27 August 2015– Perfect scores in both races saw DragonSpeed driver Frankie Montecalvo sweep into the points lead of the GTA (amateur) class at last weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge double-header at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. DragonSpeed also consolidated its position atop the team standings, extending its lead over NGT Motorsport to 306 points.
Piloting his Bayshore-backed Mercedes AMG SLS GT3, the 24-year-old from Highlands, New Jersey claimed points for the win, most laps led, pole position, and fastest lap in each race, adding 304 to his total and giving him a 106-point margin over Henrique Cisneros in his NGT-run Ferrari 458. “This was the weekend we needed,” said Frankie. “The DragonSpeed crew gave me such a great car it was tempting to stay up there and do battle with the pros, but I had to keep my focus on the GTA championship. We’re on top for now but it’s not a comfortable lead, so our job is to maintain this momentum for the last three races.”
Teammate Eric Lux provided vital support for Montecalvo’s title bid on his way to the best results of the season for his silver Rembrandt Charms Mercedes, storming to third on Saturday and second on Sunday.
The 27-year-old Buffalo area native executed sensational last-lap passes on GTA championship contenders in both races to bolster Montecalvo’s points lead. “I wouldn’t say I was on a mission,” said Lux. “But helping Frankie adds to the personal satisfaction of scoring two podiums and pulling off those passes.”
The Mapfre-sponsored GT Cup Porsche of Victor Gomez IV showed strong form in race one despite being new to the circuit, running as high as fifth and setting third fastest lap in class before being punted off by a rival, resulting in a broken front upright and retirement. A steady performance on Sunday yielded enough points to keep Victor seventh in the points.
Miller was also noteworthy for the US debut of the sleek next-generation Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 under the DragonSpeed awning, which drew a sizeable crowd. Looking ahead to this weekend’s pair of races at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California, Henrik Hedman returns to the PWC fray following a break to concentrate on his Blancpain Endurance Series efforts in Europe, bringing the DragonSpeed squad up to full strength for the first time since May.
Team principal Elton Julian said, ”This is a dream result for us, not just because of taking the points lead but also because it’s the team’s first-ever 1-2 finish. With Henrik back in the car at one of his best tracks, maybe we can aim for the full podium! I’m sure it’s going to be tense to the end, but today reinforces our belief that we can bring home the driver and team titles.”
DragonSpeed joins the rest of the racing world in mourning the loss of British driver Justin Wilson, who succumbed to injuries sustained in last weekend’s Pocono IndyCar round. Team commercial director David Aronson worked with Wilson at Paul Stewart Racing and the Minardi F1 team and offered this tribute: “Few drivers inspired the combination of admiration and affection Justin did. His speed, savvy, and tigering spirit on the track were complemented by his modesty, humor, and kindness off it. Circumstances kept him from the big break that would have made him a champion at the top level, but everyone who knew him will remember him as a champion of a man.”
A charity has been established to help support Justin’s family. Donations can be sent to the Wilson Children’s Fund, c/o IndyCar, 4551 West 16th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46222.