Podium Finish for Showtime Audi in XGT Leaves Thwaits Wanting More
March 2, 2020
Sebring, FL - March 2, 2020 - The 2020 Trans Am presented by Pirelli Championship season got underway March 1 with a competitive visit to Sebring International Raceway this weekend which paid dividends for Ken Thwaits and the No. 5 Franklin Road Apparel Audi R8 LMS Ultra who garnered the XGT Masters award on race day. On a sunny and clear early Spring day, the Tennessee driver notched a podium third place finish in the inaugural race of the new XGT class and ninth overall in the combined TA/XGT/GT race - finishing ahead of some of the traditionally quicker TA cars.
The weekend began with Showtime Motorsports team principal and lead driver Ken Thwaits recording a time of 2:09.928 in first testing on lap 4 of the session and he improved that to register 2:08.306 on lap 3 of the official practice session for second spot among the XGT cars. It was an even better story in qualifying when Ken again lowered the bar, this time for 2:06:728 behind only eventual XGT winner Eric Joiner in the Porsche 911.
The session results prompted Ken to comment, “I’ve been getting my skills back after a long winter lay off. It's funny how I thought a 2:10:00 lap was pretty good around here and now we go out to the final qualifying session and we post a 2:06:7 which is amazing. I’m just thrilled. It’s been great!”
In the race itself on the bumpy Sebring circuit to which the thoroughbred Audis are perhaps not ideally suited, Ken slipped from P2 to P3 by the checkered flag but while he pronounced himself satisfied enough with the weekend’s workout for the team, he was naturally hungry to climb a place or two on the podium when battle is rejoined at Atlanta for the next round of the XGT Championship.
“We had a good run this week at Sebring,” stated Ken, “Our team worked their tails off to provide a fast and reliable race car.” Speaking in the Florida sun on Sunday afternoon, beating the competition next time was at the front of his mind when he added, “We battled hard in qualifying with Erich and Marc. We battled hard in the race today but came up short. We just didn’t have the race pace today.”
Getting the car to go quicker is on everyone in the the Tennessee team's mind, “All of us on the team have been texting and calling each other with ideas of how to make the car faster for Road Atlanta in a few weeks. We didn’t win this battle but will come back stronger. I’ve got a great core team of hard workers that want to win. I want to win races and Championships and so do they.”
The action on the track at Road Atlanta is coming up at the end of the month, March 28 and 29 when battle is rejoined and the Showtime Motorsports team will definitely be well prepared. Unfortunately, the gremlins kept the second Showtime Audi, the No. 15 Franklin Road Apparel Audi R8 LMS Ultra due to be piloted by Kevin Long off the track at Sebring but we anticipate that the second car will be back for Atlanta.
Learn more about the Showtime Motorsports team partner, Franklin Road Apparel, at franklinroad.com
Visit the team’s website for Showtime Motorsports at showtimemotorsports.net and keep up to date with the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli at gotransam.com.
About Showtime Motorsports:
The Showtime Motorsports brand includes Ken Thwait's racing team and racecars, and an outstanding classic Camaro collection. Showtime Motorsports brings together a dynamic staff who employ diverse talents and share a passion for cars, racing and caring for clients like they are our own family members.