When a reporter asked Eric Johnson how tight his race was with Andrew Morton in the GTS3 championship, Johnson offered a brief recap.
“It wasn’t close at all,” he said. “But I got to battle the GTS4 car for most of the race.”
Morton was dominant en route to the GTS3 crown at the Western States Championships. It started by winning Saturday’s qualifying race and continued through to Sunday’s final.
“I got lucky in traffic. I was able to stay out of trouble,” Morton said. “I stuck the car in the tire wall on Friday. I put it back together and made it today. It isn’t pretty, but it turns laps.”
Johnson, who finished second, knew early in the race that only a mechanical problem or an accident would keep Morton from claiming the top prize.
Third-place finisher Zung Tran wanted to keep the pressure on Morton and Johnson to see if they would make a mistake. Tran’s BMW M3 was in less than ideal shape when he took to the track on Sunday afternoon.
His car was hit and Tran’s crew chief and race team had spent the night and next morning fixing the front suspension. The passenger door was bashed in, a visible reminder of the crash two days earlier.
“The first two guys (Andrew Morton and Eric Johnson) are pretty fast,” said Tran, whose face was covered in dust from the track. “I just wanted to stay with them and see what happened. There was no catching them.”