Shane Lewis and the No. 72 Robinson Racing Camaro GT4 ledthe field to the green flag to kick off Round 12 of the Pirelli GT4 America Sprint season at a cloudy Road America, but when the field got to Turn 6, Michael Cooper and the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren 570S swooped from third to first, with Spencer Pumpelly and the No. 66 following Cooper through to second. Cooper would never look back and cruise to the Round 12 victory.
Pumpelly finished second with Shane Lewis claiming third.
“I’ve been pretty good on cold tires, and I got a great run on the Panoz at the start and then just battled Shane the whole way until I got him at Turn 6. I was able to set a qualifying lap early in the race, but it’s because these Blackdog guys have worked so hard. Watkins Glen was a struggle, so here we’re super happy,” said Cooper, who will start Sunday’s Race 2 from pole.
Jarrett Andretti in the No. 18 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S got past championship leader Ian James and the No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Avezzano GT4 for fourth on Lap 2, but just three laps later Gar Robinson in the No. 74 Robinson Racing Camaro GT4 would get past Andretti at Canada Corner for fourth, where he would finish. James and the Panoz would slowly drop through the field ultimately finishing 11th overall, seventh in class, handing the championship points lead unofficially to Cooper.
With 15 minutes remaining, Andrew Davis in the No. 81 Kelly-Moss Road & Race Audi R8 LMS got past Andretti for fifth as the McLaren driver went wide at the kink. Davis would finish fifth with Andretti sixth.
Drew Staveley in the No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 cruised to the Am class victory and finished an impressive seventh overall, 13 seconds ahead of Tony Gaples and the No. 11 Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren 570S GT4 in second. With the victory, Staveley unofficially claims the 2019 Pirelli GT4 America Sprint Am championship with three races remaining.
“The car was really, really good for us today. All around the car was great and I’m really excited and ready for tomorrow,” said Staveley.
Jeff Courtney and the No. 99 JCR Maserati came home third in the Am class with Alan Brynjolfsson and the No. 7 Park Place 718 Cayman CS MR fourth. Sean Quinlan and the No. 19 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4 rounded out the top five.
Pirelli GT4 America Sprint Race 2 goes green on Sunday, at 10:00 a.m. CT streaming live at https://www.gt4-america.com/watch-live.