Davis Finishes Third at Season Opener

SEBRING, Fla.-- Brandon Davis began his second Speed World Challenge GT season at the Toyo Tires Season Opener at Sebring International Raceway, part of the 57th Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Presented by Fresh From Florida, driving the No. 10 Applied Computer Solutions/SunMicro Ford Mustang Cobra to a podium finish.

Davis qualified fifth with a time of 2:10.599 around the 17-turn road course of 3.7 miles, with a top speed clocked at 101.991 mph.

“I felt that there was maybe a chance to move up, so I stayed out and ran laps for the entire session,” said Davis of qualifying. “I was able to go faster but unable to improve my position.”

When the lights went out on race day, Davis was ready.

“We had been working hard on our launch system and I was able to get up along side Eric Curran going through turn one,” said Davis. “The inside lane was held up and I was forced back into fourth position.”

 On lap 4, Davis moved up to third by passing fastest qualifier Dino Crescentini's No. 4 Stoptech/GMG Porsche 911 GT3.

The race's outcome was changed on lap 13 when SCCA officials elected to bring the field under the control of the safety car, to remove debris from the track. The gap that Davis, Curran and race leader Tony Riveria had achieved over the field was no longer a factor.

For the first time in series’ history, the new double-file restart was implemented on lap 16.

“[The restart] did not go well,” Davis said. “We went from just the three of us to having James Sofronas right next to me. He got a really good restart I guess and was able get by me before we got to Turn One. I had tried to fight back going into Three and while I was dealing with him, [Rivera and Curran] checked out a little bit.

Luck was somewhat on Davis’ side when Sofronas lost control of his GMG Porsche 911 GT3 on lap 14 and Davis drove into third position.

Rivera and his No. 97 Tax Masters/Mirage Group Porsche 911 GT3 was able to pull away from the No. 10 Ford Mustang Cobra and No. 30 Chevrolet Corvette.

“The longer the race goes, the faster the Porsches are relative to the field because of its lightweight. By the end of the race, Rivera was able to get by Curran and pull a gap,” said Davis.

Davis would chase the white and red Corvette of Curran until the checkered flag dropped for a third place finish.

“Overall, it was a positive trip to Sebring and a good way to start the season,” said Davis. “We now look ahead to Long Beach.”

Photos courtesy of Jim Sykes.

ACS Express is also supported by these associate sponsors: Red Line Oil and Mothers Polish and Wax. The team’s website is www.acsexpress.com.