Davis/Bell Take First Win of 2020 In Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Race 2 at COTA

19 September 2020 SprintX

Austin, Texas - Saturday’s Pirelli GT4 America SprintX weekend finale got going under sunny, 70 degree skies with the #2 GMG Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 of Andrew Davis leading the field to the green flag. The Pro-Am pairing of Davis and Jason Bell would hit their marks and go on to take a dominant overall victory, their first of the 2020 season.

“Yes! We had a great pitstop and Andrew [Davis] gave me a great car. I was able to get a good gap and was able to just focus. This is great, it’s awesome!” said Bell.

“It’s very rewarding. Jason’s commitment to the sport and series is just fantastic. The GMG crew just gave us a phenomenal Porsche today and I can’t thank them enough. It was a full team effort today!” said Davis. 

At the start the field got cleanly through turn 1 and as the leaders approached turn 11, Ian James and the #50 Panoz Avezzano GT4 got around Bill Auberlen’s #82 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4 to for second overall. Auberlen would then get nudged by the #19 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW M4 GT4 of Greg Liefooghe and fall to fourth overall.

At the back of the grid the #15 Bsport Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Kenton Koch made up fourteen positions in the opening lap to sit seventh in Pro-Am, eighth overall.

With 10 minutes off the clock Davis stretched his overall and Pro-Am lead to 2 seconds, Harry Gottsacker and the #28 ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 led in Silver, sitting sixth overall, with newly-crowned Am champion Zac Anderson and the #7 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 leading in class, thirteenth overall.

Five minutes later Jan Heylen, driving the #37 RS1 Porsche Cayman CS MR, would get past Auberlen for fourth overall, then begin to stalk Liefooghe for third with 43 minutes remaining.

At the same time, Koch would get around both the #47 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 of Jason Hart and the #28 to sit sixth overall and in Pro-Am.

With 41 minutes left, Heylen’s pressure on the #19 would pay off and he would get around Leifooghe for third overall as the two battled through the stadium section.

As the clock ticked down past 35 minutes, Kenton Koch, while battling with Auberlen, dove to the inside of the BMW legend at turn 19, and nabbed fifth place overall and in the Pro-Am class. 

At the halfway point of the race, and the pit window for the required driver changes closed, the #2 GMG Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, now with Jason Bell driving, continued to lead overall and in Pro-Am. Jarrett Andretti, driving the #36 Andretti Autosport Window World of Michigan McLaren 570S GT4 jumped to the lead in Silver, just ahead of the #28, with the #7, now with Sean Gibbons driving, maintaining the lead in Am.

With 21 minutes remaining, the #28 ST Racing BMW M4 GT4, now with Nick Wittmer driving, glued his car to the outside line next to Andretti’s McLaren around turns 16, 17, and 18, setting himself up to be on the inside of turn 19. The BMW would slip past for the lead in Silver, eighth overall, as the two would continue to fight for the class lead.

With only 14 minutes left, Matt Keegan, now behind the wheel of the #50 Panoz Avezzano GT4, would sneak past the #15 Bsport Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Bryan Putt for third overall, and in class.

On the next lap, Silver leader Wittmer would pass both Putt and Keegan, stretching his lead over Andretti in Silver and taking over the third overall position and would continue to run fast lap after fast lap.

With 10 minutes remaining, the Am-leading #7, driven by Sean Gibbons, would face a drive through penalty for avoidable contact, handing the class lead to the #46 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman of David Walker. 

Michael McAleenan and the #3 Motorsport USA McLaren 570S GT4 wanted to claim top honors in the Am class however, and would get past Walker for the lead with under 6 minutes remaining and quickly pull away from his rival. 

As the checkered flag flew, Bell and the #2 GMG Racing Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 would take the overall and Pro-Am victory with Charlie Belluardo and the #37 RS1 Porsche Cayman CS MR second in class, fourth overall, and Matt Keegan in the #50 Panoz Racing Avezzano GT4 third in class, fifth overall.

Nick Wittmer and the #28 ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 would claim the Silver class win with Jarrett Andretti and the #36 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4 second in class, third overall. The final Silver podium position would go to Nicolai Elghanayan and the #71 Marco Polo Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4.

“The team did an awesome job setting up the car and we did what we had to do to day. Harry [Gottsacker] did an awesome job. I can’t say much more!” said Wittmer.

“We just have to keep being consistent like we were this weekend. We'll be there for the championship at Indianapolis!” said Gottsacker.

The Am class victory would go to Michael McAleenan and the #3 Motorsport USA McLaren 570S GT4 with David Walker and the #46 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 second and the #7 NOLOSPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 of Sean Gibbons, third. 

“Dan [Rogers] gave me a great car, so I was able to put my head down and drive. I was able to get the lead and hold it there!” said McAleenan.

“It was a wild start going up against the Pros, but we just have to stay clear and clean and we did it today!” said Rogers. 

Pirelli GT4 America SprintX competitors return to action for the season finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway the weekend of October 1st-3rd. Catch all of the action live and in real-time at https://www.gt4-america.com/live.

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PROVISIONAL RESULTS - PDF Link