Porsche Carrera World Cup: Bullitt Finishes 42nd, Frustrating Day for Snow and Bortolotti

Porsche Carrera World Cup: Bullitt Finishes 42nd, Frustrating Day for Snow and Bortolotti

June 25th, 2011

NURBURG, Germany (June 25, 2011) – The Nürburgring lived up to its reputation as “the green hell” today, as heavy rain pelted the nearly 100 drivers at the start of the six-lap Porsche Carrera World Cup. In the end, the conditions shortened the day for two of the three IMSA
GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama drivers who competed in the inaugural event at the famed German track.

The IMSA contingent included Perry Bortolotti, representing Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd., running with Wolfgang Land Motorsport; Melanie Snow, with backing from Porsche Cars North America and driving for Sanitec Acquiles MRS Racing, and Muscle Milk Team CytoSport’s Mark Bullitt, with Uwe Alzen Automotive. Bortolotti finished seventh in Category 2 (essentially the Gold Cup) and 73rd overall, while Snow finished 83rd and Bullitt 42nd in Category 1 (Platinum Cup).

The Nordschleife, or northern part of the Nürburgring, is 15 miles of undulating, forest-lined white knuckles, with nearly 1,000 feet of elevation changes, high banked corners and pavement colorfully painted by many of the 200,000 spectators. Even for veterans like Bullitt, it’s a tough go; for newcomers like Snow and Bortolotti, the week has been a crash course in monster racetrack memorization.

friedrichphoto.com / IMSA friedrichphoto.com / IMSA

Starting 97 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars was the day’s first momentous task – the cars were partitioned into three groups with their own pace car on one of the world’s longest formation laps. Bullitt got away safely in the second group, with Snow and Bortolotti in the third.
Having earned the moniker of “the world’s fastest mum” from the European press, Snow had enough experience in the rain to know the start would be difficult. The third group of cars took the green flag, made it safely through turn one and Snow headed for the apex of turn two – only to get punted from behind and spun around, nearly collecting US and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada competitor Perry Bortolotti.

“Going into turn one, the guy behind me decided to use me as his brakes and hit me hard from the back,” said Snow. “I spun and was hit by at least one other car, putting us out of the race. Perry was right behind me and almost got caught up in it too, but he was able to stop and wait and get around us.


“I am so very disappointed with the result but so thankful for this opportunity. I had a wonderful time – everything was amazing, I loved every aspect of it. The PCNA crew was so helpful and kind and my team was great! They made the perfect race decisions and were very kind, I’m so thankful to have been able to work with them.  The experience is still the highlight if my career, though I didn’t get to turn a single race lap – but that’s racing. I would do this again in a heartbeat, I loved it.”

Bortolotti was moving up until the last lap, when he discovered just how slick the painted pavement off the drying racing line was; this after having had a front row seat to Snow’s mishap.

“I was on the last lap of the race and the leaders were coming through,” explained Bortolotti. “I moved just slightly in a chicane to leave room and all of the sudden, the grip lets go. I was on the painted turtles and I lost the car. I backed it into a little barrier – not a big deal but a big enough shunt that my day was done.

“We didn’t do badly – I was fifth in class when I spun. I felt much worse for Melanie than I did for me. It’s ironic – the two North Americans have been joined at the hip all week and there we were, looking at each other on the racetrack.”

In the end, Bortolotti was happy with the experience, having managed his expectations and learned as much as he could of the massive Nordschleife in a very short amount of time.


“It’s a pretty big deal – hundreds of thousands of fans, three different start groups, almost a hundred cars on the track. The grid was huge. I just wanted to enjoy the moment, so I was pretty relaxed in the car. It was pouring rain and quite frankly, I didn’t have a lot of expectations, since I was starting so far back. I have 22 laps on this track and there are guys out here with thousands of laps. So I just wanted to run my  race  and I did, I  really enjoyed it. My  lap speeds  were good – it’s kind of crazy, going almost a hundred miles an hour in pouring rain! But to hold that car flat was unbelievable. I was finally starting to anticipate the corners. I hope I can come back here.”

The IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama features semi-professional drivers racing head to head in the largest single-make series in North America. Powered by one of the world’s most successful race cars, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, the multi-class structure of the series teaches drivers essential skills for an eventual career in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.

The series is divided into two classes; the Platinum Cup, featuring the more powerful 2011 and 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, and the Gold Cup, which includes 2005½ – 2009 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars. Both classes race on environmentally-focused Yokohama ADVAN ENV-R2 racing tires.

Next up for the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama are Rounds 6 and 7, taking the green flag at Lime Rock Park on Saturday July 9 at 10:25am and 5:00pm. Live timing, news and schedule information is athttp://www.imsachallenge.com/.

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