Michele Beretta captured the pole position for the No. 1 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Saturday morning, and from the drop of the green flag for race one of the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS, Beretta kept his position in the front of the pack and never looked back, taking the win. This was the 10th consecutive Pro class win for K-PAX Racing, a streak that began in 2021.
Just behind, there was back and forth jostling between the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 driven by Michael Dinan and the No. 6 US RaceTronics Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Steven Aghakhani, who was given a warning by race control for unnecessary contact.
Following a full-course yellow to remove the No. 9 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 driven by Ziad Ghandour, the fight for position resumed when the race went back green. With a compressed field towards the middle of the pack, an incident occurred involving three cars: the No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 driven by Ashton Harrison, the No. 38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3 of Samantha Tan, and the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 with Jean-Claude Saada at the wheel. All sustained damage that took them out of the race. Fortunately, none of the drivers were injured.
Following the cleanup, Dinan and Aghakhani picked up where they left off battling for position. Dinan moved into second position after Beretta, with Misha Goikhberg retaining third and Aghakhani challenging for position. Spirited side-to-side contact as the two headed into the Rollercoaster made for an exciting moment for both drivers. The contact looked to cut Goikhberg’s tire. Fortunately he wasn’t far from pit lane.
After taking over for Aghakhani, Loris Spinelli lost positions going off course at Turn 12 but recorded the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap of the race with a lap time of 1m44.150s on his way to a fourth-place finish.
The Pro class podium finished with the No. 1 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan on top, followed by the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT3 (Dinan/Robby Foley) in second and the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan (Goikhberg/Jordan Pepper) in third.
“This weekend was not easy. The car was pretty good, to be honest, and we’re struggling a little bit with speed. I’m very happy for nine wins in a row and we’ll look forward to ten tomorrow,” said Andrea Caldarelli of their 2022 streak.
Earning their first win as teammates in the Pro-Am Class was the No. 13 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 duo of Justin Wetherill, who is in his rookie season in GT3 racing, and Ryan Dalziel. Wetherill’s seat time competing in both Fanatec GT World Challenge and GT America to gain more car and track time looks to be paying off.
“What a step forward for everyone; the team, Justin, and even myself trying to figure out this Ferrari. He (Wetherill) did a heck of a job at the start and I had to stay in front and not mess up too bad,” said Dalziel.
Racing on home soil and taking second on the podium in the Pro-Am class was the No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R (Charlie Luck/Jan Heylen) which swept the podium at Sonoma and is currently in third place in the team points standings. Third place was the No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 (David Askew/Dirk Muller).
With the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari out of the race, the No. 23 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Charlie Scardina and Onofrio Triarsi took their third consecutive Silver win. “The team did a phenomenal job giving us a great car. Charlie, at the start of his race, did a great job staying up front and we maintained the pace and stayed clean the whole race,” said Triarsi.
Race 2 action on Sunday, June 19 will be at 1:15 PM EST.
The weekend schedule, live timing and scoring, and session reports are available at GT-World-Challenge-America.com. Check out race live streams for free on YouTube at GT World.