Dollahite’s Lotus Evora fails Technical Inspection at COTA, Round 15 GTS Win Goes to Ian James and Panoz

AUSTIN, Texas – On Saturday evening at Circuit of the Americas, Scott Dollahite’s GTS Round 15 race-winning Lotus Evora failed Pirelli World Challenge technical inspection and was provisionally disqualified from the 50-minute event held Saturday afternoon at the 3.247-mile, 20-turn road course southeast of Austin.

With the amended results Saturday, Ian James was provisionally awarded the GTS Round 15 victory in the No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT sports car. It was James’ fifth win of the 2017 in the GTS division.

Now taking second was 16-year-old Parker Chase in the No. 19 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55 followed by Rodrigo Baptista in the No. 3 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR, Harry Gottsacker in the No. 69 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55 and two-time GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R.

Final results will be posted after all stewards’ reviews and technical inspections are complete.

Round 16 in GTS will take place Sunday 10:00 a.m., CDT at COTA. Gottsacker recorded the fastest lap in Saturday’s GTS Round 15 with a 2:19.981 (88.23 m.p.h.) clocking. With that time, the 18-year-old from San Antonio, Tex., will start on the pole position for Sunday’s GTS Round 16 event at COTA.

Story Amended 9:00am CDT Sept. 3, 2017 to reflect to-date podium change. Previous story below.

Austin’s Scott Dollahite Captures GTS Round 15 Saturday for PWC Grand Prix of Texas at COTA

Popular local driver powers through the field to take hometown win

AUSTIN, Texas – Austin’s Scott Dollahite has been at the head of the field all year in the Pirelli World Challenge road racing series.

The veteran driver has been the Pace Car driver for all of the PWC races leading into this weekend’s Grand Prix of Texas at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). But Dollahite hasn’t wanted that role by choice.

With a limited racing budget in 2017, the personable racer had to settle for his new role. That role changed Saturday at COTA when Dollahite drove the No. 46 SDR Motorsports Lotus Evora to the GTS class victory in the 50-minute sprint event over the 3.247-mile, 20-turn circuit just 20 minutes from his home.

Starting sixth in the 23-car field, Dollahite carefully picked his way to the front of the field in scoring the popular 3.150-second victory before many of his friends and family. Dollahite’s average speed was 86.97 miles per hour.

“We had a few issues we found from qualifying that we got fixed,” said Dollahite. “I wouldn’t be here now if it weren’t for a team effort. The race was a battle with everybody. Lawson (Aschenbach) is pretty hard to get around so we fell back a little bit from there. After I was able to get around him I started to pick them off one-by-one. I was surprised to see Parker (Chase) in my mirrors so hat’s off to him. He had a great run. This is solid racing – green flag from start to finish – and you can’t beat that. Being part of the series is amazing, but being in the pace car and watching my friends race makes me hungry too. From St. Pete, all the way to now I’ve been itching and getting more and more hungry.”

Finishing second in the 22-lap feature was Englishman Ian James of Paradise Valley, Ariz., who started from the pole in the No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT sports car and led for many laps early in the event. A four-time race winner this year, James currently holds down second place in the GTS point standings behind leader and two-time GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

“Scott did a great job,” said James. “I saw the Ginetta coming and it was moving fast. This is good racing – 50 minute, flat-out, no cautions – that’s how we like our racing. This place is a bit more forgiving and you can definitely get to the limit and if you step slightly over it, it costs you lap time but it doesn’t end up with you in the wall – typically. I’m very fortunate to have the team. We’ve been able to take something that was a pile of tubes back in February and put it together and turn it into a racy new car.”

Third was another popular local driver in 16-year-old Parker Chase of New Braunsfels, Texas, in the No. 19 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55, who came from the back of the field due to a technical infraction after qualifications. Chase, a junior at nearby Canyon High School, made a sensational drive to charge for a podium position (top-three). Parker and young Rodrigo Baptista of Brazil put a spirited battle for third late in the contest before Chase grabbed the third position.

“I got sick earlier this week and skipped testing,” said Chase. “I stayed home and slept. By Thursday morning, I felt 100% so I was ready to go. I wanted to thank my whole team. Even though Harry and I had to start at the back of the pack. Turn 15 is my signature and nobody saw it coming. I’ve been here a few times and I think I know a few things about the track that some people don’t know.”

