Warming Up at Watkins Glen: SERKET Racing Prepares for IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge’s 100th Event

June 3rd, 2013

Warming Up at Watkins Glen: SERKET Racing Prepares for IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge’s 100th Event

Wellington, Fla., (June 3, 2013) – Successful entrepreneur Mark Llano knows that the key to success is diligence combined with preparation to create a winning formula. This strategy in mind, SERKET Racing team looked ahead to the upcoming 100th IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokokama Series race at Watkins Glen International on June 28-30 and made a tactical decision to get ahead of the competition by laying down some laps at last weekend’s PCA Club Racing event in an effort to familiarize themselves with the historic facility that has played host to nearly every type of road racing class ever concieved, including Formula One, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and INDYCAR.

It was Llano’s first time back on track after an incident at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) during the V8 Supercars weekend on May 17-19 left his shoulder black and blue. His race results, however, show no indication of weakness as Llano finished sixth in his class in race one and fifth in his class in race two. Overall, he was 18th and 16th, respectively, out of the field of 59 cars.

“Never having been at Watkins Glen and just coming off a crash at Circuit of the Americas, I took the warm up and practice sessions at 80 percent,” explained the former Marine. As the Navy would say, ‘I did not have my sea legs under me yet.’ By the last practice session I was starting to get more confidence and found my braking points.”

Llano gained additional confidence over the weekend as he was able to use his experience from COTA to navigate some on-track drama offered by the legendary 3.40-mile, 11-turn road course located on the Southern tip of Lake Seneca.

During practice Friday, Llano found himself in a déjà vu situation when two cars in front of him made contact sending each car into a wall.

“I said to myself, ‘Find the hole and don’t get hit,’” Llano said. “I made it through the incident unscathed and having made it through, I felt like the crash I experienced at COTA was off my mind.”

Llano perseverance paid off and he made great strides with his NGT Motorsport-prepared Platinum Cup 911 GT3 entry by shaving several seconds off his time over the course of the weekend’s preparations.

“We took off 4.5 seconds from the practice sessions on Friday to the warm-up before race one and into race two on Saturday,” Llano said. “We did our best time of 2:00.65 in the warm-up for race one. I firmly believe we will be under two minutes for the IMSA event and I’m looking forward to it.”

And while the on-track performance and strategy was the primary goal for Llano, he spent his off-track time inspiring others with his mission and passion to raise awareness and support the needs of men and women in uniform and veterans. One individual in particular seemed to understand the importance of the correlation between Llano’s time as a Marine and his racing career.

“We had a little girl come over to see the car and take pictures,” recalled Llano. “She said, ‘My dad is a Marine,’ and when I told her I was a Marine too, she said, ‘Well I guess that means you never give up and I will be cheering for you.’ This confirmed that what we are doing at SERKET Racing can touch peoples lives.”

The goal of SERKET Racing is to support our Nation’s heroes off the battlefield with the same spirit they herald in the field. The MultiCam pattern on Llano’s Porsche GT3 Cup car brings fans over to the SERKET paddock and gives him the chance to educate others on his mission, which is the primary platform of his racing program.

“We had two boys around the age of 12 come over to the paddock,” said Llano. “The boys loved the logo and MultiCam wrap. It reminded them of the video game Call of Duty.”

The paddock has proven to provide the perfect arena to allow others to learn about SERKET’s mission of raising awareness and assistance for those who have honorably served and sacrificed for our country.

Meanwhile Watkins Glen also proved useful for picking up a few simple racing tips.

“Racing tip number one,” suggested the Florida native. “If you have never been on a new track before I highly recommend you do a club event or a race school before you race on it.” Llano also jokingly added, “Racing tip number two, when the track goes green, green, green, don’t wave back at the corner worker.”

Mark Llano and SERKET Racing will showcase their newly garnered experience at The Glen on June 28-30. Rounds five and six of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama schedule are part of the highly-anticipated Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International. Race five will be the series’ 100th event since it’s inception in 2005.

To learn more about the car, the driver, and the mission stop by the SERKET Racing paddock under the NGT Motorsports tent. Keep up with the team by following SERKET Racing on Twitter and Facebook.

About SERKET Racing:

SERKET Racing (serketracing.com) is an organization based in Wellington, Florida, that races a 2012 Porsche GT3 Cup car in conjunction with NGT Motorsport (ngtmotorsport.com). Beginning in 2013 SERKET racing will compete in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama – the largest single-make racing series in North America. Started by former Marine Mark Llano, and Randy Webb, the SERKET racing team competes with the goal of raising awareness and assistance for those who have honorably served and sacrificed for our country: military veterans and their families. Veteran owned and operated, SERKET Racing is aware of the obstacles that veterans face upon their return home and teams with numerous local, state and national charities to develop and implement innovative programs to assist these veterans and their families in their time of need.

serketracing.com

About Operation Homefront:

A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers with nationwide presence, and has met more than 590,000 needs of military families since its inception in 2002. A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, nationally, 94 percent of total revenue donated to Operation Homefront goes directly to assist service members.

operationhomefront.net

About The Xtreme Couture GI Foundation:

A 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, was founded by Randy Couture to honor the veterans of America’s armed forces. The foundation was especially formed to raise money and awareness for those wounded in action and their families.To date, more than 24,000 U.S. troops have been wounded in the war against terrorism, which doesn’t include the many more suffering the mental effects.

xcgif.org

About EBV

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV) is a program first created by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, designed to provide training in entrepreneurship and small business management to post-9/11 veterans with disabilities resulting from their military service. The mission of the EBV is to open the door to business ownership for our veterans, by developing skills that relate to the many steps associated with launching and growing a small business. Today the EBV is offered by a network of world-class business schools across the U.S., that includes Syracuse University, Texas A&M University, Florida State University, UCLA, Purdue University, and the University of Connecticut. The training is provided at no cost to eligible veterans.

ebvfoundation.org