GRANTSVILLE, Utah – Scott Heckert, driving the No. 54 SIN Cars/Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4, converted a second-row starting position into the top podium spot in GTS Round 15 at the Grand Prix of UMC presented by Energy Solutions. Owasso, Okla., resident Nate Stacy secured the second position on the podium while Allendale, N.J.’s Brett Sandberg held off enough advances to capture the third step.
Heckert, 22, a mechanical engineering student at Miami University and originally hailing from Ridgefield, Conn., performed well enough for a fourth place finish in Saturday’s race with a best lap time that placed him in P4 on Sunday’s standing-start grid. A stall from pole-sitter Anthony Mantella (Toronto, Ont., Canada) in the No. 8 Mantella Autosport KTM XBow GT4 allowed Heckert to shoot to the front of the pack, where he stayed for the duration of the race, building a lead as high as 7.8-seconds ahead of the next contender. A fast and steady pace ensured he stayed there, even under a late full-course yellow that equalized the pack and lifted into a white flag, where Heckert’s final margin of victory was provisionally set at 1.014-seconds.
No. 14 Roush Performance Road Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302 driver Stacy started sixth on the grid and managed to move into second place after the standing-start stalling incident, but slowly gave up positions to find himself as far back as fourth before climbing back to an extended battle for second place with Sandberg in the No. 13 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4, Scott Dollahite in the No. 46 SDR Motorsports Lotus Evora, and No. 10 Lawson Aschenbach in the Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro Z28. In lap 22 of the 24-lap sprint, Stacy was finally able to move back into and secure the second-place spot.
P2-qualifier Sandberg stayed within four positions of the lead for the duration of the race, continuously vying for a better finish alongside Stacy, Dollahite and Aschenbach. Ultimately, Sandberg was able to stay ahead of the rest of the pack during the late full-course yellow and secured third place.
Of his first Pirelli World Challenge win, Heckert explained, “Luckily I was in the row that didn’t stall at the start. We were thankful that happened because they had tremendous pace. That took away the top guys who were from Saturday’s race. We got lucky behind us because they were racing among themselves and I could open a gap. Then I could click off laps and that is how we built the gap. I was pushing as hard as I could to maintain that gap. Without the full course caution late in the race, it would have been a stress-free race. On the restart, I’m glad I have some of my NASCAR experience that really trained me for the restarts. I didn’t have straightaway speed like the Mustang and others. I just got on the throttle as quick as possible and got an advantage on the long straightaway. It was tough on the restart up to turn five with ‘Clag’ (rubber) that had been built up around the track. So that was like driving on ice. But it was a great way to win my first PWC race.”
“My crew guys worked really hard overnight to get the Mustang ready for today’s race,” second-place winner Stacy remarked. “We lost a differential on Saturday and they worked until 1:30 (am) this morning to get the car back together. I stayed with them to help and give them some moral support. In the race, I was trying to keep the car underneath me. Dean Martin, my engineer, did an awesome job setting up the car for today. BOP (Balance of Performance) is very close now in the GTS class. We might need a little bit more help but overall it is good. When you have the top seven covered by four-tenths of a second, that is pretty good work by the series. Scott (Heckert) and Brett (Sandberg) had gotten by me, but I was very excited when the full course yellow came out. I got close to Heckert at the end of the race but didn’t have enough for him. Happily, I got second and the point leaders are behind me. So that helps us in the championship chase.”
Sandberg said, “Overall we can’t complain. Third place we get solid points towards the championship. We got an adjustment overnight and we were pretty down on straight line speed which harmed our chances to win. Overall the car was good, very consistent. Our laptimes were good. Good weekend all-in-all, two podiums and a move forward to California.”
Scott Dollahite recorded the fastest race lap Sunday in the GTS class with his No. 46 SDR Motorsports Lotus Evora at a time of 1:58.428.
The GTS awards of Round 15 were as follows:
The Optima Batteries Best Start went to Dollahite for picking up five positions, while the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger was won by Max Riddle in the No. 07 Adobe Road Winery/LaSalle Solutions/TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4 by gaining eight spots in Sunday’s GTS event.
The Cadillac Best Move of the race was awarded to Martin Barkey in the No. 80 MBRP Sportlab Sawmill Creative KTM X-Bow with his double pass of Lawson Aschenbach in the No. 10 Black Dog Speed Shop Chevy Camaro Z28 and Anthony Mantella, Saturday’s GTS winner, in the No. 8 Mantella Autosport KTM X-Bow.
The KIA Turning Point of the race was the stalls by Mantella and Barkey at the standing start that changed the complexion of the race.
CBS Sports Network broadcasts of GTS action from Grand Prix of UMC presented by Energy Solutions start Sunday August 21st; check World-Challenge.com or your local listings for times and re-broadcast events. Live stream archives will be available on MotorTrendOnDemand.com. GTS action returns for Rounds 16 and 17 when Pirelli World Challenge heads to Sonoma on September 16-18.
Grantsville, Utah – Results from Sunday, Aug 14, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Championship GTS Round 15 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, Scott Heckert/Chris Beaufait, Ridgefield CT/Freeland WA, SIN R1 GT4, 24, Running
2. 2, GTS, Nate Stacy, Owasso OK, Ford Boss 302, 24, Running
3. 3, GTS, Brett Sandberg, Allendale NJ, KTM XBow GT4, 24, Running
4. 4, GTS, Parker Chase, New Braunfels TX, Ginetta GT4, 24, Running
5. 5, GTS, Max Riddle, Vancouver BC, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 24, Running
6. 6, GTS, Martin Barkey, Huntsville ON, KTM XBow GT4, 24, Running
7. 7, GTS, Lawson Aschenbach, Palm Bch Gardens FL, Chevrolet Camaro, 24, Running
8. 8, GTS, Anthony Mantella, Toronto ON, KTM XBow GT4, 24, Running
9. 9, GTS, Tony Gaples, Libertyville IL, Chevrolet Camaro, 24, Running
10. 10, GTS, Mark Klenin, Lone Tree CO, MASERATI GranTurismo MC Trofeo, 24, Running
11. 11, GTS, Dore Chaponick Jr., Miami FL, KTM XBow GT4, 24, Running
12. 12, GTS, Bill Ziegler, Ponte Verdra FL, KTM XBow GT4, 24, Running
13. 13, GTS, Harry Gottsacker, San Antonio TX, Ginetta GT4, 20, Not Running
14. 14, GTS, Scott Dollahite, Austin TX, Lotus Evora, 19, Not Running
15. 15, GTS, Jeff Courtney, Milwaukee WI, MASERATI GranTurismo MC Trofeo, 10, DNF