Long/Bermeister 2nd, O’Connell/R. Taylor 3rd; Sofronas/Vanthoor Win Pro/Am Class
BOWMANVILLE, Ont., Canada – Great timing and hard-charging was the perfect combination Saturday for the Cadillac Racing pair of Michael Cooper and Jordan Taylor in winning the 60-minute SprintX Round 3 of the Pirelli World Challenge Victoria Day Speedfest at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
After failing to record a qualifying lap Friday due to a mechanical issue, Cooper, the 27-year-old driver from Syosset, N.Y., started 22nd in the 32-driver field Saturday and charged his way through the SprintX lineup in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R. sports car before a full course yellow period appeared on lap 24.
Most of the leaders had already pitted for their single driver change before the full course caution period including early leader Patrick Long in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. Meanwhile, Cooper remained on track and was able to pit his machine under the caution period.
While under the caution period, Cooper pitted to give Taylor the No. 8 on lap 25. The timing was perfect for the Cadillac pair as they were able to stretch their advantage on their challengers. The green flag flew on lap 28 and Taylor, the 29-year-old racer from Orlando, Fla., opened the margin to some 45 seconds and took the checkered flag with a 46.659-second victory.
“I knew I had a good car (in spite of qualifying from the back) and it reminded me a lot of Long Beach last year,” said Cooper. “I had a lot of good times in practice, topped the time sheets there and we felt really good yesterday so I just had to do what I did there and come through the field. We had a particular strategy that we wanted to run, and we were sticking to it, but the yellow (full course caution) just happened to come out at the right time for us. I think we would have been up to fifth or sixth even without the yellow. But with the yellow – everyone getting trapped behind the safety car and us still running at speed and then coming in the pits – we were able to jump out in front of everyone and go around the tail of the field.”
“We were trying to figure out how the position was going to work under the yellow,” said Taylor of his third SprintX contest of his career. “The crew was telling me everyone behind me for position was in front of me so I knew we basically had a lap lead. So I asked the guys if it was ok if I let everyone go and then just drive by myself to stay out of trouble so we stayed behind the main pack and basically cruised through the end of the race.”
Long and veteran Jörg Bergmeister record the runner-up position followed by the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R. of four-time GT champion Johnny O’Connell and Ricky Taylor, the No. 88 Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3 of Adderly Fong and Vincent Abril and the No. 4 Magnus Racing Audi R8 LMS of Pierre Kaffer and Spencer Pumpelly.
Local favorite Daniel Morad and Ryan Dalziel drove the No. 2 CRP Racing/DeVilbiss Mercedes-AMG GT3 to sixth with seventh place going to the K-PAX Racing duo of Bryan Sellers and Jonny Kane in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S.
The No. 14 GMG Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of James Sofronas and Laurens Vanthoor placed eighth overall and won the Pro-Am division over the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Michael Schein and Jan Heylen.
“We had a nice start, I picked up 4-5 spots and settled in around Top 10,” said Sofronas. “It was nice to settle in and have a nice clean track but as soon as we hit lap traffic, I got smacked around a little bit. I got pushed back a little bit but, as we’re seeing, you have to run a complete race because even though they’re an hour long, they’re fairly short. We timed our pitstop really well and it was flawless. I had a fairly uneventful race but I knew once Laurens got in and started mixing it up with the pros it was going to be a barn burner and he did what he does as a pro – worked his way up to the front, made a pass on Jan (Heylen) and never looked back.”
“The race overall was actually Virginia, version 2.0,” said Vanthoor. “I was behind Jan (Heylen) and when we went into traffic I managed to catch him. It’s quite funny because not many people know that he was my coach when I was in go-karts. He’s a very good friend and we even drove together in go-karts where he taught me to overtake. I think he regrets that now. It was fun, it was a hard race. I managed to go well through traffic and we won.”
Other SprintX Round 3 winners Saturday included Tyler McQuarrie/Henry Cisneros in the No. 30 MOMO/NGT Motorsports Ferrari 458 GT3 in the GT Am/Am class; Yuki Harata/Allesandro Bressan in the No. 55 Dream Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan in GT Cup Pro/Am; Corey Friedman/Joe Toussaint in the No. 90 Autometrics Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in GT Cup Am/Am; Aristotle Balogh/Greg Liefooghe in the Stepen Cameron Racing BMW M3 E46 in GTS Am/Am and Ernie Francis Jr./James Pesek in No. 40 PF Racing Ford Mustang in GTS Pro/Am.
SprintX Round 4 will be Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EDT and will be live streamed on www.motortrendondemand.com and www.world-challenge.com.
Results of the SprintX Round 3 race Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Results are provisional until posted Final.
