Peter Kox and Mark Wilkins have given the Acura NSX GT3 its first Pirelli World Challenge victory, in a hard-fought battle with TR3 Racing in Saturday’s SprintX round at Utah Motorsports Campus.
Wilkins edged out the No. 31 Ferrari of Niccolo Schiro by 0.228 seconds at the line following a frantic closing laps that saw the Italian driver pressure Wilkins for the top spot after rebounding from an earlier miscue.
After getting ahead of the No. 93 RealTime Racing Acura following the mid-race pit stop, Schiro lost the lead with 18 minutes to go after running off-course, only to close the gap to Wilkins in the final ten minutes.
Despite the Ferrari making multiple attempts in the final lap, including nearly getting alongside the pole-sitting Acura on the run to the checkered flag, Wilkins held on for the win.
It marked the sixth different winner in six SprintX races this season.
Schiro and co-driver Daniel Mancinelli were forced to settle for second, ahead of the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Patrick Long and Joerg Bergmeister in a distant third, 15 seconds behind the winning duo.
The No. 3 Cadillac ATS-V.R of Johnny O’Connell benefitted from a slow pit stop by the No. 43 Acura to finish fourth, with Tom Dyer completing the top five after his co-driver Ryan Eversely pitted from third.
SprintX championship leaders Jordan Taylor and Michael Cooper came home seventh, thanks to a quick pit stop that got them out ahead of the title-contending No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, which was 9th.
GT Pro-Am class honors went to the No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche of Michael Schein and Jan Heylen, who held off a hard-charging Mathieu Jaminet in the No. 14 GMG Racing Porsche for the win.
A left-rear puncture early for the No. 75 Always Evolving/AIM Autosport Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 of Frankie Montecalvo, who was leading Pro-Am at the time, handed the class fight to the pair of Porsches.
The No. 30 NGT Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Henrique Cisneros and Jonathon Ziegelman picked up GT Am-Am class honors, with Andy Lee and Erich Joiner taking the win in GT Cup in their Tool Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car.
NOLAsport’s Jason Hart and Matt Travis, meanwhile picked up GTS class honors in their Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
The second SprintX race of the weekend is set for 12:30 p.m. MT on Sunday.
RESULTS: Race 1