Rounding out the top-five in GTS Round 15 was Baptista in the No. 3 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR in fourth and 18-year-old Harry Gottsacker of San Antonio, Tex., in the No. 69 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55.

Taking the GTS Am category for an eighth time in 2017 was entrepreneur George Kurtz of Arizona in a strong drive in the No. 04 Crowdstrike/GMG McLaren 570S sports car. Kurtz currently leads the GTS Am point standings with three rounds remaining in the Pirelli World Challenge campaign.

“We didn’t have a great qualifying and the car is not particularly suited to this track,” said Kurtz. “Unfortunately, at the end of the race the car went out and just shut off in the quad and I actually had to roll it through the quad over the finish line. I was ready to ‘Fred Flintstone’ it but it fortunately all worked out. I really have to give credit to the GMG boys. They consistently develop the car. It’s a little bit finicky so we kept chipping away at each race. We just kept getting better and better and persistence pays off.”

Following Kurtz in the GTS Am category Saturday at COTA was veteran Tony Gaples of Libertyville, Ill., in the popular No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R and Carter Yeung of Los Angeles, Calif., in the No. 7 GMG/HK Battery Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.

GTS Round 16 is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. CDT Sunday at COTA and will be live-streamed for free at World-Challenge.com and MotorTrendOnDemand.com.

Provisional Results for Saturday’s GTS Round 15 50-minute sprint Race in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Texas at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). All results are provisional until posted Final.

Pos,PIC,Class,Name,Hometown,Car,Laps,Status,Race Time,Gap
1,1, Pro,Scott DOLLAHITE,Austin, TX,Lotus Evora,22,Running,51:56.468,
2,2, Pro,Ian JAMES,Paradise Valley, AZ,Panoz Avezzano GT,22,Running,51:59.618,3.150
3,3, Pro,Parker CHASE,New Braunsfels, TX,Ginetta G55,22,Running,51:59.733,3.265
4,4, Pro,Rodrigo BAPTISTA,Sao Paulo, Brazil,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,22,Running,52:04.406,7.938
5,5, Pro,Harry GOTTSACKER,San Antonio, TX,Ginetta G55,22,Running,52:15.852,19.384
6,6, Pro,Lawson ASCHENBACH,Palm Beach Gardens, FL,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,22,Running,52:24.573,28.105
7,7, Pro,Jeff COURTNEY,Milwaukee, WI,Maserati GT4,22,Running,52:24.724,28.256
8,8, Pro,Drew STAVELEY,Salt Lake City, UT,Ginetta G55,22,Running,52:25.242,28.774
9,9, Pro,Martin BARKEY,Huntsville, ON,KTM Xbow GT4,22,Running,52:25.808,29.340
10,10, Pro,Nate STACY,Tulsa, OK,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,22,Running,52:35.826,39.358
11,1, Am,George KURTZ,Paradise Valley, AZ,McLaren 570S GT4,22,Running,52:37.862,41.394
12,2, Am,Tony GAPLES,Libertyville, IL,Chevrolet Camaro GT4,22,Running,53:09.727,1:13.259
13,3, Am,Carter YEUNG,Los Angeles, CA,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,22,Running,53:11.002,1:14.534
14,4, Am,Frank GANNETT,Steamboat Springs, CO,Ginetta G55,22,Running,53:39.717,1:43.249
15,5, Am,Mark KLENIN,Lone Tree, CO,McLaren 570S GT4,22,Running,53:44.876,1:48.408
16,6, Am,Adam MERZON,Greenwich, CT,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,22,Running,53:54.082,1:57.614
17,7, Am,Bill ZIEGLER,Ponte Vedra, FL,KTM Xbow GT4,22,Running,53:54.462,1:57.994
18,8, Am,Dakota DICKERSON,San Diego, CA,KTM Xbow GT4,20,Not Running,47:17.068,2 LAPS
19,9, Am,Brett MEREDITH,Newport Coast, CA,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,19,Not Running,46:32.004,3 LAPS
20,10, Am,Keith JENSEN,Dorado, Puerto Rico,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,13,Not Running,31:26.003,9 LAPS
21,11, Am,Bob MICHAELIAN,Seal Beach, CA,SIN R1 GT4,13,Not Running,32:19.912,9 LAPS
22,12, Am,Cody ELLSWORTH,Jupiter, FL,Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR,7,Not Running,16:53.933,15 LAPS
23,13, Am,Jason BELL,Tampa, FL,SIN R1 GT4,3,Not Running,12:33.145,19 LAPS