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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Wittmer Powers AWA McLaren to BMW Endurance Challenge Win

Kuno Wittmer holds off the field to win the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona…

Photo: IMSA

AWA capitalized on pit strategy to convert pole position into a race win for Kuno Wittmer and Orei Fidani in the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona.

The Canadian team was one of a handful of GS teams to bring their cars to pit lane just as the fifth full course yellow period of the race was ending with 52 minutes remaining and that proved to be the move of the race.

As the rest of the field came in to pit the AWA McLaren 570S GT4 picked up positions and was second overall when the race restarted after the sixth full course yellow with 20 minutes remaining.

With Wittmer back at the controls after Fidani handled the driving in the middle portion of the race the car sprinted around the outside of Hugh Plumb in the No. 64 Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R to take out of the Bus Stop to take the lead and was not seriously challenged from there.

Even a yellow flag that brought the field back to Wittmer was not enough to change the outcome with the Canadian fending off the field on the final restart in the final five minutes.

BMW monopolized the rest of the top five with Turner Motorsport’s Bill Auberlen winning out in a thrilling duel with BimmerWorld Racing’s Mike Skeen for second.

Auberlen’s teammate Robbie Foley narrowly edged the sister Turner entry ahead of Skeen at the line, while Greg Liefooghe was fifth for Stephen Cameron Racing and Hugh Plumb brought the No. 46 Team TGM Camaro home in sixth.

Julian Santero, Javier Quiros, and Alfredo Najri impressed for Riley Motorsports in the Michelin Pilot Challenge debut for the Toyota GR Supra GT4 with a sixth place result.

JDC-Miller Motorsports Triumphs at Daytona

Mikey Taylor got the jump on Ryan Eversley on the final restart to take the TCR class win for JDC-Miller Motorsports.

The South African, who shares his No. 17 Audi RS 3 LMS TCR with William Tally and Chris Miller, and the JDC-Miller team rebounded from stopping on pit lane apparently out of fuel and dropping off the lead lap in the third hour to take the win.

Eversley and his Atlanta Speedwerks team overcame adversity of their own to finish second in the No. 94 Honda Civic Type R TCR. The team dealt with a vibration at high speed throughout the race but persevered to take the runner-up spot.

The Bryan Herta Autosport-run Michael Johnson Racing Hyundai Veloster N TCR was third courtesy of a strong drive by Stephen Simpson and Michael Johnson.

The top-finishing Hyundai Elantra N TCR in the car’s series debut was the No. 33 car of Mark Wilkins and Harry Gottsacker in sixth place.

The TCR class was turned on its head by the fifth full course yellow which came with just over an hour to go.

Frontrunners Tim Lewis, Brian Henderson, and Jon Morley all came together when trying to negotiate lapped traffic into the Bus Stop Chicane, eliminating all three from contention. They had been running in the top five at the time of the accident.

RESULTS: BMW Endurance Challenge

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based broadcaster and reporter. In addition to his work covering primarily domestic sports car racing for Sportscar365, he is a pit reporter for SRO America's TV coverage as well as for IndyCar Radio. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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