Pumpelly/Christensen (Porsche), Vilander/Molina (Ferrari) Capture GT SprintX Rounds 5 and 6 Monday at Lime Rock Park; Chase/Dalziel (Audi), Baptista/Soulet (Bentley) Win Pro/Am Divisions

LAKEVILLE, Conn. – The Porsche pair of Spencer Pumpelly and Michael Christensen won GT SprintX Round 5 Monday at Lime Rock Park with the Ferrari duo of Toni Vilander and Miguel Molina capturing Round 6 in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Lime Rock powered by M doubleheader sportscar event.

In the first 60-minute, two-driver GT SprintX race Monday, outstanding strategy paid off for Pumpelly and Christensen Monday with an impressive 2.759-second victory in the No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R at the 1.5-mile, seven-turn road circuit in northwest Connecticut.

Pumpelly, a GT SprintX winner last year at Lime Rock Park from Atlanta, played a smart first stint and turned the Porsche over to Denmark’s Christensen in second place. A quick pit stop and strong laps by Christensen put the Alegra Motorsports machine in the lead over the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 488 GT3 of Finland’s Vilander and Spain’s Molina in the 64-lap GT SprintX feature.

On the restart, Christensen enjoyed the advantage over Molina in the last seven laps to win the Alegra’s first PWC race of the year.

GT overall point leader Scott Hargrove of Canada, teamed with Germany’s Wolf Henzler, in the No. 96 Pfaff Motorsports/Castrol Porsche 911 GT3 R for the final podium.

Rounding out the top-five were the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 of Alvaro Parente of Portugal and Andy Soucek of Spain, and the No. 19 TruSpeed Autosport Audi R8 LMS GT3 car of 17-year-old Parker Chase of New Braunfels, Tex., and veteran Ryan Dalziel of Scotland. The Chase/Dalziel duo also captured the Pro/Am division Monday.

In the second GT SprintX event of the day, it was the Vilander/Molina combination who drove to a stellar performance in the R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 488 GT3 for the team’s third GT SprintX victory in 2018.

It was a 2.489-second win for Vilander and Molina over the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 of 2016 GT champion Parente and Soucek as well as Pumpelly and Christensen in the Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Finishing fourth and fifth Monday afternoon for Round 6 was the Hargrove/Henzler Porsche team and the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 entry of Rodrigo Baptista of Brazil and Maxime Soulet of Belgium. Baptista and Soulet also took top honors in the Pro/Am class Monday.

“We had really good pace, said Pumpelly. “It’s tough to pass here and a lot of that is because we’ve thrown so much aero (dynamics) on these GT3 cars now that you can’t run very close to the car ahead of you. So, success creates its own penalties. If you get close to another car, you start to fall back. So, we made sure our pit strategy was nailed down. I was confident in the Alegra guys and Michael, so I knew we were in good hands.”

“The race was great,” said Christensen. “To be honest, it was all about the first stint and the pit car strategy. Of course, the car has to be good too and the car was doing well. So, we had the potential to exploit the car, especially when we have no traffic. Of course, a yellow flag/caution doesn’t help when you have a big lead, but I knew the car and the tires were still good so it was just about having a good restart and I managed to get that.”

The victory for Vilander and Molina moves the Finnish racer to the GT Overall point leader for Hargrove as the Pirelli World Challenge moves to the famed Road America four-mile road circuit in Wisconsin.

“This track has been always good to me,” said Vilander, the two-time 24 Hours of LeMans winner. “I first came here in 2006 in ALMS. We came here and struggled a bit and we could see some things we didn’t like. We made some changes after qualifying that gave me more confidence with the car. I had the fresh rubber in the end and the car was a pleasure to drive. Alvaro was on me in the beginning of the stint, but, once the tire temps got up properly, I was able to go and get the gap on him. It was really great to get the victory.”

“The changes that we made before the second race today really helped us,” said Molina, the factory Ferrari driver. “The car was much more drivable. I was able to open the gap over the Bentley early in the race and Toni did a tremendous job securing the win today. And it helped Toni take the GT point lead too.”

LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Results from Monday’s GT SprintX Round 5 60-minute race at Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Lime Rock powered by M at Lime Rock Park. Results are provisional until posted Final.

Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Status,Race Time,Gap
1,1, Pro/Pro,Pumpelly/Christensen, Alegra Motorsports,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),64,Running,1:00:39.212,
2,2, Pro/Pro,Vilander/Molina, R. Ferri Motorsport,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,64,Running,1:00:41.971,2.759
3,3, Pro/Pro, Hargrove/Henzler, Pfaff Motorsports,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),64,Running,1:00:44.363,5.151
4,4, Pro/Pro, Parente/Soucek, K-PAX Racing,,,Bentley Continental GT3,64,Running,1:00:45.516,6.304
5,1, Pro/Am, Chase/Dalziel, TruSpeed AutoSport,,,Audi R8 LMS,64,Running,1:00:48.980,9.768
6,5, Pro/Pro, Morad/Mariciello, CRP Racing,,,Mercedes-AMG GT3,64,Running,1:00:49.386,10.174
7,2, Pro/Am, Segal/Lu, TR3 Racing,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,64,Running,1:00:51.448,12.236
8,3, Pro/Am, Baptista/Soulet, K-PAX Racing,,,Bentley Continental GT3,64,Running,1:00:52.587,13.375
9,6, Pro/Pro, Skeen/Heckert, Lone Star Racing,,,Mercedes-AMG GT3,63,Running,1:00:46.020,1 LAP
10,4, Pro/Am, Pappas/Bleekemolen, Black Swan Racing,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),63,Running,1:00:48.220,1 LAP
11,5, Pro/Am, Harata/Bressan, Dream Racing Motorsport,,,Lamborghini Huracan GT3,63,Running,1:00:57.749,1 LAP
12,1, Am, Bacarella/Fuentes, Squadra Corse Garage Italia,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,63,Running,1:00:58.588,1 LAP
13,1, , Ryan Hardwick, Dream Racing Motorsport,,,Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo,45,Not Running,44:01.570,19 LAPS

LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Results from Monday’s GT SprintX Round 6 60-minute race at Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Lime Rock powered by M at Lime Rock Park. Results are provisional until posted Final.

Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Status,Race Time,Gap
1,1, Pro/Pro, Vilander/Molina, R. Ferri Motorsport,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,65,Running,1:00:23.145,
2,2, Pro/Pro, Parente/Soucek, K-PAX Racing,,,Bentley Continental GT3,65,Running,1:00:25.634,2.489
3,3, Pro/Pro, Pumpelly/Christensen, Alegra Motorsports,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),65,Running,1:00:27.879,4.734
4,4, Pro/Pro, Hargrove/Henzler,Pfaff Motorsports,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),65,Running,1:00:28.931,5.786
5,1, Pro/Am, Baptista/Soulet K-PAX Racing,,,Bentley Continental GT3,65,Running,1:00:35.345,12.200
6,5, Pro/Pro, Skeen/Heckert, Lone Star Racing,,,Mercedes-AMG GT3,65,Running,1:00:48.108,24.963
7,2, Pro/Am, Chase/Dalziel, TruSpeed AutoSport,,,Audi R8 LMS,65,Running,1:01:00.177,37.032
8,3, Pro/Am, Segal/Lu, TR3 Racing,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,65,Running,1:01:09.481,46.336
9,4, Pro/Am, Pappas/Bleekemolen, Black Swan Racing,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),64,Running,1:00:34.108,1 LAP
10,5, Pro/Am, Harata/Bressan,Dream Racing Motorsport,,,Lamborghini Huracan GT3,63,Running,1:00:46.584,2 LAPS
11,1, Am, Bacarella/Fuentes,Squadra Corse Garage Italia,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,63,Running,1:00:53.366,2 LAPS
12,1, , Ryan Hardwick Dream Racing Motorsport,,,Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo,61,Running,1:00:45.897,4 LAPS
13,6, Pro/Pro, Skeen/Heckert, CRP Racing,,,Mercedes-AMG GT3,54,Running,1:01:14.888,11 LAPS