MONTEREY, Calif., -- May 13, 2012 - What began as a clean and green beginning for the second round of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama doubleheader at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, rapidly turned into a dogfight that culminated in a five-car incident just before the checkered flag fell on the weather-shortened 40-lap race today.
And while foggy, inclement weather may have affected the day?s start, the subsequent "Snow storm" that ensued at the end was a welcome one. Sixteen-year-old Madison Snow and his mother Melanie swept under the checkers this morning to take the victories in the Platinum and Gold Classes respectively, which certainly seemed like a fitting way to celebrate Mother?s Day weekend in the Snow family.
The young Snow was glad to reclaim the top spot from yesterday?s winner Sean Johnston, but he enjoyed the competition all the way.
"We had a good start," he said. "And I stayed in the lead with Sean right behind me. We didn?t check out, just pulled ahead and tried to stay there as much as we could and kept gaining. It was really fun because we were right next to each other. It would have been nice to have avoided the last yellow so we wouldn?t have to worry about the others packing up with us, but in the end, we stayed in the lead and are really happy with our win!"
The laps after green ticked off quickly and efficiently, and ran incident free until lap 22, when a late full-course caution was thrown to recover the 02 car of Wesley Hoaglund, who had stalled out at the exit of Turn 6. This caused the field to pack up before the green and white flags were thrown simultaneously, triggering a chain reaction that spun out the No. 50 car of Marc Drumwright, which in turn collected the cars of Ludovico Manfredi, Scott Tucker, Mitch Landry and Franck Silah.
The incident radically altered the finish for the Gold Class, as Melanie Snow squeezed through the mayhem to take the win.
"Happy Mother?s Day is all I can say," she laughed. "Winning together is definitely more fun than qualifying on the pole together! I had a bit of understeer yesterday and we made the adjustment for today and my car just couldn?t have been any better. Everything came together and I had built a little lead, but then when the last yellow came out I thought ?Oh NO, this