Kyle Marcelli and Nate Stacy have claimed a come-from-behind victory in Saturday’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Mid-Ohio.
Marcelli overcame a pair of early race setbacks and a fierce three-way battle for the lead to give KohR Motorsports its first victory of the season and first with the new-gen Aston Martin Vantage GT4 in GS competition.
The Canadian took the No. 60 entry to a 1.310-second win over the No. 39 CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Jeff Westphal following a frantic second half of the two-hour contest.
A refueling probe issue on the car’s final pit stop while under the race’s second full course caution put Marcelli eighth on the restart with 40 minutes to go.
While having quickly moved his way up to third, Marcelli, Westphal and the then-leading No. 56 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Eric Foss ran nose-to-tail, often briefly exchanging positions until Foss suffered an off-course excursion in the closing ten minutes.
It gave Marcelli clear sailing to take the win, despite his car having sustained right-side damage after an incident between c0-driver Stacy and the No. 33 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai Veloster N TCR of Ryan Norman in the opening hour.
It marked the sixth different winner in as many races this season.
The No. 4 Winward Racing Mercedes GT4 of Indy Dontje and Russell Ward completed the podium in third after a fight with the sister No. 57 car of Alec Udell in the closing laps.
Udell came home fourth ahead of the No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 of Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell.
The No. 95 Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 was sixth after leading in the hands of Robby Foley, whose 50-second advantage, courtesy of an off-sequence pit stop, was erased by a full-course caution.
A full fuel load for the No. 95 car in the round of subsequent stops saw Bill Auberlen emerge in eighth and unable to make up any significant ground.
Foss, who needed to make a splash of fuel in the end, came home in tenth.
FASTMD Breaks Hyundai Win Streak in TCR
TCR class honors went to the No. 23 FASTMD Racing by Speed Syndicate Audi RS 3 LMS TCR of Max Faulkner and James Vance, breaking Hyundai’s four-race win streak.
The duo finished ahead of the No. 77 LA Honda World Racing Honda Civic Type-R TCR of Taylor Hagler and Ryan Eversley, with the No. 61 Roadshagger Audi TCR denying the Korean automaker a position on the podium.
It marked Audi’s second class win of the season after Roadshagger’s victory at Daytona in January.
BHA’s No. 29 entry of Spencer Brockman and Parker Chase was the highest-placed Hyundai in fourth after carrying 60 kg of compensation weight in the first race with the new success ballast system.
Race 2 in the first-ever Pilot Challenge doubleheader weekend is set for Sunday at 10:35 a.m. EDT with live coverage on Trackpass on NBC Sports Gold and IMSA Radio.
RESULTS: Race 1