ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – JD Davison, of St. Petersburg, Fla., piloting the No. 33 AE/Replay XD Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, claimed his second GT win of the Pirelli World Challenge season in Round 13 at the DeVILBISS Grand Prix at Road America presented by Cadillac. Frank Montecalvo, of Highlands, N.J., scored his third GTA victory of the year, and second consecutive win at the challenging 14-turn, 4.048-mile road course. Colin Thompson, from Doylestown, Pa., scored his ninth GT Cup victory for Round 11 of the championship.
From the standing start, pole-sitter Chris Dyson, from Pleasant Valley, N.Y., piloting the No. 16 Bentley/Breitling/Mobil1 Team Bentley Dyson Racing Bentley Continental GT3 lost the top slot to Tomas Enge, of Kirchanschoering, Germany, piloting the No. 25 Blancpain Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2.
Behind them, Bryan Heitkotter, of Fresno, Calif. in the 05 Nissan GT Academy GT-R GT3, who was ninth on the grid, stalled and collected Robert Thorne, of Littleton, Colo., in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3. Drew Regitz, of Denver, Colo. in the No. 19 WWW.IRACERCOACHING.COM Audi R8 LMS Ultra, who started 24th also stalled collecting Eric Lux, of Buffalo, N.Y. in the No. 08 Rembrandt Charms/Monticello MC/Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3. A full-course caution ensued.
The top five on the restart were Enge, Davison, Dyson, Mike Skeen, from Charlotte, N.C., in the No. 2 DeVILBISS/Hawk Performance Audi R8 LMS Ultra and Kevin Estre, from Lochau, Austria, driving the No. 9 McLaren 650S GT3. Montecalvo and Thompson paced GTA and GT Cup, respectively, when the field went back to green.
Under heavy braking going deep into turn 5, Estre made contact with Dyson, and Estre pitted for repairs. Estre went off track in turn 12 one lap later on Lap 4, and pitted again to change a flat left tire. Dyson recovered nicely to pick off competitors to get back in contention as the race progressed to its finish.
In a captivating event with a handful of spirited battles, eight different manufacturers were featured in the top 10 through seven laps. The lead GT pack of five racers were only separated by three seconds at lap 10 when Davison snuck inside Enge and made the pass for the lead in turn 6.
Arguably the strongest campaign for position in GT, occurred for the second- and third-place slots. Charging toward the front from a seventh-on-the grid position, Olivier Beretta, of Monte Carlo, piloting the No. 61 Ferrari of Ontario/Toronto/Alberta R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, held fourth place on Lap 4. Beretta overtook Skeen to make the inside pass in turn five on Lap 7.
Beretta ascended to second when Enge retired from the race during a full-course caution on Lap 11, when Alex Welch, from Englewood, Colo., went off track in turn 12, and his No. 76 GMG Audi R8 LMS Ultra caught fire. Skeen regained third position on lap 13, and Beretta took it back for good one lap later.
Meantime, Dalziel made it his late race mission to snare second spot, and not allow Beretta to keep it. Dalziel got ahead of Beretta coming under the bridge in turn 6 on Lap 17, and held on for the second-place podium spot. Beretta, the GT points leader was third.
Davison said the caliber of competition in GT this season has made the Pirelli World Challenge, compelling, and a series to watch.
“We have a huge range of manufacturers from Europe and the drivers are what take it to another level,” Davison said. “Having factory McLaren drivers like Estre and ex-Formula 1 guys like Enge and Beretta. We certainly have our work cut out for us as drivers and teams.
“It’s awesome to see how this series has grown. They are many GT championships in the world but America is the biggest market for the majority of the manufacturers for their road car sales. And being able to represent these manufacturers is a pretty cool honor for all of us. Hopefully, we can grow it to a bigger demographic.”
Montecalvo and Thompson were never threatened by rivals en route to victories in GTA and GTC, as the young racers achieved solid overall results on the weekend. Besides Sunday’s win, Montecalvo clinched two second-place finishes. Thompson, the GTC points leader, swept both Road America events to add to his victory total which stands at nine.
Thompson reveled in his two-race sweep, and said he’s eager to see how the rest of the season unfolds.
“It was a heck of a race and you could feel the tires go off on a tough track for them here at Road America,” Thompson said. “Fortunately, we were able to come home with our ninth win of the season. We look forward to our tenth win at the next race. It’s always fun to come to Road America. I’m a rookie on this series but the track is fantastic.”
A competitive campaign in GTC, occurred over the final lap. As Sloan Urry, of Salt Lake City, Utah, driving the No. 32 Engel & Volkers Porsche 911 GTS Cup, made a run for second, he ran off track on the last corner of the last lap. That incident propelled Brett Sandberg, from Allendale, N.J., in the Zoro/TruSpeed Porsche 911 GTS Cup, to a third-place performance, behind runner-up Alex Udell, of The Woodlands, Texas, in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Montecalvo said he was satisfied with how his team has steadily improved on each series stop, and is thrilled with the high level of talent in GTA. “This is one of my favorite tracks and love racing at Road America,” Montecalvo said. “This is some of the closest and most competitive racing I’ve ever been in. I’ve raced in Europe, and it is amazing how closest these GT3 cars have been. The series does a great job in balance performance.”
