Risi Competizione and Turner Motorsport controlled the GT portions of the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America en route to wins in GT Le Mans and GT Daytona respectively.
Risi started ninth with Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer in the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia, but a methodical drive forward in the first hour positioned them strongly after the first few cautions in the two-hour, 45-minute race.
Once Fisichella handed over to Kaffer, Kaffer was able to hold off the BMWs and Porsches behind him in the limited green flag running during his stint. Dirk Mueller attempted to pass Kaffer off Turn 2 and on the run to Turn 3 with just 20 minutes remaining, but was unable to make the move stick.
It marks Risi’s first victory of the season and second consecutive podium, after ending second at Indianapolis last race.
BMW Team RLL made it back to the podium for the first time since Monterey in May, with Mueller and polesitter John Edwards second in the No. 56 BMW Z4 GTE. This is the pair’s first podium since Long Beach in April, when they finished second.
Mueller had to hold off Jonathan Bomarito for second in the final stages, only ahead by 0.075 of a second at the line.
Bomarito had made a late move on Michael Christensen for third place at Turn 3 with 15 minutes to go, to bring the No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R onto the podium for the fourth straight race. Bomarito shared with Kuno Wittmer, and the pair closed in the championship chase with the points-leading No. 3 Corvette Racing Corvette C7.R of Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia only sixth.
The sister Viper, the No. 91 of Dominik Farnbacher and Marc Goossens, made it up to fourth by the checkered flag. Christensen, who co-drove with Patrick Long, ended fifth in the No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR.
Turner’s third win of the year in GTD was a clinical start-to-finish performance by Markus Palttala and Dane Cameron in the No. 94 BMW Z4 GT3, who basically led from start to finish.
Palttala inherited the pole position once the actual GTD polesitter, the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage qualified by James Davison, was withdrawn following its accident in the morning warmup.
Other than the first pit stop cycle when the No. 19 Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT America cycled through by pitting later than the rest of the field, the BMW was the class of the field. Cameron retook the lead once he took over the car and was rarely challenged.
That said, Cameron said post-race that the numerous restarts from the six full-course cautions made it a challenge for the BMW, which excels over long stints.
Alex Job Racing came up shy of its first win of the season, with Leh Keen and Cooper MacNeil scoring their first podium and season-best result of second in the No. 22 Porsche 911 GT America.
The Dempsey Racing-prepared Snow Racing No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America of Jan Heylen and Madison Snow ended third, courtesy of a strong drive after starting seventh. Heylen held off Jeroen Bleekemolen by a half second at the line.
The No. 33 Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R (Bleekemolen and Ben Keating) and No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 (Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler) completed the top five.
The Bell/Sweedler car still leads the GTD points standings by three unofficially, as MacNeil and Keen have gained ground with this result.
RESULTS: Continental Tire Road Race Showcase