Cooper Wins Again at VIR; Dinan Joins the Sweeps with Am Wins in Tow

12 July 2020

ALTON, Virginia - Round 5 of the 2020 Pirelli GT4 America Sprint season saw pole-sitting Spencer Pumpelly and the #66 TRG LaSalle Solutions Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 bring the field to the green flag and maintain the lead with Michael Cooper and the #10 Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren 570S GT4 slotting into second position and Jarett Andretti in the #18 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4 third.  

Pumpelly and Cooper would battle nose to tail over the next 5 laps.

Jeff Courtney and the #99 RecStuff Racing Mercedes AMG GT4 would lead the Am category, sitting sixth overall, with Michael Dinan and the #210 Flying Lizard Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 second and Jason Bell in the #2 GMG Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 third.

With 38 minutes on the clock Michael Cooper would overtake Pumpelly in the turn 14 braking zone and claim first position as the three pro leaders pulled away from the rest of the field.

On the next lap, Andretti then pulled past Pumpelly for second position at turn 14 and closed up on the back of the leading #10 McLaren instantly.

Cooper would not cave to the pressure and start to gap Andretti over the next few laps.  

With just under 28 minutes to go, a full course caution was called to retrieve the stranded #62 KPR SIN R1 of Mark Klenin at Oak Tree and bunch the field back together.

The race would get back to green with 25 minutes left on the clock with Cooper leading Andretti and Pumpelly in Pro, and Courtney leading Michael Dinan and Bell in Am.

With 23 minutes remaining, Greg Liefooghe, who started from the back of the grid in the #119 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4, worked his way through the field and then pass Drew Staveley and the #12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 for fourth position in Pro.  

As the clock ticked under 10 minutes to go, Andretti would go wide coming out of Oak Tree, allowing Pumpelly’s Porsche to pull alongside the orange, white, and blue McLaren with the McLaren ultimately winning the drag race down the back straight to maintain second position.

Back in the Am field Michael Dinan would overtake Courtney for the class lead going into turn 14 with the two battling neck and neck for the next few laps.

With 7 minutes on the clock, Andretti would go for a bumpy ride through the grass at turn 10’s South Bend and spin, allowing Pumpelly to regain second position and Liefooghe to slot into third.  Andretti would settle for fourth just ahead of Staveley’s Mustang.

As the checkered flag flew, Michael Cooper took the overall win followed by Spencer Pumpelly and Greg Leifooghe taking the final step of the podium.  “The results on Friday were the worst I have had in my career, but I have to give a big shout out to the team, especially Tony Gaples, for how we rebounded yesterday and today, ” said Cooper.  

Michael Dinan would win again in Am, his fourth in five races, with Jeff Courtney and Jason Bell coming home second and third.  “Last year was a tough time here at VIR, so to put everything together this weekend and to get all three wins, there’s nothing more I could ask for.  VIR is one of my favorite tracks to race at, so very happy to win here!” said Dinan.  

Catch all of this weekend's Sprint action on CBS Sports Network, premiering on July 19th at 7:00 pm ET. The Pirelli GT4 America Sprint championship will be back on track August 7th - 9th at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.