702: https://youtu.be/kC9Kowj9lgA
No. 604: https://youtu.be/noZT_O6r6BI