GT Daytona McLaren 720S GT3
- Paul Holton
- Matt Plumb
Compass Racing duo deliver top-five result in GTS-X season-opener with JT Coupal solid in TCR
AUSTIN, TX – Ray Mason and Paul Holton paired to deliver Compass Racing its first top-five result in Pirelli World Challenge Sprint-X competition at the season-opening event at the majestic Circuit of the Americas, just outside Austin, Texas. They piloted the team’s No. 78 McLaren Toronto 570S GT4 in the GTS class, whilst JT Coupal launched his TCR campaign in the No. 77 Bilstein Audi RS 3 LMS.
With each car running in a different class at different times throughout the weekend, it was a hectic weekend for the Toronto-based squad, who came in to the weekend with high hopes. “We've just come off two wins in a row with our Audi TCR cars in IMSA competition,” remarked Team Principal Karl Thomson. “Plus we had a double-podium here at CotA last year, winning and taking second place with our McLarens, so we were hoping for good results this weekend.”
In Sprint-X’s unique format of two one-hour races per weekend, Mason qualified No. 78 in 35th position for the Saturday race, moving up during his stint. After a pit stop for the driver change, Holton found himself in 28th position, and moved through the pack to finish 13th overall and tenth in class. For Sunday, Holton started in P5 in slightly damp conditions, running as high as fourth before handing over to Mason who brought the car home in fifth overall. The results put them sixth in the overall standings and fifth in Pro/Am.
“This was a really great weekend, and I’m thrilled with the result,” enthused Mason. “The McLaren is such a great car, and the Compass boys made sure everything went perfectly. This is a wonderful facility and we were pleased to see so many fans come out to enjoy the races.”
JT Coupal’s Audi suffered a blown tire during Saturday’s 40-minute TCR race, which relegated him to an 13th-place finish and affected his qualifying for Sunday’s race during which he managed to bring his bright blue Audi home in ninth in a field that includes a number of full factory programs.
“We scored valuable points against some really strong competitors this weekend,” noted Coupal. “Now we focus on the next race and on finishing further up the field at the next TCR round in Virginia."
The races in Austin will be broadcast, tape-delayed on CBS Sports. The next outings for the team are the Long Beach Grand Prix for the Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTS race April 11-13th and the second weekend of GTS-X and TCR at Virginia International Raceway April 26-29.