Rodrigo Baptista and Martin Fuentes drove to victory in the first GT World Challenge America powered by AWS race of the weekend at Sonoma Raceway after a costly pit lane penalty for the dominant Racers Edge Motorsports Acura NSX GT3 Evo.
Baptista took his No. 1 Squadra Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 to a 2.074-second win over the No. 14 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R of Jeroen Bleekemolen and James Sofronas following a late-race restart.
It came after the pole-sitting No. 93 Acura of Trent Hindman and Shelby Blackstock, which held a commanding lead in the first half of the 90-minute race, was assessed a penalty due to serving its mandatory stop and driver change outside of the pit window.
A stewards’ bulletin, issued on Thursday, confirmed a change to the opening of the pit window from 45 to 50 minutes of the race for this weekend, which the team did not adhere to.
Hindman had a 37-second lead at the time of serving the penalty, which was equivalent of a full-service pit stop meeting the 87-second minimum pit stop time.
He rejoined in sixth and was unable to capitalize on the full-course caution, for soil and pebbles in Turn 9, to gain back any positions in the final ten-minute shootout.
Max Root finished third in the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche after initially challenging Bleekemolen for second on the restart prior to defending against a charging Colin Braun in the No. 04 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.
Teammate Ryan Dalziel completed the top-five in the seven-car starting field.
Daskalos Dominates GT Sports Club in Debut
Jason Daskalos claimed a commanding win in GT Sports Club America, which again ran in the opening stages of the GTWC America race.
Daskalos took his Audi R8 LMS ultra to a one-minute-plus victory over the No. 311 311RS Motorsport Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport of Ryan Gates, who swept the inaugural weekend at Virginia International Raceway last month.
The Daskalos Motorsport entry was the first GT3-spec car to take part in the series, which is reserved for Bronze-rated drivers in a 40-minute sprint format.
A total of five entries are taking part in GTSC this weekend.
Race 2 gets underway Sunday at 1:15 p.m. PT (4:15 p.m. ET) with live coverage on CBS Sports Network.