As the final race of the VIR weekend, the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS championship provided 90 minutes of GT3 entertainment. Yellow flags were only out twice, with the second lasting as long as 18 minutes. In light of it being Father’s Day, David Askew of the No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 got to watch his daughter Olivia battle it out in TC America’s TCX class this morning, and father-son-in-law duo Jan Heylen and Charlie Luck co-drove the No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R 991.2.
The race began with a grid penalty for the No. 6 US RaceTronics Mercedes-AMG GT3 (Steven Aghakhani/Loris Spinelli) and the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Misha Goikhberg/Jordan Pepper) due to contact made during yesterday’s race. This put the No. 6 at the back of the Pro pack after qualifying in first position.
After qualifying in fourth, the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M4 GT3 (Michael Dinan/Robby Foley) moved swiftly through the field, contending with traffic and other racers’ off-track excursions to grab a hold of P2 until the end.
The No. 1 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 (Michele Beretta/Andrea Caldarelli) took home the win with a massive 28-second gap over the rest of the field. “It was the right moment to pit,” Beretta said, who drove the No. 1 car home. “We had a perfect pit stop, and it was an amazing job by Andrea. Everybody did their part, and I think we had a nice weekend. Hopefully we’ll come back for Watkins Glen and do it again.”
Michael Dinan drove home the No. 96 Turner Motorsports BMW M4 GT3 to second place, followed by the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 driven by Misha Goikhberg in third.
Sitting in P1 overall, Mario Farnbacher raged ahead from the pack behind the wheel of the No. 93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3, developing a good lead, even keeping the Pro cars at bay until the first full-course yellow of the session. After the restart, Ashton Harrison continued to show immense pace into the second session, before a late race spin dropped her down several positions with just six minutes remaining. She put the pedal to the metal and drove home to a sixth-place finish (10th overall) after battling hard with the No. 9 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Ziad Ghandour and the No. 13 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 (Justin Wetherill/Ryan Dalziel).
Not long before his opening stint, Giacomo Altoe laid down the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap with a blistering 1:44.232 in the No. 3 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Running in 15th and 16th overall, Michael Cooper in the No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 and Madison Snow in the No. 88 Zelus Motorsports Lamborghini Huracan GT3 made contact while heading into Rollercoaster, bringing out the second full-course yellow of the race that lasted over 18 minutes. Bad luck struck one of the Ferraris as well, as the No. 13 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 missed the pit lane window by mere seconds. This brought on a drive-through penalty and extinguished any chance at podium glory in race 2.
With less than 20 minutes remaining, Chandler Hull jumped up four positions and Charlie Luck (No. 45 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R 991.2) gained six positions which led to a three-way battle with Kurtz for second position. Kurtz however came out on top and drove the No. 04 car home.
“You just gotta hang around and hopefully you get lucky,” Kurtz responded to grabbing P2 after Harrison went off. “She drove a great race, so we just took advantage of the off and kept it super clean and consistent. The CrowdStrike/Riley guys gave me a fantastic car, I love this track.”
Chandler Hull and Bill Auberlen grabbed second place in the No. 94 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT3, followed by David Askew and Dirk Muller taking third in the No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3.
After the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 (Jean-Claude Saada/Conrad Grunewald) failed to start, the No. 23 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 (Onofrio Triarsi/Charlie Scardina) showed awesome pace throughout both stints, sitting 11th overall and ahead of many Pro-Am cars. However, after missing the pit lane window they were given a drive-through penalty.
“I think it was just something with the extended yellow caution, we weren’t able to adjust enough to the proper window,” Scardina said in response to missing the pit lane window. “But overall it was a great weekend for us, we did a great job, and a lot of things look positive moving forward.”
Up next, Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS heads to Watkins Glen International for rounds seven and eight July 22-24.
If you missed the race, check out the archives for free on YouTube at GT World.