Andretti Autosport’s Colin Mullan and Jarett Andretti claimed victory in the first Pirelli GT4 America SprintX race of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway weekend.
The McLaren 570S GT4 pair won courtesy of a quicker pit stop than the No. 91 Rearden Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Vesko Kozarov and Jeff Burton, which started from pole.
Kozarov led the opening stages of the 60-minute race and stayed behind the wheel of the Audi until the end of the mid-race pit window, while the Andretti crew elected to bring Mullan in at the first opportunity.
This proved to be the race-defining move, as Andretti emerged ahead of Burton and went on to stretch his legs at the front of the field.
Burton then dropped to sixth at the finish as Jason Hart, Trent Hindman, Guy Cosmo and Harry Gottsacaker all got past in the latter stages.
Nolasport Porsche duo Hart and Matt Travis went on to finish four seconds down on the Andretti McLaren, with their podium moving them right onto the tail of points leaders Sean Quinlan and Greg Liefooghe in the SprintX Pro-Am standings.
Quinlan and Liefooghe’s BMW M4 GT4 was set on the back foot from the start of Race 1 after it was handed ten-position grid penalty due to swapping chassis between its Sprint and SprintX cars.
Despite this, Quinlan and Liefooghe made up 14 positions to finish sixth overall and fourth in the Pro-Am class.
However, they scored third-place points because the RENNTech Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 was rendered invisible by the fact that it was a late-season entry.
This ensured Quinlan and Liefooghe maintained their points lead by a solitary point over Travis and Hart.
The Stephen Cameron Racing pair will also face another ten-position grid penalty on Sunday.
Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson completed the overall podium behind the Andretti McLaren and Nolasport Porsche entries, and also won the SprintX West class.
The pair’s No. 77 Park Place Motorsports Porsche exited the pits in sixth but Hindman quickly worked his way through the front-runners to grab third.
The recently-crowned IMSA GT Daytona class champion completed his charge with a move on Gottsacker’s No. 28 ST Racing BMW M4 GT4 with eight minutes remaining.
Gottsacker was also dispatched by Cosmo, who shared the No. 89 RENNTech Mercedes with Patrick Byrne, in the closing stages and ultimately finished sixth on the road.
This later turned into eighth position because of a drive-through penalty converted into a 34-second time penalty.
But Gottsacker, who was paired with Jon Miller, had already wrapped up the SprintX West Pro-Am drivers’ title before arriving at the Las Vegas roval course.
Burton came through in fifth, ahead of Quinlan and Liefooghe, with Preston Calvert and Matt Keegan bringing the No. 51 Panoz Avezzano GT4 past the line in seventh.
Despite fading in the second half, Burton and Kozarov were the class winners in the West Am competition while Calvert and Keegan won the nationwide Am bracket.
Race 2 is set to take place on Sunday at 11:10 a.m. PT.
RESULTS: SprintX Race 1
Story updated to correct SprintX Pro-Am championship standings.