Rookie Andy Lee Leads Team StopTech to String of Podium Finishes with Spectacular GTS Win in Pirelli World Challenge at Utah
May. 1, 2012 - Industry, CA - Pirelli World Challenge rookie, Andy Lee, of Colorado Springs, Colo., made it through some last lap carnage to take his first series win at the Privacy Star Grand Prix of Utah Presented by Bondurant, driving the No. 20 StopTech-equipped Best IT Chevrolet Camaro. Lee, along with several other GT, GTS and TC drivers, gave Team StopTech a total of 10 podium finishes for the weekend - but Lee's win was arguably the most spectacular.
Mark Weber Photo
Lee entered the last lap in fourth place in the GTS class, trailing Kinetic Racing teammates Michael Galati and Colin Braun in the Nos. 36 and 38 Infinity Audio/Kia Motors USA Kia Optimas and Peter Cunningham’s No. 42 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX. Braun closed the gap to Galati, and the two were battling for the lead on the last corner of the 3.048-mile Outer Course configuration when the cars hit, sending both off course, collecting Cunningham, and letting Lee race to the win. The crash was named the Kia Turning Point of the Race.
“I still can’t believe it actually happened,” Lee said. “You don’t want to win a race like that with people crashing so I ‘m glad everyone is ok, but if you get it handed to you then you might as well take it. We need the points, we had a horrible race at Long Beach, and this is just icing on the cake to be here. It’s awesome.
Galati took the lead officially with the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race on the sixth of the 22 laps the GTS machines would complete, battling but holding the lead over Cunningham and Team StopTech's Jack Baldwin driving the No. 68 Hot Wheels/Invoice Prep Porsche Cayman through the 21st lap until the incident. Baldwin finished fourth, moving him into third in the championship standings, just six points ahead of fourth-place Lee.
Meanwhile, Team StopTech also had strong results in GT. Global Motorsports Group's James Sofronas moved into third place in the standings with a strong eighth place finish in his No. 14 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 running a StopTech Trophy Big Brake Kit, and David Welch had his best career Pirelli World Challenge finish behind the wheel of the No. 77 Go Pro/StopTech/Eibach Ferrari F430, finishing fifth.
Also in GT, Mike Skeen disappointingly started from the rear of the field after the team struggled with mechanical issues in practice and qualifying. By lap five, however, Skeen had driven his No. 02 Hawk Performance Chevrolet Corvette - which runs a street StopTech BBK - up to fifth, and with two laps to go had moved past the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V of Andy Pilgrim to claim the final podium position. That effort earned Skeen the Sunoco Hard Charger, and his positions improved on the opening lap were also good for the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start.
Touring Car held a triple header this weekend in Utah, with Team StopTech filling all three podiums. Whether they were using StopTech or sister brand Power Slot brake components, Team StopTech members captured three wins, three seconds and two thirds. Rookie Todd Lamb took the first race win in the No. 71 Compass 360 Racing Honda Civic Si, followed by teammate Ryan Winchester in the No. 72 Civic and Gustavo Michelsen in the No. 69 TLMUSA.com Civic Si.
Race two for the TC class saw fellow rookie and series points leader, Michael Cooper, on the top step with a dominant performance in his No. 03 Mazdaspeed Mazda3. He was followed across the line by podium returnees, Winchester and Lamb.
The final race of the weekend in TC found a new name atop the podium, as former series champion Tristan Herbert drove his No. 33 HPA Brimtek VW GLI to victory ahead of the consistently good Lamb and then Winchester this time.
That made for a memorable weekend for Lamb and Winchester with the former going 1-3-2, and fellow rookie Winchester going 2-2-3. After what were rounds three, four and five for TC, the points standings have Cooper in the lead followed by Lamb, Winchester, Michelsen and Herbert.
It was an amazing weekend for Team StopTech with a total of four class wins, three seconds and three thirds overall.
The GT, GTS and TC classes return to action in two weekends at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. More information can be found at www.world-challenge.com. Follow Pirelli World Challenge on Twitter @WCRacing and StopTech @StopTech.
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StopTech, the ultra-performance and racing division of Centric Parts along with Power Slot, is a leading innovator of world-class brake components and brake systems for production-based racing cars and high performance vehicles on the street and track – and the official brake system of the Pirelli World Challenge. StopTech was the first to offer Balanced Brake Upgrades® for production cars and remains the worldwide leader with more than 700 platform offerings to. StopTech braking systems and components are available through motorsports distributors and performance automotive aftermarket retailers. For more information on StopTech, visit http://www.stoptech.com.