|Kevin Estre won by 30-seconds McLaren 650S GTS|
Kevin Estre, of Lochau, Austria, in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3 took the Pirelli World Challenge Round 2 win at the Circuit of The Americas, for the Nissan Grand Prix of Texas brought to you by Motul. Estre's win was also the first global win for the new McLaren 650S.
Michael Lewis, of Laguna Beach, CA, in the No. 41 EFFORT Racing/Curb-Agajanian Porsche 911 GT3R took his second win in a row in GTA. In the GT Cup presented by MOMO, Colin Thompson, of Doylestown, PA, in the No. 11 Kelly-Moss Motorsports Porsche of Bucks County/Penn Valley Constructors/Sherwin Williams Automotive Finishes/Austin Hatcher Foundation Porsche 911 GT3 Cup recorded his second win in a row.
With rain falling for the start of the race and a wet track, Pirelli World Challenge Race Control set a double file rolling start in place of the traditional series standing start.
Off of the start, Estre, starting fourth on the grid, took the outside line on turn 1 and jumped to the lead around Johnny O'Connell, of Flowery Branch, GA, in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-VR GT3 who started second and Nick Catsburg, of Voorthuizen, Netherlands, in the No. 25 Blancpain Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2. After turn 1, Estre put a gap between him and Catsburg, and third place Ryan Dalziel, of Windermere, FL, in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3R, and O'Connell in fourth.
In GTA, Ricardo Perez, of Mexico City, Mexico, in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia battled with Lewis for the lead in class with Henrique Cisneros of Miami, FL, in the No. 30 NGT Motorsport MOMO Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia taking up the chase in third.
In GT Cup, Sloan Urry, of Salt Lake City, UT, in the No. 02 Engel & Volkers TruSpeed Autosport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup who started second passed pole sitter Thompson for the lead. Alec Udell, of The Woodlands, TX in the No. 17 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup pursued in third place. But on lap 2, Udell was hit from behind and as a result, spun at turn 11 allowing Phill Fogg, Jr., of Portland, OR, in the No. 18 Zoro/Truspeed Porsche 911 GT3 to take third place. Thompson then passed Urry to take first position in class before a full-course caution on Lap 3 resulted when the No. 19 WWW.IRACERCOACHING.COM Stephen Cameron Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra of Drew Regitz, of Denver, CO, was wounded on course.
At the lap 3 caution it was Estre, Catsburg, Dalziel, O'Connell and Mike Skeen, of Charlotte, NC, in the No. 2 DeVilbiss/Hawk Performance CRP Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra rounding out the top 5. In GTA, Perez led Lewis and Cisneros, while in GT Cup, Thompson led Urry and Fogg Jr.
On the lap 6 restart, Estre again rocketed away from the GT competition with Dalziel overtaking Catsburg, while Lewis passed Perez for the lead in GTA, with Thompson maintaining his lead over Urry. Dalziel's move on Catsburg was awarded the Cadillac Move of the Race.
By lap 7, Estre had build up a seven-second lead over Dalziel, while Skeen passed Catsburg to take over third in GT. Skeen was awarded the Invisible Clean Pass of the Race for the pass. In GT Cup, Alec Udell fought off his earlier spin to rocket up five positions to reclaim third behind Lewis and Urry.
By lap 12, Estre had pulled to a commanding 16-second lead over Dalziel, increasing that to 22 seconds by lap 15. In that same lap, Catsburg regained the position lost to Skeen to pull back into third.
As the checkers flew, Estre secured his first career Pirelli World Challenge GT win, over Dalziel, Catsburg and Skeen. Of note, Ryan Eversley, of Atlanta, GA, in the No. 43 RealTime/Acura Motorsports/HPD Acura TLX-GT, rocketed up to finish fifth after starting 25th on the day. Eversley was awarded the Optima Batteries Best Start for gaining eight positions, and the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger Award for gaining 20 positions in the race.
Lewis scored his second GTA win in a row, with Cisneros finishing second and Christina Nielsen, of Aarhus, Denmark, in the No. 7 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT3 finishing third. Thompson also claimed his second win in a row, with Urry and Udell finishing second and third respectively. The MOMO GT Cup Turning Point of the race was awarded to Thompson for his second straight win.
"The car worked well when we tested two weeks ago here," said Estre "We had some runs in the rain and this morning on the warm-up was really good. I had a clean start and a good pass on the outside. I am really happy, thanks to K-PAX and Flying Lizard, they gave me a really nice McLaren GT 650S car."
"It's great to be here first of all," said Lewis. The Pirelli World Challenge is extremely competitive. We had a really good battle for the lead with Perez and in the rain at the start it was hard to see, couldn't really see anything. I had a bit of fog on the windscreen and somehow managed to stay safe and then the safety car came out for the restart. So after the restart I just settled in and pushed forward and tried to bring the car home safely. Thank you Effort Racing"
"It was a phenomenal start to the season, with two wins," said Thompson. "I have to thank Kelly Moss Motorsports and Porsche Racing for giving me the opportunity to be here and contend for the win."
Results are provisional until posted final.
