Sports car racing highlights from Watkins Glen International and Spa-Francorchamps...
K-PAX Racing has claimed another sweep of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS weekend with a dominant run by Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper, who picked up their seventh victory of the season.
The Lamborghini factory driver turned a pole-winning lap into a controlling opening stint in Sunday’s 90-minute contest, bridging out into a lead over the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Jan Heylen.
While Heylen’s co-driver Fred Poordad briefly emerged as the overall leader following the round of pit stops, Pepper quickly retook the lead from the Pro-Am class Porsche to cruise to the finish.
Pepper crossed the line 1.941 seconds ahead of the sister No. 6 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Corey Lewis, who made a late-race charge through the running order of Pro-Am class entries.
It came after the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 was assessed a drive-through penalty for a pit stop infraction that dropped the Robby Foley and Michael Dinan-driven Pro class entry from 2nd to outside of the top-ten overall at the time.
Dinan, meanwhile, drove back to a fourth place finish.
WRT Clinches LMP2 Title with Third Win of Season
Team WRT drivers Robert Kubica, Yifei Ye and Louis Deletraz clinched the European Le Mans Series title with a round to spare by winning Sunday’s four-hour race at Spa.
The drivers of the No. 41 Oreca 07 Gibson put their LMP2 championship lead mathematically beyond dispute with their third win from five ELMS races held so far this season, in addition to their main rivals at G-Drive Racing retiring on the first lap.
Deletraz took the checkered flag 5.3 seconds ahead of the Duqueine Team Oreca driven by Tristan Gommendy, Memo Rojas and Rene Binder.
Panis Racing’s Will Stevens, James Allen and Julien Canal completed the podium after Stevens made a late overtake on United Autosports’ Job van Uitert out of Bruxelles.
WRT started from third on the grid but Kubica was quickly up to second after Phil Hanson’s second-placed No. 22 United Autosports car fell back due to contact.
A safety car impacted the early proceedings as Roman Rusinov’s No. 26 G-Drive Racing Aurus-badged Oreca came to a halt on the Kemmel Straight with a loss of drive.
The problem occurred shortly after Rusinov pitted for repairs from being hit and turned around by Racing Team Turkey’s Salih Yoluc at the opening corner.
G-Drive’s retirement gave WRT a prime opportunity to clinch the title ahead of next month’s season finale which the Belgian squad ultimately capitalized on.
McAleer, Grahovec Take Come-from-Behind Win in GT4 America Race 2
Stevan McAleer and Toby Grahovec have claimed a come-from-behind victory in the second Pirelli GT4 America race of the weekend at Watkins Glen International.
The Classic BMW duo took overall honors in the 60-minute race, which ended under a full-course caution for a heavy accident involving Derek De Boer and Adam Adelson.
It came after Grahovec was forced to start from the rear of the 32-car field due to a technical infringement that also stripped them of their Silver class win in Saturday’s race.
An early stop for Grahovec put the No. 11 BMW M4 GT4 out front in clean air as the majority of the field elected to pit at the end of the pit window.
A faster-than-permitted pit stop for the No. 15 BSport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 initially put Bryan Putt out front overall before getting passed by McAleer with 20 minutes to go.
Putt would later be given a 31-second post-race time penalty for exceeding the minimum pit delta, handing the Pro-Am class win to the Heart of Racing duo of Gray Newell and Ian James for the first time.
Burton Claims First Overall GT America Win in Action-Packed Race 2
Jeff Burton claimed his first overall GT America powered by AWS victory following a hard-fought battle in Sunday’s round at Watkins Glen International.
Burton took his No. 191 Rearden Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo to a 16.968-second win over the No. 460 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Andy Wilzoch, who was provisionally classified second.
It came after a late-race clash between Wilzoch and the championship-leading No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche of Charlie Luck while battling for second that sent the Race 1 winner to the pit lane with damage.
While having converted his pole into an early race lead, Burton got around Luck for the lead on Lap 7 and extended his margin through the end of the race.
The No. 90 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo of Caesar Bacarella was classified third overall in the invitational class.
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