Ryan Dalziel, of Windermere, Fla., scored his first GT win of the 2015 season and third consecutive Pirelli World Challenge win at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with his victory in Round 14 at the StopTech Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course presented by MOMO.
Frankie Montecalvo, of Highlands, N.J. scored his third conseceutve GTA win. Alec Udell, of The Woodlands, Texas secured his first career Pirelli World Challenge win his victory in Round 12 in GT Cup presented by MOMO.
Off of the standing start, polesitter Dalziel, in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing/World PMO Nissan GT-R-GT3 launched cleanly into the lead followed by second-on-the-grid Olivier Beretta, of Monte Carlo, Monaco in the No. 61 R. Ferrari of Ontario/Toronto/Alberta Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia and third-on-the-grid JD Davison of St. Petersburg, Fla., in the No. 33 AE/ReplayXD/NISSAN NISMO GT-R GT3 Nissan GT-R-GT3. In GTA, polesitter Austin Cindric, of Mooresville, N.C. in the No. 25 Blancpain Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 R EX launched cleanly to take the lead, while Brian Heitkotter, of Fresno, Calif., who had started third in class in the No. 05 Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT-R GT3 passed second on the grid Montecalvo in the No. 66 Bayshore Racing DragonSpeed Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3.
Behind them, Butch Leitzinger, of Rebersburg, Pa. in the No. 20 Bentley/Breitling/Mobil 1 Team Bentley Dyson Racing Bentley Continental GT3 bogged off the standing start bringing out a full-course yellow. Leitzinger was able to get the No. 20 machine launched and back under power. GT Cup polesitter Colin Thompson, of Doylestown, Pa., in the No. 11 Porsche of Bucks County/PennValley/Porsche 911 GT3 Cup assumed the lead under yellow.
On the lap 2 restart, Dalziel launched smoothly to continue his lead over Beretta and Davison, but Davison would during the lap pass to take over second. Heitkotter was able to pass Cindric for the lead in GTA. In GT Cup, both Udell, in the No. 17 Amsource Capital/Panther Pipeline Porsche 911 GT3 CUP and Brett Sandberg, of Allendale, N.J. in the No. 18 Zoro/TruSpeed/Porsche 911 GT3 CUP passed Thompson on lap 2.
Dalziel would build up a .945 second lead on Davison on lap 6, while Davison stretched out the gap to 2 seconds over Beretta. By lap 10 Thompson would pass Sandberg to regain second in GT Cup. By lap 14, the leaders in GT began to catch lap traffic and Davison closed to within .362 of leader Dalziel. Heitkotter continued to lead over Cindric and Montecalvo in GTA. Udell continued to lead in GT Cup, but Thompson closed on the bumper on the No. 17 car.
On lap 19, Cindric went off in turn 10 allowing Montecalvo to gain second. Cindric would rejoin the race. A full-course yellow ensued on lap 22 when contact between the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-VR GT3 of Andy Pilgrim, of Boca Raton, Fla, and the No. 16 Breitling/Mobil 1/Bentley Continental GT3 of Chris Dyson, of Pleasant Valley, N.Y. sent the No. 8 machine off in turn 4 and into the sand of China Beach.
On the lap 28 restart, Dalziel maintained his lead over Davison, while Montecalvo closed in the Heitkotter to battle for the lead in GTA.
At the checkered flag, Dalziel would win over Davison and Beretta. In dramatic fashion, Montecalvo passed Heitkotter on the last lap of the race to secure the GTA victory, while class championship points leader Henrique Cisneros of Miami, Fla. in the No. 30 MOMO Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia finished third. Udell would hold off numerous challenges from Thompson to win the GT Cup.
