DeBoer Wins Pirelli World Challenge GTS Round 11 at Road America
Elkhart Lake, Wis. – Derek DeBoer won GTS Round 11, at the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Road America presented by Cadillac. Weather conditions for the 50-minute race were 81 degrees with very light scattered cloud cover.
With the green flag out on the rolling start, pole-sitter Jade Buford, in the No. 45 Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4, went side-by-side with Brett Sandberg, in the No. 13 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4, with the two continuing side-by-side through turn three, with Buford powering into the lead heading down the straight toward turn five as Sandberg fell back through the field.
Scott Heckert who had started 5th in the No. 54 Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4, also went off on the opening lap, sending him back through the order.
The action saw Martin Barkey in the No. 80 Mantella Autosport MBRP Sportlab Sawmill Creative KTM X-Bow GT4, promoted to second, while a few corners later, championship points leader Lawson Aschenbach, in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro, went off course, re-joining the race with damage and then coming in to pit road. Aschenbach would later re-join the race with 12 minutes remaining.
After lap one, Buford led Barkey with Scott Dollahite, in the in the No. 46 SDR Motorsports Lotus Evora, in third and DeBoer, in the No. 09 TRG-AMR BRM Chronographes/Rebounderz/Rohnert Park/Racing for Cancer/Pirata Della Strada/Simon Ward Aston Martin Vantage GT4, in fourth with Sandberg back up to fifth.
On lap three the action at the front of the field was intense, with Dollahite passing Barkey for second on the outside on the front straight, while Parker Chase, driving the No. 19 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta GT4, found the run-off area in turn one, bringing out a full-course caution. On the same lap Max Riddle, in the No. 07 TRG-AMR Adobe Road Winery, LaSalle Solutions Aston Martin Vantage GT4, pitted, also dropping him through the order. Riddle retired with a mechanical issue.
The green flag came back out on lap five with the GTS field bunched for the restart heading up the hill to start the long front straight at Road America. Buford led Dollahite while Barkey and DeBoer battled for third, with DeBoer taking the position on the run to turn five.
Dollahite continued to pressure Buford on lap six, with just .118 seconds separating the top two as DeBoer closed in while coming under attack from Barkey, who was looking to find his way back to a podium finish.
On lap eight, DeBoer passed Dollahite for second in turn five as the two went side-by-side up the hill with Dollahite’s right side wheels tearing up the landscaping, with DeBoer taking the position into turn six.
A lap later it was DeBoer making moves again with a turn-one pass for the race lead, with Buford moving back to second and falling into another battle with Dollahite. Barkey and Sandberg followed in a five-car fight at the front of the field.
A move into Canada Corner on lap 10 gave Barkey position three as DeBoer continued to lead Buford.
While all this was happening, Nate Stacy, driving the No. 14 Roush Performance Road Racing Ford Boss 302, ran in sixth on lap 12, and there was another tight race for seventh featuring Ernie Francis Jr., in the No. 98 Breathless Racing Beta Tools/Liquid Performance Ford Mustang, Jeff Courtney, in the No. 99 JCR Motorsports RecStuff.com/Kenda Maserati GranTurismo, and Heckert.
More tight racing continued at the front of the field on lap 13, with Dollahite moving back ahead of Barkey with a turn 1 pass for third place, while DeBoer was leading a closely-following Buford.
A few corners later, Barkey tried to re-take third with an outside move in turn five, running wide and surrendering fourth place to Sandberg in turn 7, a quick right-hander. A lap later Sandberg slowed dramatically, limping back to pit road, eventually re-joining the field late in the race.
It was a four-car train for the lead on lap 16, with just over 13 minutes to go, with DeBoer leading Buford, Dollahite and Barkey. Buford pounced on DeBoer coming out off Canada Corner, as the two went side-by-side aggressively through turn 13. DeBoer and Buford then would challenge one another again down the front straight with DeBoer’s outside line into turn one seeing him maintain the lead in his Aston Martin as Barkey had passed Dollahite for third place.
Barkey’s late-race move on Dollahite earned him the Cadillac ATS Best Move of the Race Award. Behind them, Heckert passed Francis Jr. for sixth.
Race Control issued a full-course caution on lap 17 with just over eight minutes remaining as Bill Ziegler’s No. 9 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4 made contact with the wall exiting turn six.
With clean-up needed, the race ended under yellow-flag conditions with DeBoer taking the checkered flag ahead of Buford, Barkey and Dollahite. Stacy completed the top five ahead of Heckert in sixth. It was DeBoer’s first career Pirelli World Challenge victory. In addition, DeBoer won the VP Racing Hard Charger, improving eight positions during the race to take the victory.
Harry Gottsacker, in the No. 29 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta GT4, won the Optima Batteries Best Start, advancing six positions on the opening lap.
