Porsche Carrera Cup opener a learning experience for Irish Mike’s Racing
SEBRING, FL (17 March 2022) – Irish Mike’s Racing faced a learning experience in Thursday’s IMSA Porsche Carrera Cup North America presented by Visit Cayman Islands.
The team debuted a pair of Porsche 992s for Conor Flynn and Craig Conway for the two 40-minute races on the historic 3.74-mile circuit.
Flynn placed 23rd overall and 15th in the Pro class, gaining three positions in the closing minutes driving the No. 95 FlynnCo Cars / Chillout Systems Porsche. In the afternoon race, Flynn took 15th in class and 25th overall in the 43-car field.
“It was interesting, because it was our first ‘jump into the pond’ with the new cars, other than the Porsche test,” Flynn said. “We still have work to do, but we’ve made huge improvements from day one of practice to race time. I think we’ll be in good form for our next race at Long Beach.”
Running the No. 97 Diamond Suzuki Porsche in the Pro-Am class, Conway placed 38th overall and 15th in class in the morning event, and 16th in the second race.
“We are in a learning pattern,” Conway admitted. “At least we finished both races, and the cars are in one piece, so I’m sure we’ll get better and get faster as we drive them more. The cars are good, they’re better than the cars we raced last year (the Porsche 991}, we just have to learn the limit. There’s tons of aero downforce on these cars that we’re not used to yet.”
Flynn qualified 16th in Pro and 32nd overall with a lap of 2:07.407, while Conway failed to turn a qualifying lap due to fuel pump issues.
“Since I didn’t qualify, I had to start on the tail-end of the field,” Conway said. “That didn’t help matters. No ‘Luck of the Irish’ on St. Patrick’s Day!”
Both races raced green from flag to flag under warm conditions, which made it tough on the competitors but resulted in ideal learning conditions for a team learning a new car.
“Green all the way was surprising for the size of our field,” Flynn said. “They were hard races because it was really hot, but it was great for our team because we don’t know our cars that much. It was good to find out how they would behave after a long 40-minute run, so that worked out in our favor for both races.”
The series takes to the streets of Long Beach, Calif., for Round 2, set for April 8-9.
Paige N. Grimmer