Dinan/Foley, BMW take first win of the season at second Road America competition

Dinan/Foley, BMW take first win of the season at second Road America competition

SRO America

Dinan/Foley, BMW take first win of the season at second Road America competition

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Michael Dinan and Robbie Foley, drivers of the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW F13 M6 GT3, closed out Road America by securing the win a Race 2 – a first win for the driver pair, team and manufacturer this season. Fred Poordad and Jan Heylen secured the Pro-Am class win in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R 991.2, while Conrad Grunewald and Jean-Claude Saada swept the Am class weekend in the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3.

The race opened with Madison Snow re-entering the pit in the No. 88 Zelus Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3 just before the field began to cross the green-flagged starting line. As the rest of the field ran through the course, Jordan Pepper (No. 3 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) created contact with Michael Cooper in the No. 19 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4, causing Cooper to spin out and end up off-track. Both cars recovered, but Cooper brought the car into the pits for further investigation. The incident offered one position to Pepper and Matt McMurry (No. 77 Compass Racing Acura NSX GT3) and ruffled the remainder of the grid. A few laps later, the No. 3 car was assigned an add-on 15s stop-and-hold during the required pit stop, the result of creating the contact with the No. 19.

Shortly after, McMurry was involved in another hard-contact incident with the No. 6 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini and Corey Lewis behind the wheel. Both drivers received warnings but were not assigned any penalties. The No. 77, however, was forced to pit on lap 12 in an attempt to fix an unknown mechanical issue stemming from the contact with the No. 6.

The field continued in the resulting order with Dakota Dickerson (No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3) holding off attacks from Heylen’s No. 20 Porsche, Foley in third, but with a 7s gap to the battle in front of him and his own battle to contend with as No. 33 Winward Racing’s Philip Ellis applied pressure and threatened passes frequently. The mixed field saw Giacomo Altoe, the race’s CrowdStrike Fastest Lap award recipient, in fifth place in the No. 9 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, up three positions from the eighth-place starting position on the grid. Pro-Am competitor Ryan Dalziel (No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3) found himself in sixth place overall and fourth place in the Pro-Am class, with Pro drivers and teammates Lewis (No. 6) and Pepper (No. 3) behind him, bookending Drew Staveley’s No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 that he had worked up from it’s 12th-place starting position. Setting up the back-end of the field were Am drivers John Megrue (No. 10 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) and Saada in 10th and 11th place, and Snow in the No. 88 car, who had since started the race after the race-start pit entry, and Rearden Racing’s Vesko Kozarov in the No. 91 Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

Forty minutes into the 90-minute contest, the pit window opened and the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW was the first to run their pit-entry strategy. The front-runners, Dickerson (No. 93) and Heylen (No. 20) gambled on a late-pit strategy that had them enter the pits with a little over 25s left in the pit-open window. When all entries had completed the required pit-stop and driver changes, the No. 93 Acura, now driven by Taylor Hagler, remained in the front with the Fred Poordad in the No. 20 slotting in behind her. An early pit from the No. 33 Winward Racing car saw Russell Ward passing the No. 96 BMW after the closing of the pit-window, and gaining ground on leader Hagler. Ward made the move on Hagler on lap 29 and then charged head-down to grow a lead, and soon after Venturini (No. 6) passed the No. 9 Lamborghini with Martin Fuentes at the wheel, while teammate Andrea Caldarelli maneuvered the No. 3 K-PAX machine around David Askew’s No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 machine.

The following lap, the No. 93 suffered an apparent lock-up of the right-front wheel and grinded back into the pits, further shifting the field up and ending up with Ward (No. 33) over 10s ahead of the rest of the remaining field, the No. 96 car systematically trying to catch the No. 33 with Dinan at the wheel, Poordad (No. 20) slotted into third overall, followed by Venturini (No. 6), Caldarelli (No. 3), Fuentes (No. 9) and Askew (No. 63) accounting for the podium-eligible Pro and Pro-Am fields and Gannett (No. 12) holding firmly onto the fourth-place Pro-Am position just behind that group.

The field continued on until Venturini eventually passed Poordad to create a Pro-class overall top-three, but with Poordad still maintaining the Pro-Am class top spot. Suddenly on lap 39, Ward had to enter the pits in the No. 33 Mercedes-AMG to refuel, the outcome of an early-entry pit strategy that left the car without enough fuel to finish the race. As Ward returned to the track from the pit, the damage had already been done without enough time to recover and Dinan ultimately took the checkered first, with the combined efforts of the No. 6 drivers affording them an eight-position charge to the second overall finish from a P10 starting position.

RESULTS

Results are provisional until posted Final. CBS Sports Network programming for Road America weekend receives an encore presentation on August 30th at 12:00 am ET. GT World Challenge America competitors next head to the picturesque northeastern scenery of New York’s Watkins Glen International Raceway on September 17th – 19th.

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