1. GT, (4), Kevin Estre, Lochau, Austria, McLaren 650S GT3, 18.
2. GT, (3), Ryan Dalziel, Windermere, Fla., Porsche 911 GT3R, 18, -30.344.
3. GT, (1), Nick Catsburg, , , Lamborghini Gallardo, 18, -34.773.
4. GT, (8), Mike Skeen, Charlotte, N.C., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 18, -35.122.
5. GT, (25), Ryan Eversley, Atlanta, Ga., Acura TLX-GT, 18, -42.414.
6. GT, (11), Madison Snow, Provo, Utah, Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 18, -47.456.
7. GT, (2), Johnny O'Connell, Flowery Branch, Ga., Cadillac ATS-VR GT3, 18, -57.042.
8. GT, (6), Olivier Beretta, Monte Carlo, , Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 18, -1:08.581.
9. GT, (12), Michael Lewis(R)(A), Laguna Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3R, 18, -1:09.179.
10. GT, (21), Robert Thorne, Littleton, Colo., McLaren 650S GT3, 18, -1:19.564.
11. GT, (15), James Sofronas, Pound Ridge, N.Y., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 18, -1:22.096.
12. GT, (18), Henrique Cisneros(A), Miami, Fla., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 18, -1:34.534.
13. GT, (22), Christina Nielsen(R)(A), Aarhus Denmark, , Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 18, -1:42.883.
14. GT, (17), Mike Hedlund, Woodside, Calif., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 18, -1:54.482.
15. GT, (14), Martin Fuentes(A), Mexico City, Mexico, Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 18, -2:06.461.
16. GT, (10), JD Davison, St Petersburg, Fla., Nissan GT-R-GT3, 18, -2:09.181.
17. GT, (20), Chris Dyson, Pleasant Valley, N.Y., Bentley Continental GT3, 18, -2:17.631.
18. GT, (16), Butch Leitzinger, Rebersburg, Pa., Bentley Continental GT3, 18, -2:18.855.
19. GT, (5), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Cadillac ATS-VR GT3, 18, -2:22.414.
20. GT, (7), Ricardo Perez(R)(A), Mexico City, Mexico, Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 18, -2:23.481.
21. GT, (32), Maximillian Voelker(A), , , Lamborghini Gallardo, 18, -2:29.659.
22. GT, (9), Frank Montecalvo(A), Highlands, N.J., Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3, 18,-2:35.930.
23. GT, (13), Bryan Heitkotter(A), Fresno, Calif., Nissan GT R GT3, 18, -2:38.078.
24. GT, (23), Henrik Hedman(A), Ft Lauderdale, Fla., MercedesBenzAMG SLS GT3, 18, -2:38.974.
25. GT, (26), Timothy Pappas, Boston, Mass., Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3, 17, -1 lap.
26. GT, (38), Duncan Ende, Los Angeles, Calif., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 17, -1 lap.
27. GT, (30), Bret Curtis(A), Lake Sherwood, Calif., BMW E89 Z4 GT3, 17, -1 lap.
28. GT, (27), Eric Lux(A), Buffalo, N.Y., Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3, 17, -1 lap.
29. GT, (24), Dan Knox(A), Pilot Point, Texas, Dodge Viper GT3-R, 17, -1 lap.
30. GT, (28), Alex Welch(A), Englewood, Colo., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 17, -1 lap.
31. GT, (33), Joseph Toussaint(R)(A), Houston, Texas, Porsche 911 GT3R, 17, -1 lap.
32. GT, (19), Mark McKenzie(A), , , Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 17, -1 lap.
33. GT, (35), Bill Ziegler(A), Ponte Vedra, Fla., BMW E89 Z4 GT3, 17, -1 lap.
34. GT, (36), Jorge De La Torra(A), Mexico, , Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 11, -7 lap.
35. GT, (31), Jeff Courtney(A), Milwaukee, Wis., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 9, -9 lap.
36. GT, (37), Guy Cosmo, , , Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 1, -17 laps.
37. GT, (34), Drew Regitz(A), Denver, Colo., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 0, -18 laps.
38. GTC, (40), Colin Thompson, Doylestown, Pa., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 18.
39. GTC, (41), Sloan Urry, Salt Lake City, Utah, Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 18, -6.997.
40. GTC, (42), Alec Udell, The Woodlands, Texas, Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 18, -7.346.
41. GTC, (43), Phill Fogg Jr, Portland, Ore., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 17, -32.388.
42. GTC, (44), Lorenzo Trefethen(R), Napa, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 17, -1:05.316.
43. GTC, (49), Mitch Landry, Lake Charles, La., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 17, -1:13.053.
44. GTC, (48), Preston Calvert(R), Potomac, Md., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 17, -1:40.076.
45. GTC, (45), Santiago Creel(R), Mexico City, Mexico, Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 17, -1:58.694.
46. GTC, (47), Victor Gomez(R), San Juan, Puerto Rico, Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 17, -1 lap.
47. GTC, (46), Eduardo Cisneros(R), Miami, Fla., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 14, -4 lap.
Time of race: 50 minutes, 03.320 seconds.
Average speed: 73.358 mph
Margin of victory: 30.344 Seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-18, #9 Kevin Estre
Fastest race lap: #9 Kevin Estre, 2:27.899 (82.759 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #25 Nick Catsburg, 2:06.759 (96.561 mph)