Ryan Eversley, Frankie Montecalvo and Alec Udell won in Sunday’s GT/GTA Round 13 and GT Cup Round 12, respectively, at the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Road America presented by Cadillac.
Weather conditions for the 50-minute race saw overcast skies following early morning rain with a relatively dry track and temperatures in the low 70s and climbing quickly. The clock started on the race after the first processional lap, with Race Control issuing an extra pace lap due to slightly damp track conditions as a result of heavy rain earlier in the morning.
From pole, Saturday winner Eversley, in the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura/HPD/Red Line Oil/RealTime Acura TLX-GT, fended off an early challenge from second-on-the-grid Bryan Heitkotter, in the No. 05 AE Replay XD Nissan GT Academy Always Evolving/Replay XD/Nissan Nismo GT3 GT-R, while Adderly Fong, in the No. 88 Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3, pulled into third and JD Davison, in the No. 33 AE Replay XD Nissan GT Academy Nissan GTR GT3 followed in fourth from seventh on the field completed the first lap of the race.
In GTA, Montecalvo, in the No. 66 DIME Racing Dime R&D Mercedes AMG SLS GT3, launched cleanly from pole into first and 14th overall, with Michael Schein, in the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche GT3-R, in 17th overall and second in class followed by Andy Wilzoch, in the No.45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche GT3R. GTA championship points leader Martin Fuentes, driving the No. 07 Scuderia Corsa Hublot Underarmour Ferrari 458 Italia, was in fourth but running off the pace with a mechanical issue. A full-course caution was brought out on the opening green-flag lap as GTA driver Michael McCann’s No. 82 McCann Racing Yeti GT3R Dodge Viper GT3 made contact with the wall in turn one. McCann was not injured.
With the field behind the safety car, Eversley led Heitkotter, Fong and Davison with Peter Cunningham, in the No. 42 RealTime Racing Acura/HPD/RealTime Acura TLX-GT, in fifth and Johnny O’Connell, in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing ATS-V.R., in sixth after starting ninth, while Patrick Long, in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R, ran in seventh. GT Cup saw Udell, in the No. 17 GMG Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, lead from pole followed by Sloan Urry, in the No. 22 TruSpeed Autosport Security National Mortgage/Avasis Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and Corey Fergus, in the No. 00 Motorsports Promo Byers Porsche, US LED, Motul Porsche 911 GT Cup.
The green flag came back out on lap seven and Eversley led Heitkotter while behind them, contact saw Kyle Marcelli, in the No. 2, CRP Racing Audi R8, spin in turn one with the incident also involving Michael Lewis, in the No. 98 Calvert Dynamics/Curb-Agajanian Phoenix Performance/Brett King Designs/Boys Republic Porsche 911 GT3R. Lewis would receive a drive-through penalty for the contact.
A few corners later, Austin Cindric, in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing REV Group/Fleetwood RV McLaren 650S GT3, and Jon Fogarty, in the No. 99 Gainsco/Bob Stallings Racing McLaren 650S GT3, made contact in Turn 5, sending Fogarty spinning. Cindric received a drive-through penalty for the contact.
In GTA, Montecalvo maintained his lead over Schein and Wilzoch on the restart, while Udell stayed out in front over Urry and Fergus in GT Cup, followed by Alex Welch, driving the No. 08 GMG Red Beard Racing/Morgan Adams Foundation/Torque Branding Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, and Preston Calvert, in the No. 77 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Lap eight saw issues for O’Connell, who lost multiple positions with Long, Cooper, and Alvaro Parente, in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S passing the four-time and defending Pirelli World Challenge GT Champion. O’Connell would continue to drop back during the race.
Montecalvo would move up to 10th overall by lap eight, with Schein up to 16th and Wilzoch up to 19th in GTA, while Udell stretched his lead over Urry in GT Cup to a full second.
An unscheduled visit to pit road for Davison on lap nine erased any chances of a strong run for the Nissan driver in the GT class. By lap 10, Eversley continued to lead, but only by .914 seconds over Heitkotter, with .677 seconds back to Fong in third, who was followed by Cunningham and Long.
Montecalvo continued his charge in GTA on lap 10, continuing to lead and now up to eighth overall, followed by Schein who was up to 13th overall and second in class, but some 19 seconds behind the Mercedes driver. In GT Cup, Udell had taken off, with a four-second lead over Urry and another second back to Fergus in third.
Cooper moved past Long for fifth on lap 11 with a pass in turn one, and then proceeded to close in on fourth-place running Cunningham, passing him on lap 14 into Canada Corner. The pass was awarded the Cadillac ATS-V Best Move of the Race.
In GTA, Montecalvo ‘s lead was up to 31 seconds over Schein, with Wilzoch in third. Fuentes retired from the race on lap 16 – even though he was running off the pace, Fuentes continued to complete laps in order to collect valuable points based on completing 50 percent of the race distance.
As Eversley’s lead built to 3.5 seconds on lap 17, Cooper closed on Fong for the final podium spot while Heitkotter slowed on the front stretch with an issue, sending him dropping down the running order from a potential second place finish at Road America.
Eversley would go on to take the victory, sweeping the Road America weekend for RealTime in the No. 43 Acura, with Fong and Cooper completing the podium and Cunningham and Long finishing fourth and fifth, respectively.
In GTA, Montecalvo scored a dominating flag-to-flag win, finishing seventh overall with a 41-second lead on Schein in second, with Wilzoch completing the class podium.
