Cooper Recovers to Win Pirelli GT4 America Sprint Race 2 at VIR

11 July 2020 Sprint

ALTON, Virginia - Race 1 winner Spencer Pumpelly and the #66 TRG Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 led the field to the green flag under sunny and warm conditions for Round 4 of the 2020 season. 

Michael Cooper and the #10 Blackdog Speed Shop, who started fourth, wasted no time and got around Drew Staveley’s #12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 to take control of third position and went on the attack for second position, which was held by Jarrett Andretti in the #18 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4.

Two laps later with 43 minutes remaining, Michael Cooper made a late-braking pass on the inside of turn 4 to take over second position and then went in pursuit of Pumpelly, who had by then pulled a 5-second lead over his rivals.

In the Am category, Jeff Courtney and the #99 Recstuff Racing sat fifth overall, first in class, and was able to manage a 4-second lead over the rest of the field, and began closing on Staveley for fourth overall.  Behind Courtney, Christopher Gumprecht in the #79 C.G. Racing Mercedes AMG GT4 and Michael Dinan in the #210 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT4 battled for second in class, sixth overall.  

However, with 31 minutes remaining Courtney spun on his own at turn 3, falling to eighth in class, giving the Am lead to Gumprecht with Dinan hot in pursuit.  

Three minutes later, Dinan would get past Gumprecht at turn 4 to take over first in Am, fifth overall. Sean Quinlan and the #119 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4 would run third in class, seventh overall.

With 17 minutes remaining, Cooper had closed to within 3.5 seconds of Pumpelly as a full course caution was called for Mark Klenin’s #62 KPR SIN R1 GT4 which sat stranded on track.

The race went back to green with just under 14 minutes remaining and as the field entered turn 5, Cooper went to the outside of Pumpelly to grab the lead, as Andretti came just behind.  Cooper never looked back and went on to take the victory, his second of the season.  “I figured it would be a short yellow so I started just scrubbing my tires like crazy.  Spencer slid wide at 4, so I was able to get up next to him and make the pass on the next turn.  It feels great for Blackdog and McLaren to get the win.  We had multiple issues yesterday, so to come back and get the win gives us momentum for tomorrow and the rest of the year,” said Cooper.  

Andretti would then get past Pumpelly for second position at turn 15, with Pumpelly regaining the position at turn 1 on the next lap.  Pumpelly would go on to finish second followed by Andretti and Staveley. Pumpelly would also set the race fastest lap of 1:54.424, giving him pole for Sunday’s race 3.  

While the pro battle raged on, Michael Dinan stretched the Am lead to 2.5 seconds with Jeff Courtney working his way back up to fourth in class with 8 minutes left on the clock. Courtney would then get past Quinlan for third in class, eighth overall.  Courtney’s speed would continue as he would then get past Gumprecht for second in class and also Pro James Pesek’s #40 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 for sixth overall.  

As the checkers flew, Dinan would take the Am victory, his third in four races, with Courtney and Gumprecht rounding out the podium.  “I knew I didn’t have the fastest car, but just needed to be consistent, so I just kept putting in laps and got the win!” said Dinan.  

Pirelli GT4 America Sprint Race 3, the St. Petersberg make-up event, will take place on Sunday, July 12th at 3:45pm ET.  Follow along live at gt4-america.com/live and listen at SiriusXM channel 383 and app channel 984. 

_____

RACE 2 PROVISIONAL RESULTS - PDF Link