Of note, Dalziel earned the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race Award for his move on Beretta in Canada Corner on Lap 12.Thompson claimed the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award for gaining six positions when the lights went out to start the race. Davison earned the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race Award for his move on Enge on Lap 10.
Udell received the MOMO Turning Point Award for steering his Porsche to second place ahead of Urry on Lap 17. In addition, Sandberg gained six positions during the race to earn the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger Award.
Leitzinger posted a fast lap time of 2:06.977 in GT, while Henrique Cisneros, of Miami, Fla., piloting the No. 30 MOMO/NGT Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia was fastest in GTA at 2:07.433. Thompson was fastest in the GT Cup field, with a time of 2:12.637
Results are provisional until posted final.
ELKHART LAKE, WI – Results from Sunday’s 19 lap 76.911 mile Pirelli World Challenge Championship GT/GTA Round 13 and GT Cup presented by MOMO Round 11, part of the DeVILBISS Grand Prix at Road America presented by Cadillac, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).
1. GT, (3), JD Davison, St Petersburg, Fla., Nissan GT-R GT3, 19.
2. GT, (8), Ryan Dalziel, Windermere, Fla., Porsche 911 GT3R, 19, -3.014.
3. GT, (7), Olivier Beretta, Monte Carlo, , Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 19, -4.269.
4. GT, (5), Mike Skeen, Charlotte, N.C., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 19, -4.364.
5. GT, (10), Michael Lewis(R), Laguna Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3R, 19, -6.819.
6. GT, (6), Butch Leitzinger, Rebersburg, Pa., Bentley Continental GT3, 19, -7.166.
7. GT, (15), Johnny O’Connell, Flowery Branch, Ga., Cadillac ATS-VR GT3, 19, -8.429.
8. GT, (13), (A)Frank Montecalvo, Highlands, N.J., Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3, 19, -9.852.
9. GT, (12), Peter Cunningham, Milwaukee, Wis., Acura TLX-GT, 19, -12.006.
10. GT, (17), (A)Henrique Cisneros, Miami, Fla., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 19, -12.829.
11. GT, (14), James Sofronas, Pound Ridge, N.Y., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 19, -13.905.
12. GT, (19), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Cadillac ATS-VR GT3, 19, -14.951.
13. GT, (18), (A)Timothy Pappas, Boston, Mass., Dodge Viper GT3R, 19, -15.119.
14. GT, (20), (A)Martin Fuentes, Mexico City, Mexico, Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 19, -19.965.
15. GT, (23), (A)Dan Knox, Pilot Point, Texas, Dodge Viper GT3-R, 19, -20.377.
16. GT, (25), (A)Jeff Courtney, Milwaukee, Wis., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 19, -22.732.
17. GT, (1), Chris Dyson, Pleasant Valley, N.Y., Bentley Continental GT3, 19, -24.218.
18. GT, (28), (A)Bill Ziegler, Ponte Vedra, Fla., BMW E89 Z4 GT3, 19, -28.845.
19. GT, (21), (A)Eduardo Cisneros(R), Miami, Fla., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 19, -1:17.796.
20. GT, (4), Kevin Estre, Lochau Austria, , McLaren 650S GT3, 18, -1 lap.
21. GT, (2), Tomas Enge, Kirchanschoering GM, , Lamborghini GallardoGT3FL2, 13, -6 lap.
22. GT, (26), (A)Eric Lux, Buffalo, N.Y., Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3, 12, -7 lap.
23. GT, (16), Ryan Eversley, Atlanta, Ga., Acura TLX-GT, 11, -8 lap.
24. GT, (22), Duncan Ende, Los Angeles, Calif., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 10, -9 lap.
25. GT, (27), (A)Alex Welch, Englewood, Colo., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 9, -10 laps.
26. GT, (9), (A)Bryan Heitkotter, Fresno, Calif., Nissan GT-R GT3, 0, -19 laps.
27. GT, (11), Robert Thorne, Littleton, Colo., McLaren 650S GT3, 0, -19 laps.
28. GT, (24), (A)Drew Regitz, Denver, Colo., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 0, -19 laps.
29. GT, (29), (A)Jorge De La Torra, Mexico, , Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 0, -19 laps.
30. GT, (30), (A)Walt Bowlin, Tarpon Springs, Fla., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 0, -19 laps.
31. GTC, (31), Colin Thompson, Doylestown, Pa., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 19.
32. GTC, (33), Alec Udell, The Woodlands, Texas, Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 19, -4.003.
33. GTC, (38), Brett Sandberg, Allendale, N.J., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 19, -5.868.
34. GTC, (34), Lorenzo Trefethen(R), Napa, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 19, -17.769.
35. GTC, (37), Victor Gomez(R), San Juan, Puerto Rico, Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 19, -19.394.
36. GTC, (36), Mitch Landry, Lake Charles, La., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 19, -20.736.
37. GTC, (35), Preston Calvert(R), Potomac, Md., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 19, -50.952.
38. GTC, (32), Sloan Urry, Salt Lake City, Utah, Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 18, -1 lap.
Time of race: 51 minutes, 41.686 seconds.
Average speed: 89.268 mph
Margin of victory: 3.014 Seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-9, #25 Tomas Enge; laps 10-19, #33 JD Davison
Fastest race lap: #20 Butch Leitzinger, 2:06.977 (114.767 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #16 Chris Dyson, 2:06.611 (115.099 mph)