Young Nate Stacy takes third with Mark Klenin winning GTS Am Class
LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Rodrigo Baptista took advantage of lapped traffic to take the lead heading up the hill at Lime Rock Park and went on to take the GTS race victory by a slim margin of .178 seconds, driving Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR in Pirelli World Challenge competition. It was Flying Lizard Motorsports’ first PWC victory.
Ian James, who started second and led early, mounted a charge through West Bend on the last lap and pulled alongside Baptista coming down the trademark downhill at Lime Rock but was unable to complete the daring move, settling for second in the No. 50 Panoz Avezzano GT. Of note, James also led early morning practice with the fastest lap.
The Panoz driver started second and passed Martin Barkey on the first green flag lap with an outside move in turn one. From there, James pulled a small gap until lapped traffic on the back stretch gave Baptista, who started third, an opportunity to pounce.
It was a great race,” said Baptista. “We did a good start. I think we made a good choice to stay on the slick tires. Before we started the race, we were on the radio discussing which tires to use. We decided to stay on the slick tires. The car was really great in these wet conditions. The team did a perfect job. I want to thank the team for making all this possible.”
“The car is really good,” said James, the sports car veteran. “We’re improving it, learning about it. Really the race weekends are the only time we’ve had to test it, so it’s a learning experience. We had a good test on Tuesday, and today I made a good start and got in the lead. Then Rodrigo got a good run on me and got around me on one of the chicanes. It and took me a while to get the momentum back and then I got on his tail there near the end. It was a good battle and we were side by side down in the last corner. The GTS races are really fun. At just 50 minutes they’re fun, it’s good racing, and you can really go after it. The races are close with all these different cars racing against each other. I’m really enjoying the Pirelli World Challenge.”
Nate Stacy completed the top three in the 36-lap race, moving up from his fifth place starting position in another Flying Lizard Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
“I think the race went well,” said the 17-year-old Stacy. “Rodrigo did an excellent job to finish first, and it was great to get a 1-3 finish. Our car was excellent in the rain. Superb job on whoever made the ABS and traction control systems. The individual wheel speeds were perfect. Anytime the car started to slide, it checked up perfectly and didn’t let it go off. It’s an amazing car. Hats off to Porsche for making a great car, to Rodrigo for finishing first. I can’t wait until the next race tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Mark Klenin, in the No. 62 KPR McLaren 570S GT4, took his first victory in GTS Am and finished fourth overall as the race started in challenging wet conditions with the rain stopping and the track drying by the checkered flag.
“The key today for me was just not making any mistakes,” said Klenin. “I kept do that lap after lap and the race kept coming to me. Driving the McLaren this year was a great switch for me after the many years with the Maserati. It’s a tremendous car. I’m looking forward to getting all out of the car that I can. I’m still learning about the new car. But the win feels great.”
Lawson Aschenbach, in the Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4, completed the top five.
Barkey will again start on pole for Saturday’s race after running the fastest lap during the event.
GTS class competitors close their weekend at Lime Rock Park in Pirelli World Challenge competition on Saturday May 27 with a 2:50 p.m. EDT race start for their 50-minute sprint race. Live streaming will be available at world-challenge.com and MotorTrendOnDemand.com. All results are provisional until posted Final.
Results of Friday’s GTS 40-minute sprint sports car race at Lime Rock Park. All results are provisional until posted Final.
1,1, Pro,Rodrigo BAPTISTA,Barcelona, Spain,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,36,Running,40:34.104,
2,2, Pro,Ian JAMES,Paradise Valley, AZ,Panoz Avezzano GT,36,Running,40:34.283,0.178
3,3, Pro,Nate STACY,Tulsa, OK,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,36,Running,40:59.825,25.720
4,1, Am,Mark KLENIN,Lone Tree, CO,McLaren 570S GT4,36,Running,41:00.449,26.344
5,4, Pro,Lawson ASCHENBACH,Palm Beach Gardens, FL,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,36,Running,41:03.330,29.225
6,2, Am,Alan BRYNJOLFSSON,Port Orange, FL,McLaren 570S GT4,35,Running,40:40.659,1 LAP
7,5, Pro,Martin BARKEY,Huntsville, ON,KTM Xbow GT4,35,Running,40:41.482,1 LAP
8,3, Am,Chris HALL,,Ford Mustang,35,Running,40:45.482,1 LAP
9,4, Am,George KURTZ,Paradise Valley, AZ,McLaren 570S GT4,35,Running,40:56.926,1 LAP
10,6, Pro,Anthony MANTELLA,Toronto, ON,KTM Xbow GT4,35,Running,40:59.772,1 LAP
11,5, Am,Jason BELL,Tampa, FL,KTM Xbow GT4,35,Running,41:09.268,1 LAP
12,6, Am,Tony GAPLES,Libertyville, IL,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,35,Running,41:09.898,1 LAP
13,7, Am,Cameron CASSELS,Coldstream, BC,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,32,Running,40:37.606,4 LAPS
14,8, Am,Adam MERZON,Greenwich, CT,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,32,Running,41:03.906,4 LAPS
15,9, Am,Bill ZIEGLER,Ponte Vedra, FL,KTM Xbow GT4,17,Not Running,23:29.314,19 LAPS