GRANTSVILLE, Utah – Canada’s Anthony Mantella drove his No. 8 Mantella Autosport KTM X-Bow to his first Pirelli World Challenge pro victory Saturday at Utah Motorsports Campus by winning the 50-minute GTS Round 14 sprint event.
Mantella, the Canadian importer and distributor for the KTM X-Bow, started sixth on the grid and quickly moved towards the front as he battled early leader Scott Heckert of Ridgefield, Conn., who won the pole in the No. 54 Racer’s Edge Sin Car GT4. By lap two, the Toronto driver had slid by 17-year-old Harry Gottsacker of San Antonio, Texas, for second.
On lap four, Mantella took the top spot from Heckert and held the advantage to lap 11 when a full course caution slowed the field. On the restart, Gottsacker dove to the inside to hold the No. 1 position before Mantella grabbed back the lead on lap 12. From that point, Mantella never relinquished the lead and defeated GTS point leader Brett Sandberg of Allendale, N.J., by 2.285-seconds for his first time at the top of the podium in a professional race. Mantella, a former snowcross racer in Canada, also recorded the fastest lap of the race with 1:58.504 and will start from the pole position in Sunday’s GTS race scheduled for 11 a.m. MDT.
“This is my first pro win and this track is such a great place to race,” said Mantella. “I had a pro driver (Sandberg) on my tail and the track conditions were spectacular. As I crossed the finish line, I had tears in my eyes. I was thinking about everybody who helped me get here. The start was wild today as I split two cars into turn one and didn’t lift off the throttle. It was just a matter of time until I could get the lead. I had more speed than those guys in the corners. This car (KTM X-Bow) is spectacular right out of the box. And it has been driver development. You race again pro drivers and amateur drivers but at the pro level. And this GTS series is a good one. The camaraderie is very good in the paddock too. Brett will come over and give some tips also. It a great feeling.”
Sandberg, who started fifth in the No. 13 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow, extended his GTS point lead after his nearest rival, Lawson Aschenbach of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., took seventh in the No. 10 Black Dog Chevrolet Camaro Z-28.
“It was a great race,” said Sandberg. “The ANSA guys did an amazing job. We made some changes to the car after a not so great qualifying and it improved the car quite a bit. We got caught up in the start and shuffled back all the way to tenth or so. It was all about managing my pace and working my way back up, trying to gain as many spots as I could on the restart. Overall we are super happy with second and will take the points for the championship.”
Parker Chase, the 15-year-old high school sophomore from New Braunfels, Texas, staved off a great challenge with Heckert to secure the final position on the GTS podium, taking the No. 19 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta GT4 to third Saturday. The two young drivers put on a tremendous show for the final nine laps of the 25-lap feature.
“We started second and got off to a rough start, I think I fell back to ninth or tenth,” said Chase. “On the first lap a competitor threw up some rocks into my windshield and cracked it in two places so I was looking through spiderwebs the entire race. The full course yellow helped me work my way back up to the front. Heckert really made me work for it in the corners, he was putting a lot of pressure on me in the corners and I was happy to stay out front.”
Rounding out the top-five in the GTS category was veteran Jeff Courtney of Milwaukee, Wis., with his popular No. 99 Kenda/JCR Motorsports Maserati Gran Turismo MC Trofeo.
The finish was a tough for the Gottsacker, Chase’s high school racing teammate, as Harry challenged for the lead early in the race and looked solidly in the third position late in the race before sliding off the track on lap 24.
In addition to winning GTS Round 14 and securing the fast lap, Mantella was also the recipient of several awards including the Optima Batteries Best Start award for his three-position gain at the start of the race; the KIA Turning Point of the race for his pass for the lead after the restart; and the Cadillac Best Move, also awarded for his restart passing maneuver.
GTS Round 15 will be live streamed at MotorTrendOnDemand.com and fans can follow timing at LiveTiming.net/PWC/. CBS Sports Network broadcasts of UMC GTS action begin Sunday August 21st; check World-Challenge.com or your local listings for times and re-broadcast events.
Grantsville, UT – Results from Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Championship GTS Round 14 Race, part of the Grand Prix at UMC Presented by Energy Solutions. All results are provisional until posted Final.
Pos. PIC, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Laps, Status
1. 1, GTS, Anthony Mantella, Toronto ON, KTM XBow GT4, 25, Running
2. 2, GTS, Brett Sandberg, Allendale NJ, KTM XBow GT4, 25, Running
3. 3, GTS, Parker Chase, New Braunfels TX, Ginetta GT4, 25, Running
4. 4, GTS, Scott Heckert, Ridgefield CT/Freeland WA, SIN R1 GT4, 25, Running
5. 5, GTS, Jeff Courtney, Milwaukee WI, MASERATI GranTurismo MC Trofeo, 25, Running
6. 6, GTS, Scott Dollahite, Austin TX, Lotus Evora, 25, Running
7. 7, GTS, Lawson Aschenbach, Palm Bch Gardens FL, Chevrolet Camaro, 25, Running
8. 8, GTS, Mark Klenin, Lone Tree CO, MASERATI GranTurismo MC Trofeo, 25, Running
9. 9, GTS, Dore Chaponick Jr., Miami FL, KTM XBow GT4, 25, Running
10. 11, GTS, Martin Barkey, Huntsville ON, KTM XBow GT4, 24, Running
11. 10, GTS, Harry Gottsacker, San Antonio TX, Ginetta GT4, 23, Not Running
12. 12, GTS, Nate Stacy, Owasso OK, Ford Boss 302, 17, Not Running
13. 13, GTS, Tony Gaples, Libertyville IL, Chevrolet Camaro, 17, Running
14. 14, GTS, Max Riddle, Vancouver BC, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 11, DNF
15. 15, GTS, Vesko Kozarov/Vesko Kozarov, Salt Lake City UT, Nissan 370Z, 7, DNF
16. 16, GTS, Bill Ziegler, Ponte Verdra FL, KTM XBow GT4, 4, DNF