Of note, Heitkotter would win the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award for gaining three positions when the lights went out. Udell’s pass for the lead over Thompson secured him the Cadillac ATS-V Move of the Race Award. The MOMO Turning Point of the GT Cup Race was the terrific battle between Udell and Thompson. The Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race Award went to James Sofronas, of Pound Ridge, N.Y. in the No. 14 GMG Racing/Spyder/Mobil 1/Audi R8 LMS Ultra for his pass on Drew Regitz, of Denver, Colo. in the No. 19 WWW.IRACERCOACHING.COM/Audi R8 LMS Ultra at Turn 4 on Lap 28. The VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger Award went to Christina Nielsen, of Aarhus, Denmark, in the No. 7 Royal Purple/Orion Energy/LaSalle Solutions/PassTime USA Aston Martin Vantage GT3 for gaining 10 positions during the race.
Dalziel had the fastest GT lap during the race (1:21.022) and will start on pole for Sunday’s Round 15 race. Heitkotter had the fastest lap in GTA (1:21.180) and will start on pole, while Udell also secured pole for Sunday’s race having recorded the fastest lap in GT Cup (1:25.082)
With Dalziel’s win, eight different drivers have scored victories thus far in 2015 in GT. The victory was also the first for Porsche GT this season.
“This has been one of my favorite tracks since I came to the United States,” said Dalziel. “We’ve struggled a little bit this year with our qualifying pace but we have had good race pace. It will be nice to start up front again for Sunday’s race. I’m going to miss the Sonoma round due to the WEC event in August so our goal is to win every race now. It would be a pretty cool story if we could win the title after missing three rounds in the series (having missed Detroit). We knew that fate was going to be in the other guys’ hands and we needed to be consistent throughout the year.”
“It was tight racing today with our (GTA) class so close in qualifying and in the race,” said Montecalvo. “I was trying to stay out of trouble and watch the other guys. It was very close and I waited until the end – the last lap – for a move on Brian (Heitkotter). I only had one corner to make the move and went for it and made it. It’s a great win for the Dragon Speed boys. It was really the only place to make a move since the class is so close in competition and times. I couldn’t catch down the back straight so I had to time it just right. It came to that one spot at the top of the crest of the hill. We have been good most of the year but had a few mechanical issues. The DragonSpeed guys are really gelling right now and I’m getting used to driving the car a way. So things are clicking right now.”
“This is a great place and I love Mid-Ohio,” said Udell. “The atmosphere and the fans are great here. I’ve run a lot of races here and it’s a place I’m very comfortable racing. Obviously, having my first pole here (GTS, 2011) and now my first win is very special. We were able to get a jump on Colin (Thompson) at the beginning and I held it. We had a great race and I want to thank him for running a clean race too. I’m so happy for GMG and the whole team for this win. They put a great car together and I’m so excited to have my first win. This win is a bit of relief. I have some weight taken off my shoulders now. I have done well but just never got to the top of the podium. But I’ve been waiting to get that win.”
With the win in GT, Dalziel closes the gap on the battle for the GT Drivers’ Championship with Beretta (1220 to 1168). In GTA, Montecalvo closes the gap on Cisneros(1357 to 1294), while Thompson continues to lead in GT Cup with 1520 points.
Results are provisional until posted final. GT, GTA competitors now get set for Round 15 of the championships while GT Cup presented by MOMO drivers get ready for Round 13. Watch live streaming at world-challengetv.com or torque.tv. at 11:40 a.m. Eastern on Sunday.
ELKHART LAKE, WI – Results from Saturday’s 32 lap 72.256 mile Pirelli World Challenge Championship GT/GTA Round 14/ GT Cup Round 12 race, part of the StopTech Grand Prix presented by MOMO at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).
