Friday, March 28, 2014

Enge, Baldwin Lead St. Petersburg Opening Practice Featured

Written by  Series Staff
Jack Baldwin Jack Baldwin Smith/PWC
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. - Tomas Enge, of Liberec, Czech Republic, led the opening 25-minute practice session overall and in GT for the Cadillac Grand Prix of St. Petersburg brought to you by StopTech, part of the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg weekend.

Enge, who has both open-wheel and sports car experience at the 1.8-mile street circuit, lapped the course in 1:14.786 in the No. 25 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo FL2.

“For me, I was very lucky to get a clear lap, and you can see the difference between that and the next fastest lap,” Enge said. “I had the luxury of a clear lap and that’s why I’m ahead, but otherwise the competition is very tight.”

Dane Cameron, of Buford, Ga. in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3 was second at 1:15.404. Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla., was third in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R at 1:16.052.

In the GT-A designation, Andrew Palmer of Chicago led the time sheets in fifth overall in the No. 21 GMG Racing Audi R8 Ultra, with a best time of 1:16.256.

“It feels like a bigger go-kart track,” said Palmer, who makes his series and track debut this weekend. “It went really well considering I’ve never been to the track. Being consistent and not getting in any hairy situations. Most everyone gave each other room.”

Second was Nick Mancuso, also of Chicago, in the No. 16 Ferrari Lake Forest Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 at 1:16.331. Jeff Courtney, of Milwaukee, Wis., was third in the No. 99 Kenda/ Audi R8 Ultra at 1:17.268.

Jack Baldwin, of Marietta, Ga., led in GTS in the No. 73 RESET-MD/Motul/StopTech Porsche Cayman S at 1:21.118.

“I really didn’t have any issues. The RESET-MD/Motul/StopTech crew did a great job getting us prepared,” said Baldwin, who swept the St. Petersburg double header in 2013. “I’m pleased we had a good run. We didn’t find traffic a huge problem. Everyone did a good job. It was typical of a St. Pete first session out.”

Second was Dean Martin of Westland, Mich. in the No. 50 Picture Cars East/Rehagen Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302 at 1:21.214. Another Ford, driven by Alec Udell, clocked in third at 1:21.802. Udell, of The Woodlands, Texas, drives the No. 17 Watson Racing/MDG Ford Mustang Boss 302S.

Sunny skies and a 66 degree ambient temperature greeted the series’ first practice session of the year. A second session occurs at 4:20 p.m. EDT.

  • -Pirelli -
  • B.R.M Watches (Bernard Richards Manufacture)
  • Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving
  • Cadillac - Official Pace Car and Safety Car, Manufacturer Sponsor
  • Eibach
  • MOMO Automotive Accessories
  • Motul USA
  • OPTIMA Batteries
  • Race Keeper
  • Recaro
  • RePlay XD
  • StopTech
  • VP Racing Fuels