- #3 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Captures Pole, Fights for and Regains Top Position for the Win
- Incident with Race Leaders and Traffic Prematurely Ends Podium and Points-Finish Battles
- PROVISIONAL RESULTS - PDF Link
Elkhart Lake, Wisc. - The #3 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Jordan Pepper and Andrea Caldarelli took the checkered flag under Full Course Yellow conditions after an incident between race leaders and traffic ended with a car in the wall, making the pole-sitter the provisional winner of the first race of the double-header weekend. The #93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3, driven by Taylor Hagler and Dakota Dickerson, has provisionally captured the Pro-Am win with a third-overall finishing position, while Conrad Grunewald and Jean-Claude Saada have taken the Am-class win in the #61 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3.
The race started under Yellow Conditions due to a call of improper grid positioning. Once underway, the action came in hot and heavy as number-three qualifier Michael Dinan (#96 Turner Motorsports BMW F13 M6 GT3) immediately launched a successful bid for the number-two spot from Russell Ward (#33 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3), starting off the extended battle for the coveted second position between the two. Meanwhile, with the rest of the field strategizing and preparing for position bids, Jeff Burton's #91 Lamborghini Huracan inexplicably dropped back a few positions before settling at the back of the pack.
After a few laps Caldarelli was growing the lead of the #3 car while Dinan and Ward continued to exchange barbs in the quest to chase down Caldarelli and Russell Ward (#33 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3), Giovanni Venturini (#6 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3), Am-class pole-sitter Conrad Grunewald (#61 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3) and Pro-Am competitor Michael Di Meo (#77 Compass Racing Acura NSX GT3) engaged in a four-way contest for overall positioning.
Just before the opening of the pit window, much of the action was contained in the middle of the pack where Pro-Am and Am class competitors were vying for in-class positioning, with Grunewald surprisingly holding off a contingent of strong Pro-Am challengers led by Di Meo. Once the pit window opened, Grunewald's strategy was to hold off for a delayed pit-entry while most other competitors entered pit lane for their mandatory changes. At the close of the pit window, the field had settled back down and saw the #3 car, now driven by Jordan Pepper, back on top; Pepper was followed by Philip Ellis in the #33 Winward car and Robby Foley, now behind the wheel of the #96 Turner Motorsports BMW, and Corey Lewis in the #6 K-PAX car closing the Pro ranks.
Pro-Am competitors were still intermingled with the Ams on the grid, but saw Dakota Dickerson in the #93 leading, followed by Matt McMurry in the other #77 Acura NSX, and Jan Heylen in third behind the wheel of the #20 Wright Motorsports Porsche.
Shortly after that, Race Stewards issued Drive-Through Penalties to both Foley in the #96 and Michael Cooper in the #19 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. This elevated the fight for second overall to Ellis in the #33 and Lewis in the #6 and dropped Foley to sixth overall with a fight back to a podium position ahead of him. With that little boost in positioning, Dickerson was able to pass Lewis for the third position in Lap 26.
Late in the race with less than five minutes to go, a contact-incident between Ellis (#33) and lapped-traffic entry Jean-Claude Saada (#61) occurred, ending with the Ferrari traveling off-track and then re-crossing the track and contacting the wall in Turn 11, coming to rest in the middle of the track and resulting in a Full Course Yellow.
With less than enough time to circuit the track at safety-car speeds, the checkered flag was eventually shown and the potential bids for placement or position recovery were ended. Pepper, having captured the overall win, led the Pro class, followed by Ellis and teammmate Corey Lewis (#6 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3) who slotted in fourth overall for the third-place Pro podium spot.
With the third overall finish, Dakota Dickerson helped bring the Pro-Am class win to Racers Edge Motorsport, their first this season; additionally, co-driver and fellow HPD GT3 Academy alum Taylor Hagler becomes the second woman to win a race in GT World Challenge competition, also in the highly-competitive Pro-Am category. The #77 Compass Racing Acura NSX GT3, co-driven by Michael Di Meo and Matt McMurry, took the second step on the Pro-Am podium, followed by Fred Poordad and Jan Heylen in third with their drive of the #20 Wright Motorsports Porsche. In spite of the contact, the #61 AF Corse Ferrari took the Am class win, followed by the #10 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Results are provisional until posted Final. Race 2 goes green at 2:15 pm CT on Sunday; the CBS Sports Network weekend highlights and race coverage starts at 2:00 pm CT. Fans can also catch the race live on the GT World YouTube channel or get the audio simulcast on SiriusXm Satellite Radio SXM392 (channel 992 on the app), and everyone can follow live timing and scoring at gt-world-challenge-america.com/live