It was a solid first day of Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama practice for Canadian youngster Roman De Angelis, who posted the day’s fastest time of 1:26.556 in the No. 1 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Porsche 911.
De Angelis’ quick time came during the 30-minute morning session. He was fifth in the 45-minute afternoon session, but his morning time was more than two tenths of a second faster than afternoon leader Trenton Estep in the No. 3 JDX Racing Porsche.
After the morning session, De Angelis was confident in his and the team’s ability to find more speed as the weekend went on. They’ll get another chance in qualifying Saturday morning at 8 a.m. CT, and also in Saturday’s first 45-minute race of the doubleheader weekend, which starts at 11:50 a.m. CT.
“P1 is pretty good, but there’s definitely some things we can work on,” De Angelis said. “We didn’t get the optimal pace out of the car, there were a little bit of traffic issues, so I think there are two or three more tenths easy in the car and myself, especially, so I think we have the pace for the weekend. I hope we’re the guy to win at the end.”
It’s a big weekend for De Angelis and the team, as his No. 1 Porsche carries sponsorship from the nearby Children’s Hospital of Alabama.
In fact, the livery on the car includes hand prints from some of the hospital’s patients.
“I mean, Children’s Hospital of Alabama and Medical Properties Trust are here this weekend as well for our event, so that’s going to be cool,” De Angelis said. “Hopefully, we can grab a win for them as well. I’m looking forward to it and to grab some valuable points back from Sebring.”
De Angelis finished second in Race 1 at Sebring and 10th in Race 2 after a last-lap incident while battling for the win with Estep. As a result, De Angelis currently sits fourth in the GT3 Cup Challenge USA Platinum Cup point standings, 14 behind Estep, who leads.