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Blancpain GT America

Pit Stop Drama Hands Race 1 Win to R. Ferri at Watkins Glen

Toni Vilander extends Blancpain GT World Challenge America points lead…

Photo: Brian Cleary/SRO

Drama during K-PAX Racing’s pit stop has handed victory to R. Ferri Motorsport’s Toni Vilander and Daniel Serra in the first Blancpain GT World Challenge America race of the weekend at Watkins Glen International.

Championship leader Vilander took his No. 61 Ferrari 488 GT3 to a 2.860-second win over the No. 9 K-PAX Bentley Continental GT3 of Andy Soucek, which had led the early stages of the 90-minute race in the hands of co-driver Alvaro Parente.

However, multiple issues on the car’s tire change, which saw a 71-second pit stop, put Vilander out in front with 46 minutes to go.

From there, the Finn cruised to his fourth win of the season in the caution-free race.

Vilander shared driving duties with Serra, who won in his World Challenge America debut.

Maxime Soulet and Rodrigo Baptista completed the overall podium in their No. 3 K-PAX Bentley, followed by the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Scott Hargrove and Patrick Long, who made an impressive jump from sixth to fourth on the opening lap.

The No. 24 Alegra Motorsports Porsche of Wolf Henzler and Marco Holzer completed the top-five.

Alegra’s sister Porsche, driven this weekend by Billy Johnson, meanwhile, suffered electrical gremlins and was classified 9th overall.

Cameron, Hedlund Claim Pro-Am Class Honors

Dane Cameron and Mike Hedlund claimed their second GT3 Pro-Am class win in the last three races, following a commanding run in their No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo.

Cameron finished sixth overall, ahead of the class pole-sitting No. 91 Wright Porsche of Dennis Olsen, who got around the No. 80 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura of Kyle Marcelli with 15 minutes to go.

It demoted Marcelli and co-driver Martin Barkey to third at the end.

Early race issues for both of the DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3s sent both David Askew and George Kurtz into the pits for unscheduled stops, while a splitter issue delayed the Gradient Racing Acura late in the running.

GT3 Am class honors, meanwhile, went to the No. 7 Squadra Corse Garage Italia Ferrari of Martin Fuentes and Ferrari Challenge ace Mark Issa, in his series debut.

Coverage for Race 2 gets underway Sunday at 3 p.m. ET, live on CBSSN.

RESULTS: Race 1

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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