1,1, Pro/Pro,Cooper/J. Taylor, Cadillac Racing,,Cadillac ATS-V.R,43,Running,1:00:37.942,
2,2, Pro/Pro, Long/Bergmeister, Wright Motorsports,,Porsche 911 GT3 R,43,Running,1:01:24.601,46.659
3,3, Pro/Pro, O’Connell/R. Taylor, Cadillac Racing,,Cadillac ATS-V.R,43,Running,1:01:29.082,51.140
4,4, Pro/Pro, Fong/April, Absolute Racing,,Bentley Continental GT3,43,Running,1:01:34.848,56.906
5,5, Pro/Pro, Kaffer/Pumpelly, Magnus Racing,,Audi RS 8 LMS,43,Running,1:01:35.175,57.233
6,6, Pro/Pro, Morad/Dalziel, CRP Racing,,Mercedes AMG GT3,43,Running,1:01:36.367,58.425
7,7, Pro/Pro, Sellers/Kane, K-PAX Racing,,McLaren 650S GT3,43,Running,1:01:44.833,1:06.891
8,1, Pro/Am, Sofronas/Vanthoor, GMG Racing,,Porsche 911 GT3 R,43,Running,1:01:45.678,1:07.736
9,8, Pro/Pro, Mark Wilkins/Peter Kox, RealTime Racing,,Acura NSX GT3,43,Running,1:01:46.134,1:08.192
10,2, Pro/Am, Schein/Heylen, Wright Motorsports,,Porsche 911 GT3 R,43,Running,1:01:46.514,1:08.572
11,3, Pro/Am, Luo/Imperatori, Absolute Racing,,Bentley Continental GT3,43,Running,1:01:48.058,1:10.116
12,9, Pro/Pro, Mancinelli/Schiro, TR3 Racing,,Ferrari 488 GT3,43,Not Running,1:02:07.820,1:29.878
13,1, Am/Am, McQuarrie/Cisneros, MOMO/NGT Motorsports,,Ferrari 458 GT3,42,Running,1:01:43.929,1 LAP
14,4, Pro/Am, Potter/Seefried, Magnus Racing,,Audi RS 8 LMS,42,Running,1:01:45.191,1 LAP
15,10, Pro/Pro, Eversley/Dyer, RealTime Racing,,Acura NSX GT3,42,Running,1:01:46.942,1 LAP
16,5, Pro/Am, Hedlund/Lewis, K-PAX Racing,,McLaren 650S GT3,42,Running,1:01:47.480,1 LAP
17,6, Pro/Am, Calvert/Udell, Calvert Dynamics,,Porsche 911 GT3 R,42,Running,1:01:47.745,1 LAP
18,7, Pro/Am, Muzzo/Borcheller, R. Ferri Motorsport,,Ferrari 458 GT3,42,Not Running,1:02:22.141,1 LAP
19,8, Pro/Am, Pappas/Bleekemolen, Black Swan Racing,,Mercedes AMG GT3,41,Running,1:00:39.529,2 LAPS
20,9, Pro/Am, Montecalvo/Sanchez, Always Evolving/AIM Autosport Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3,,Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3,41,Running,1:00:39.974,2 LAPS
21,10, Pro/Am, Dayson/Ostella, M1GT Racing,,Audi R8 LMS Ultra,41,Running,1:02:07.279,2 LAPS
22,1, Pro/Am, Harata/Bressan, Dream Racing Motorsport,,Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo,40,Running,1:01:19.419,3 LAPS
23,2, Am/Am, Wilson/Regitz, TRG-AMR,,Aston Martin GT3,39,Running,1:00:38.822,4 LAPS
24,1, Am/Am, Friedman/Toussaint, Autometrics Motorsports,,Porsche 911 GT3 Cup,39,Running,1:00:47.851,4 LAPS
25,1, Pro/Am, Pesek/Francis Jr., PF Racing,,Ford Mustang GT4,38,Running,1:00:44.915,5 LAPS
26,2, Pro/Am, Merzon/Hindman, Case-it Racing,,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,38,Running,1:00:48.223,5 LAPS
27,1, Am/Am,Balogh/Liefooghe, Stephen Cameron Racing,,BMW M3 E46,38,Running,1:00:52.475,5 LAPS
28,3, Pro/Am, Kaufman/Tilley, TRG-AMR,,Aston Martin Vantage GT4,38,Running,1:01:58.202,5 LAPS
29,2, Am/Am, Brynjolfsson/Hall, VOLT Racing,,McLaren 570S GT4,29,Not Running,49:07.512,14 LAPS
30,11, Pro/Pro, Parente/Barnicoat, K-PAX Racing,,McLaren 650S GT3,22,Not Running,29:54.297,21 LAPS
31,4, Pro/Am, Kurtz/Koch, GMG Racing,,McLaren 570s GT4,15,Not Running,34:59.847,28 LAPS