Udell marked a flag-to-flag win in GT Cup, his second victory in as many days, scoring the win over Urry by eight seconds, with Fergus on the final podium spot.
The Optima Batteries Best Start Award went to Colin Thompson, in the No. 13 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3, who improved five positions on the opening lap. Thompson was also the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger, with a nine-place gain during the race to finish eighth overall. The Motortrendondemand.com Clean Pass of the Race went to Marcelli who passed two cars in Turn 14 on the last lap.
“On the green, Bryan (Heitkotter) and I went side by side into Turn 1,” said Eversley. “I knew he had a little more aero than we did but I felt we were going to have a good race here. I think he waited for me to brake into Turn 1. I was a little conservative into Turn 1 due to the wetness on the inside of the pavement.
“We went side by side down into Turn 3 and I just stuffed it into the corner. Of course, I got sideways and almost looped the darn thing. Then the yellow came out with the Viper hitting the wall in Turn 1. So the restart we were single file and I got a good start and held the lead.
“Our Acura is very fast in a straight line but, when we get behind people, we lose a lot of front grip. You saw that Peter (Cunningham) was fast yesterday when he was out by himself. But today he was stuck behind guys at the start and that hampered his pace. That was my goal for me was to be fast at the start and run in the clean air. Actually, I was happy for the long yellow period because it helped dry the track more. I don’t mind driving in the wet but a lot of dumb things happen in the rain. Myself included. On Saturday, we tried to save the tires a bit in the middle of the race. But today, knowing there was only about 20 minutes left in the race, I just put my head down and drove hard to the finish.
“The race went great for us compared to Saturday,” said Montecalvo. “The car hasn’t been good lately and we think it was from some of the damage with the crash at Long Beach. We had a failure at Long Beach that got me in the wall. We’ll be receiving a chassis for Mid-Ohio. So I’m excited to start fresh there with new car. I really stayed out of trouble today and tried to stay up with Ryan. I think we were seventh overall and we want to move up into the GT field.
“I want to think positive with the new chassis now. The upcoming tracks line up better and better for us. We just have to forget about the past races now and move forward for the rest of the season. At that start of the race, I used some of the yellow period to find where the grip was around the track. I was looking for wet spots on the track. But everything was pretty good.
“It was unfortunate that we had a car (McCann) in the wall in turn one at the start. That took away some of the racing time for us,” said Udell. ” I was surprised how quickly the track dried today during the yellow flag session. But that meant we could push as hard as we wanted to the end of the race. The GMG crew put together another great car for me.
“I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the car on Saturday and the team made some changes that helped today. So we showed it today with being a little quicker. I’m very happy how the car performed. Now we are looking forward to continuing the success we have had in recent races. Hopefully stretching the point gap.
Watch extended coverage of the weekend’s races from Road America on CBS Sports Network at 3 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, July 3.
GT, GTA and GT Cup drivers and teams next take to the track at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, July 29-31.
Elkhart Lake, Wis. — Results from Sunday, June 26, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Championship GT/GTA Round 13, GT Cup Round 12 part of the Road America Grand Prix presented by Cadillac. Results shown by driver position, place in class, class, name, hometown, and car.
1. 1, GT, Ryan Eversley, Atlanta GA, Acura TLX-GT
2. 2, GT, Adderly Fong, Hong Kong, Bentley Continental GT3
3. 3, GT, Michael Cooper, Syosset NY, Cadillac ATS-V.R. GT3
4. 4, GT, Peter Cunningham, Milwaukee WI, Acura TLX-GT
5. 5, GT, Patrick Long, Manhattan Beach CA, Porsche 911 GT3 R
6. 6, GT, Alvaro Parente, Porto Portugal, McLaren 650S GT3
7. 1, GTA, Frankie Montecalvo, Highlands NJ, Mercedes AMG SLS GT3
8. 8, GT, Colin Thompson, Doylestown PA, McLaren 650S GT3
9. 9, GT, Andrew Davis, Athens GA, Porsche 911 GT3 R
10. 10, GT, James Sofronas, Villa Park CA, Porsche 911 GT3 R
11. 2, GTA, Michael Schein, Glen Cove NY, Porsche 911 GT3 R
12. 12, GT, Jon Fogarty, Bend OR, McLaren 650S GT3
13. 13, GT, Kyle Marcelli, Barrie ON, Audi R8 LMS GT3
14. 14, GT, Michael Lewis, Laguna Beach CA, Porsche 911 GT3R
15. 0, GT, Dion Von Moltke, Tarpon Springs FL, Audi R8 LMS GT3
16. 3, GTA, Andy Wilzoch, Aurora CO, Porsche GT3R
17. 16, GT, Austin Cindric, Charlotte NC, McLaren 650S GT3
18. 1, GT Cup, Alec Udell, The Woodlands TX, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
19. 2, GT Cup, Sloan Urry, Park City UT, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
20. 3, GT Cup, Corey Fergus, Columbus OH, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
21. 17, GT, JD Davison, Denver CO, Nissan GTR GT3
22. 4, GT Cup, Alex Welch, Englewood CO, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
23. 5, GT Cup, Preston Calvert, Potomac MD, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
24. 18, GT, Bryan Heitkotter, Fresno CA, Nissan GTR GT3
25. 19, GT, Johnny O’Connell, Flowery Branch GA, Cadillac ATS-V.R. GT3
26. 4, GTA, Martin Fuentes, Mexico City Mexico, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3
27. 5, GTA, Michael McCann/Michael McCann, North Canton OH, Dodge Viper GT3