Acshenbach Takes 7th Podium in 8 PWC Races in Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro GT4R

LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Rodrigo Baptista surged to the lead early, fell back to second and then brought home the victory to sweep the GTS weekend in Pirelli World Challenge at Lime Rock Park in the Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.

Baptista took the lead from the second row heading to turn one on an exciting start. From there, he built a commanding nine second race lead as the field battled for second behind him.

Meanwhile, Ian James moved into second position in the Panoz Avezzano GT, getting around Mark Klenin’s McLaren, and set his sights on Baptista, taking the margin down to six seconds before Baptista slid off the track, giving up the race lead.

A few minutes later, James would retire with mechanical difficulties handing the win back to the Flying Lizard pilot.

“The launch control of the Porsche is really good – but I don’t know what happened if it kicked in,” said Baptista. “The Camaro (Lawson Aschenbach) had a really good start also and I couldn’t go faster than him. I did the first turn-in first and I think the McLaren (Mark Klenin) was holding up the other guys and I got through. I haven’t practiced standing starts. We practiced once but only on the first practice of the year.

“I like this small track. You need to be in the right place (to get the best line) on the track, like in the banked areas. I’ve done (this track) on the simulator but it’s not quite the same. The downhill on here (at the track) is big, not like (the simulator.) Everything here is new for me so I never expected to come here and win. But it’s really nice, and the championship is very competitive.”

Former GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach finished second after a long fight with Mark Klenin, eventually getting past the No. 62 KPR McLaren 570S GT4 with his Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4. The second place for Aschenbach was his seventh podium finishes in the first eight GTS race in 2017.

Winning the GTS Am category with a third-place finish overall was Chris Hall in the VOLT Racing Ford Mustang.
Nate Stacy finished fourth in the second Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport while pole-sitter Martin Barkey recovered from falling back early to complete the top five for Mantella Autosport.

Anthony Mantella finished sixth in the Mantella Autosport KTM Xbow GT4 – missing some bodywork – after a long battle with Klenin that saw the two cars duel lap after lap.

It looked like Ian James was set to bring home the Panoz for its first-ever Pirelli World Challenge win as James inherited the lead from Baptista when he slid off course from the lead. However, with 23 minutes to go, a mechanical issue ended James’ potential run for Panoz Avezzano GT’s first victory.

GTS teams and drivers next head to the 14-turn Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, June 23-25.

Results are provisional until posted Final.

Results of the Saturday GTS class sports car race at Lime Rock Park. Results are provisional until posted Final.

Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Status,Race Time,Gap
1,1, Pro,Rodrigo BAPTISTA,Barcelona, Spain,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,49,Running,50:08.865,
2,2, Pro,Lawson ASCHENBACH,Palm Beach Gardens, FL,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,49,Running,50:18.646,9.780
3,1, Am,Chris HALL,,Ford Mustang,49,Running,50:21.899,13.033
4,3, Pro,Nate STACY,Tulsa, OK,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,49,Running,50:22.177,13.312
5,4, Pro,Martin BARKEY,Huntsville, ON,KTM Xbow GT4,49,Running,50:22.514,13.648
6,5, Pro,Anthony MANTELLA,Toronto, ON,KTM Xbow GT4,49,Running,50:23.155,14.290
7,2, Am,Alan BRYNJOLFSSON,Port Orange, FL,McLaren 570S GT4,49,Running,50:30.001,21.135
8,3, Am,Mark KLENIN,Lone Tree, CO,McLaren 570S GT4,49,Running,50:32.369,23.503
9,4, Am,Tony GAPLES,Libertyville, IL,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,49,Running,50:34.650,25.785
10,5, Am,George KURTZ,Paradise Valley, AZ,McLaren 570S GT4,49,Running,50:38.722,29.856
11,6, Am,Cameron CASSELS,Coldstream, BC,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,48,Running,50:31.906,1 LAP
12,7, Am,Bill ZIEGLER,Ponte Vedra, FL,KTM Xbow GT4,48,Running,50:48.512,1 LAP
13,8, Am,Adam MERZON,Greenwich, CT,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,48,Running,50:57.788,1 LAP
14,9, Am,Aristotle BALOGH,Palo Alto, CA,BMW M3 E46,31,Not Running,30:52.719,18 LAPS
15,6, Pro,Ian JAMES,Paradise Valley, AZ,Panoz Avezzano GT,26,Not Running,25:08.485,23 LAPS
16,10, Am,Jason BELL,Tampa, FL,SIN R1 GT4,5,Not Running,9:15.433,44 LAPS