Fast laps will set the grid for Sunday afternoon’s GTS race, featuring a standing start. Sandberg, with the fastest lap of the race will start on pole ahead of Barkey and Hecker and Dollahite. The second and final GTS race of the Pirelli World Challenge weekend at Road America is scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. Central time. Watch the race live at motortrendondemand.com and follow live timing on world-challenge.com.
“Jade and I had pretty equal speed on the straights,” said DeBoer. “I seemed to have a bit more in the braking zone and that was my only opportunity to make a pass. I was able to keep him behind me. I was abusing the tires and sliding quite a bit. I don’t know if I could have kept him behind me for another two or three laps. We came out here with TRG guys and tested at Road America. It was my first time here. I just love it. We have a big fund raising for a little guy, Mason Gordon, back home (in California). He is fighting brain cancer and we wanted to put a smile on his face today. I’m brand ambassador for Racing for Cancer and we raise money for the program through our racing. It was a really big honor to help the organization. We have Mason’s name and all of his supporters’ names on the rear wing of the car. The new GT4 cars are great for the fans too. The PWC series is doing a great job balancing all of the different types of cars. And the racing is very good.”
“It was pretty exciting from my viewpoint today,” said Buford. “Derek did a great job holding me off today. He was good. Maybe I would have had a chance to get the lead with a few more laps. I was trying every angle I could today. I think the Pirelli World Challenge is doing an amazing job with the new GT4 cars in GTS right now. They have done an outstanding job with the BOP (Balance of Performance). The racing today was great with my car being better in one area and Derek’s car better in other areas. This GTS series is going to a tremendous direction right now.”
“I’m thrilled to be on the podium with these guys (DeBoer and Buford),” said Barkey. “We mixed it up well with the three of us as well as others. It was good clean racing. Anytime we can battle with these guys, it’s a blast. Great job by the Mantella Autosport team today. The track was a little slower today and little greasier than Friday. I was fighting some conditions I hadn’t seen in practice. I managed those very well and we got to the podium again. It’s exciting to race a GT4 car in the GTS series. It is the way of the future for this class. I have the easy job. They just strap me in the car and drive it.”
Results are provisional until posted final. Watch extended coverage of the weekend’s races from Road America on CBS Sports Network at 9 p.m. Eastern on Thursday July 7.
Elkhart Lake, WI — Results from Saturday, June 25, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Championship GTS Round 11 race, part of the Pirelli World Challenge Road America Grand Prix presented by Cadillac. Results shown by driver position, place in class, class, name, hometown, car, laps completed and running status. All results are provisional until posted final.
1. 1, GTS, Derek DeBoer, Novato CA, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 19, Running
2. 2, GTS, Jade Buford, Brentwood TN, SIN R1 GT4, 19, Running
3. 3, GTS, Martin Barkey, Huntsville QC, KTM XBow GT4, 19, Running
4. 4, GTS, Scott Dollahite, Austin TX, Lotus Evora, 19, Running
5. 5, GTS, Nate Stacy, Owasso OK, Ford Boss 302, 19, Running
6. 6, GTS, Scott Heckert, Ridgefield CT, SIN R1 GT4, 19, Running
7. 7, GTS, Ernie Francis Jr., Miami FL, Ford Mustang, 19, Running
8. 8, GTS, Jeff Courtney, Milwaukee WI, MASERATI GranTurismo MC Trofeo, 19, Running
9. 9, GTS, Anthony Mantella, Toronto ON, KTM XBow GT4, 19, Running
10. 10, GTS, Mark Klenin, Lone Tree CO, MASERATI GranTurismo MC Trofeo, 19, Running
11. 11, GTS, Tony Gaples, Libertyville IL, Chevrolet Camaro, 19, Running
12. 12, GTS, George Kurtz, Scottsdale AZ, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 19, Running
13. 13, GTS, Harry Gottsacker, San Antonio TX, Ginetta GT4, 19, Running
14. 14, GTS, Parker Chase, New Braunfels TX, Ginetta GT4, 18, Running
15. 15, GTS, Bill Ziegler, Ponte Verdra FL, KTM XBow GT4, 16, MissedSeveralLaps
16. 16, GTS, Brett Sandberg, Allendale NJ, KTM XBow GT4, 15, Running
17. 17, GTS, Lawson Aschenbach, Palm Beach Gardens FL, Chevrolet Camaro, 5, Running
18. 18, GTS, Max Riddle, Vancouver BC, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 2, Not Running
19. 19, GTS, Ron Ballard, Phoenix AZ, MASERATI GranTurismo MC Trofeo, 0, DNS
20. 20, GTS, Kevin Marshall, Incline Village NV, Lotus GT4, 0, DNS