Toni Vilander and R. Ferri Motorsport have seen their Blancpain GT World Challenge America points lead increased with a dominant win in Saturday’s opening race of the weekend at Road America.
The Finn took the No. 61 Ferrari 488 GT3 to a 3.083-second victory over the GT3 Pro-Am class-winning No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo of Dane Cameron following a frantic late-race yellow and restart that shook up the overall running order.
Cameron charged from fifth to second overall on the restart with 4 minutes and 45 minutes to go, which saw Scott Hargrove in the No. 58 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R and pair of K-PAX Bentley Continental GT3s drop back.
A spin by the No. 9 Bentley of Alvaro Parente on the second-to-last lap, triggered by contact from the No. 91 Wright Porsche of Matt Campbell, saw the Portuguese driver finish 9th overall and lose considerable points.
Hargrove, meanwhile, completed the overall podium alongside Patrick Long, who pressured the pole-sitting Ferrari of Daniel Serra early on in the 90-minute race before the Brazilian extended his margin to over eight seconds.
It marked the Canadian squad’s sixth win of the season and third straight in World Challenge America competition, which has seen Vilander extend his points lead to 51 points over K-PAX’s Parente and Andy Soucek.
The No. 3 Bentley of Maxime Soulet and Rodrigo Baptista, meanwhile, finished fifth overall.
Cameron, Hedlund Continue Win Streak in GT3 Pro-Am
Cameron and Mike Hedlund claimed their third straight class victory in Pro-Am, with RealTime Racing winning on home soil and with an overall podium finish.
Wright’s Campbell and Anthony Imperato came home fourth overall and second in class, with Pro-Am championship leaders Martin Barkey and Kyle Marcelli in the No. 80 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura completing the podium in third.
It came after a challenge for the class win by Marcelli, who was briefly ahead of Campbell following the late-race restart.
The No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka, the only GT3 Am entrant this weekend, finished 13th overall.
Race 2 gets underway Sunday at 2:15 p.m. with live coverage on CBS Sports Network.
RESULTS: Race 1