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GT World Challenge America

Mies Leads Opening Hour in Monterey

Christopher Mies leads after one hour at MRLS…

Photo: PWC

After one hour, Christopher Mies leads the inaugural Intercontinental GT Challenge California 8 Hours at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the polesitting No. 29 Audi R8 LMS.

The Audi Sport Team Land driver holds a 20.236 second lead over second-place Alvaro Parente in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3, with the Team WRT Audi of Jake Dennis holding third with the first round of pit stops imminent.

The field of 19 cars has already been whittled down to 17 after trouble struck two teams in the opening hour.

RealTime Racing is down to one Acura NSX GT3 after the No. 93 car went behind the wall 35 minutes into the race. Peter Kox had already made one unscheduled pit stop previously, then slowed on the race track.

Television replays appeared to show smoke coming from the car, which Kox manage to limp back to pit lane. After a cursory look over the car, the team elected to take the car to the garage for further repairs.

The race has been slowed by one safety car period which was necessitated when the No. 99 Automatic Racing Aston Martin GT4 of Charles Espenlaub stopped on track in Turn 7 after just two laps.

The car was towed to the paddock and has not returned to the race.

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365's “Double Stint” Podcast.

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