Tyler Cooke turned in an impressive performance on cold tires to hold off Matt Plumb following a rapid final pit stop by the BimmerWorld Racing crew to take the final win of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge era at Road Atlanta, while Team TGM drivers Owen Trinkler and Matt Plumb took the GS class championship.
James Clay started the No. 82 BMW M4 GT4 from sixth and had moved into podium contention by the end of his stint, while the No. 76 Compass Racing McLaren 570S GT4 of Paul Holton controlled most of the early stages of the two-hour race from pole.
After installing Plumb behind the wheel during the second full course yellow in the opening hour, Compass elected to make their final pit stop as soon as the fuel mileage window opened with 49 minutes remaining.
The decisive moment came when BimmerWorld turned in a blisteringly quick two tire change in their second and final stop with 40 minutes to go and Cooke emerged back on track just ahead of Plumb.
Cooke managed to keep Plumb at bay and pulled ahead in traffic shortly thereafter en route to a class win.
Team TGM broke through to win its first Continental Tire Challenge championship with Owen Trinkler and Hugh Plumb.
The duo needed to achieve the minimum drive time of 45 minutes to secure the title which they did with no trouble, coming home with an 11th place finish.
The No. 57 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Indy Dontje jumped to third in the final few laps to complete the GS podium, while the No. 39 Carbahn Motorsports Audi R8 GT4 of Jeff Westphal and Tyler McQuarrie finished fourth.
Compass, BimmerWorld Crowned TCR, ST Champions
Kenton Koch and Tom O’Gorman picked up a dominant win from pole in the TCR class in the No. 12 eEuroparts.com Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR while Britt Casey Jr. and Tom Long claimed the inaugural class championship for Compass.
The TCR title was decided early when the No. 74 Audi of Rodrigo Sales and Kuno Wittmer crashed out in the opening hour.
Sales made heavy wall contact, ending the race early for the only pairing that was mathematically eligible to chase down Casey Jr. and Long, who went on to finish third in class behind Stephen Simpson and Michael Johnson of JDC-Miller Motorsports.
A late turn of events elevated Mat Pombo to the race lead in the final ten minutes and lifted MINI to the lead of the ST manufacturers’ championship, while BimmerWorld drivers Nick Galante and Devin Jones did enough to clinch the drivers’ title.
After dominating the race, the BimmerWorld crew was forced to come to pit lane for a splash of fuel with seven minutes remaining which dropped the No. 81 BMW 328i to third in class.
Pombo and co-driver Mike LaMarra inherited the class lead and held on to win the final ST class race, followed by Jason Rabe and Max Faulkner in the No. 21 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman.
There were two full course cautions in the race, the first of which was caused when Alan Brynjolfsson stopped on course with significant front end damage to the No. 7 VOLT Racing Ford Mustang GT4. 36 of the 38 cars that started the race were running at the finish.
RESULTS: Fox Factory 120