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Baptista Claims GTS Race 1 Win in Utah

Rodrigo Baptista takes third win of PWC GTS season…

Photo: Brian Cleary/BCPIx.com

Rodrigo Baptista claimed a flag-to-flag win in Saturday’s Pirelli World Challenge GTS round at Utah Motorsports Campus, giving Flying Lizard Motorsports its third victory of the season.

The Brazilian took his No. 3 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR to a 1.029-second win over the No. 99 JCR Motorsports Maserati GT4 of Jeff Courtney, courtesy of a late-race restart that saw Courtney get around the No. 80 Mantella Autosport KTM X-Bow GT4 of Martin Barkey.

Baptista and Barkey fought tooth-and-nail prior to the yellow, with the X-Bow fading to 4th at the checkered flag.

“It was a really good race,” Baptista said. “The car was almost perfect. It would slide a little bit when I pushed hard, but the KTM and the Maserati behind me were really fast.

“I tried to push to the max, and we did it again.”

Barkey’s late-race issues promoted the No. 50 Panoz Avezzano GT of Ian James to third, which saw James gain points on championship leader Lawson Aschenbach, who finished 10th after suffering race-long lack of pace and a left-rear puncture.

The No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ginetta G55 GT4 of Drew Staveley completed the top-five overall, while George Kurtz picked up GTSA class honors with a sixth place finish in the No. 04 GMG Racing McLaren 570S GT4.

Nate Stacy, who jumped into second at the start behind teammate Baptista, finished seventh after struggling in the middle to late stages of the 50-minute race.

The race was slowed twice by full course cautions, the first for the No. 45 Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 of Chris Beaufait, who stopped on track, and second yellow for a two-car incident.

GTS Race 2 of the weekend is set for 10:30 a.m. MT on Sunday.

RESULTS: Race 1

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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