1. GT, (1), Ryan Dalziel, Windermere, Fla., Porsche 911 GT3R, 32.
2. GT, (3), JD Davison, St Petersburg, Fla., Nissan GT-R GT3, 32, -1.873.
3. GT, (2), Olivier Beretta, Monte Carlo, Monaco, Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 32, -5.883.
4. GT, (6), Johnny O’Connell, Flowery Branch, Ga., Cadillac ATS-VR GT3, 32, -6.562.
5. GT, (4), Michael Lewis(R), Laguna Beach, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3R, 32, -6.858.
6. GT, (5), Kevin Estre, Lochau Austria, McLaren 650S GT3, 32, -7.810.
7. GT, (9), Duncan Ende, Los Angeles, Calif., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 32, -9.284.
8. GT, (17), (A)Frank Montecalvo, Highlands, N.J., Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3, 32, -10.172.
9. GT, (18), (A)Bryan Heitkotter, Fresno, Calif., Nissan GT-R GT3, 32, -10.461.
10. GT, (14), Peter Cunningham, Milwaukee, Wis., Acura TLX-GT, 32, -12.386.
11. GT, (15), Ryan Eversley, Atlanta, Ga., Acura TLX-GT, 32, -13.790.
12. GT, (12), Chris Dyson, Pleasant Valley, N.Y., Bentley Continental GT3, 32, -15.031.
13. GT, (13), James Sofronas, Pound Ridge, N.Y., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 32, -17.795.
14. GT, (19), (A)Henrique Cisneros, Miami, Fla., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 32, -19.789.
15. GT, (25), (A)Christina Nielsen(R), Aarhus Denmark, , Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 32, -25.516.
16. GT, (23), Joseph Toussaint(R)(A), Houston, Texas, Porsche 911 GT3R, 32, -28.886.
17. GT, (28), (A)Bill Ziegler, Ponte Vedra, Fla., BMW E89 Z4 GT3, 32, -33.439.
18. GT, (7), Mike Skeen, Charlotte, N.C., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 32, -42.880.
19. GT, (16), (A)Austin Cindric, Mooresville, N.C., Lamborghini GallardoGT3REX, 32, -59.759.
20. GT, (22), Bret Curtis(A), Austin, Texas, BMW E89 Z4 GT3, 31, -1 lap.
21. GT, (24), (A)Drew Regitz, Denver, Colo., Audi R8 LMS Ultra, 31, -1 lap.
22. GT, (8), Butch Leitzinger, Rebersburg, Pa., Bentley Continental GT3, 31, -1 lap.
23. GT, (26), (A)Jorge De La Torra, Mexico City, Mexico, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 31, -1 lap.
24. GT, (27), (A)Eduardo Cisneros(R), Miami, Fla., Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 30, -2 lap.
25. GT, (11), Robert Thorne, Littleton, Colo., McLaren 650S GT3, 30, -2 lap.
26. GT, (20), (A)Eric Lux, Buffalo, N.Y., Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3, 25, -7 lap.
27. GT, (10), Andy Pilgrim, Boca Raton, Fla., Cadillac ATS-VR GT3, 21, -11 laps.
28. GT, (21), (A)Martin Fuentes, Mexico City, Mexico, Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, 16, -16 laps.
29. GTC, (30), Alec Udell, The Woodlands, Texas, Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 31.
30. GTC, (29), Colin Thompson, Doylestown, Pa., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 31, -.275.
31. GTC, (31), Sloan Urry, Salt Lake City, Utah, Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 31, -1.292.
32. GTC, (34), Lorenzo Trefethen(R), Napa, Calif., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 31, -2.582.
33. GTC, (33), Mitch Landry, Lake Charles, La., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 31, -3.703.
34. GTC, (32), Brett Sandberg, Allendale, N.J., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 31, -4.018.
35. GTC, (35), Victor Gomez(R), San Juan, Puerto Rico, Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 31, -14.123.
36. GTC, (36), Preston Calvert(R), Potomac, Md., Porsche 911 GT3 CUP, 31, -14.737.
Time of race: 50 minutes, 15.432 seconds.
Average speed: 86.263 mph
Margin of victory: 1.873 Seconds
Lap leaders: Laps 1-32, #31 Ryan Dalziel
Fastest race lap: #31 Ryan Dalziel, 1:21.022 (100.328 mph)
Fastest qualifier: #31 Ryan Dalziel, 1:19.838 (101.816 mph)