- All championships see repeat winners from Race 1
- Plenty of action to go around
- Only one brief yellow flag
- GTWCA Race 2 Provisional Results
Sonoma, California - The Fanatec GT World Challenge America presented by AWS saw a thrilling conclusion to the packed Sonoma Raceway presented by CrowdStrike race weekend. After experiencing almost every NorCal meteorological annoyance imaginable between Thursday and Saturday, the barometric pressure rose and clouds skipped town on Sunday, creating ideal track conditions for Race 2.
In Pro, Jordan Pepper and Andrea Caldarelli (#1 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini) climbed up to the top of the podium for the second time this weekend, followed by Russell Ward and Philip Ellis (#33 Windward Racing Mercedes) in second, and finally Misha Goikhberg and Giacomo Altoe (#3 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini) taking third.
The battle in the first stint between P1 and P2 between Caldarelli (#1 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini) and Spinelli (#6 US Racetronics Mercedes) was nothing short of thrilling, showing some amazing technique and perseverance. During the second stint however, a wheel issue extinguished race-winning hopes in Pro for Steven Aghakhani in the #6 car.
“Andrea had a crazy fight, there was a good battle there,” Pepper said of his teammate’s performance. “Him and Loris went into the distance, and it was a good battle and made for some great entertainment. Luckily he handed me the car with perfect strategy.”
Jan Heylen and Charlie Luck (#45 Wright Motorsports Porsche) swept the Pro-Am weekend with their second win, followed by Mario Farnbacher and Ashton Harrison (#93 Racers Edge Acura) in second. Colin Braun and George Kurtz (#04 Crowdstrike Racing Mercedes) rounded out the podium in third.
Midway through the first stint, Dirk Muller (#63 DXDT Racing Mercedes) pulled off a tight pass on Michael Cooper (#43 RealTime Racing Acura), which opened up plenty of potential further down the track.
After a strong drive by Heylen (#45 Wright Motorsports Porsche) followed by a pristine team pit strategy, Luck inherited a great position and was able to drive his 911 GT3.R comfortably at the front for almost his entire stint. That is, until Ashton Harrison (#93 Racers Edge Acura) gained a ton of ground and kept his driving honest, nearly stealing his P1 spot in the final minutes of the race.
“People think that pit stops aren’t a big deal, you just hop in and hop out,” Luck said of how the day went and how his perception changed compared to Saturday. “Well yesterday I started out easy, but going in today, there’s a ton of stuff between belts and timers, and all these complexities. So I was anxious about it, and you don’t want to get penalized.”
“We ended on a good note last year and are going to try and do it all over this season,” Heylen said of his plans this year, as well as how the race went for him. “We didn’t have the ultimate pace, so it’s a testament to the team and Charlie for doing such a great job.”
During the final 20 minutes, the remainder of the Pro-Am field saw a lot of great action. Samantha Tan went on the hunt after gaining two spots on her out lap, followed by two more over the next two laps across a spread-out field. Ahead of her were Askew and Kurtz, which created one heck of a 3rd, 4th, and 5th place battle. Later on, Askew lost the rear-end and gave up his spot, dropping him far down the ladder in the Pro-Am field.
Kurtz would hold on to 3rd place for the #04 CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports team and a double podium for the weekend for him and Colin Braun.
In Am, Conrad Grunewald and Jean-Claude Saada (#61 AF Corse Ferrari) took the win over Charlie Scardina and Onofrio Triarsi (#23 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari), claiming the third sweep in GT World Challenge America over the weekend. Saada benefitted from a brief full-course yellow flag later in the race when Scott Smithson (#08 DXDT Racing Mercedes) exited the track. This created a comfortable gap and easy victory for Saada in the two-car championship.
Race 2’s CrowdStrike Fastest Lap went to Andrea Caladerlli (#1 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini) with a 1:37.208, his second of the weekend.
Don’t miss the race replay of Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS on CBS Sports tonight at 7:00PM PDT.