Weekend round-up: Pirelli World Challenge, United Sports Car Championship

No GT action in Europe last weekend, but the United States had lots of. The Pirelli World Challenge went to Road America for three rounds, while the IMSA United Sports Car Championship raced the 6 hours of Watkins Glen.

Pirelli World Challenge – Road America

No less than three rounds of the Pirelli World Challenge were held at Road America last weekend. Lamborghini, Bentley and Nissan were victorious in the races at the circuit of Elkhart Lake.

The #20 Dyson Racing Bentley of Butch Leitzinger started the race from pole, but ahead of the first corner he was passed by three cars. Tomas Enge, driver of the #25 Blancpain Racing Lamborghini, took the lead and won the race easily. In the nineteenth lap, Ryan Dalziel in the #31 Effort Racing Porsche suffered a punctured tire whilst driving in fourth position. At the same time, the #33 AE/Replay XD Nissan of James Davison passed the #2 Hawk Performance Audi of Mike Skeen for second. The positions on top stayed the same until the end of the race.

Round 11: Top 5 overall classification

1 #25 Blancpain Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2 (T. Enge)
2 #33 AE/Replay XD Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 (J. Davison)
3 #2 Hawk Performance Audi R8 LMS Ultra (M. Skeen)
4 #61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 (O. Beretta)
5 #20 Dyson Racing Bentley Continental GT3 (B. Leitzinger)

The #25 Blancpain Racing Lamborghini of Tomas Enge also took the lead at the start of the second race, passing both the Dyson Racing Bentleys of Chris Dyson and Butch Leitzinger. At the tenth lap, Dyson passed Enge and moments later, Enge visited pitlane because of a punctured tire. This moved James Davison up into second place. Davison wasn’t able to put pressure on Dyson, despite a safety car which bunched up the field. Dyson took his first victory in the Pirelli World Challenge, and it was also the first win for Bentley in the series.

Round 12: Top 5 overall classification

1 #16 Dyson Racing Bentley Continental GT3 (C. Dyson)
2 #33 AE/Replay XD Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 (J. Davison)
3 #31 Effort Racing Porsche 911 GT3R (R. Dalziel)
4 #20 Dyson Racing Bentley Continental (B. Leitzinger)
5 #41 Effort Racing Porsche 911 GT3R (M. Lewis)

The third race at Road Atlanta saw the #16 Dyson Racing Bentley of Chris Dyson starting from pole, but he lost two places during the first lap. The #25 Blancpain Racing Lamborghini of Tomas Enge and James Davisons #33 AE Replay/XD Nissan passed Dyson. At lap ten, Davison passed Enge for the lead, while Enge retired only one lap later. This handed second place to Olivier Beretta in the #61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari, who won a direct battle for that place against Mike Skeen’s #2 Hawk Performance Audi. During the last laps, Ryan Dalziel charged through the field in his #31 Effort Racing Porsche and he finished in second, only behind the Nissan of Davison.

Round 13: Top 5 overall classification

1 #33 AE/Replay XD Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 (J. Davison)
2 #31 Effort Racing Porsche 911 GT3R (R. Dalziel)
3 #61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 (O. Beretta)
4 #2 Hawk Performance Audi R8 LMS Ultra (M. Skeen)
5 #41 Effort Racing Porsche 911 GT3R (M. Lewis)

IMSA United Sports Car Championship – 6 Hours of Watkins Glen

The #90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP of Richard Westbrook and Michael Valiante became the first repeat winner of the 2015 season. The duo won the 6 hours of Watkins Glen, after winning at Laguna Seca earlier this year.

The end of the six hours proved to be entertaining. After a red flag situation less two hours before the end of the race, the #10 Wayne Taylor Corvette DP made contact with a tire barrier, which resulted in some debris on track. The leading #5 Action Express Corvette DP made a pitstop to anticipate on the coming full course yellow, but it didn’t come until later. It handed the lead to the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost Riley DP with only sixteen minutes to go, but the #01 had to pit for fuel. The #90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP was now in the lead and didn’t give it away, helped by finishing under a full course yellow.

Top 5 overall classification

1 #90 VisitFlorida.com Corvette DP (R. Westbrook/M. Valiante)
2 #01 Chip Ganassi Racing Ford EcoBoost Riley DP (J. Hand/S. Pruett)
3 #5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP (J. Barbosa/C. Fittipaldi/M. Papis)
4 #8 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09 (R. van der Zande/A. Popow/M. Hedlund)
5 #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsport Oreca FLM09 (T. Kimber-Smith/M. Guasch/A. Palmer)

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Student journalism but most of all addicted to racing, Bjorn visits Circuit Park Zandvoort and TT Circuit Assen on a regular basis. Also writes for Autosportlive.nl.

Bjorn Smit

Student journalism but most of all addicted to racing, Bjorn visits Circuit Park Zandvoort and TT Circuit Assen on a regular basis. Also writes for Autosportlive.nl.