Scott Dollahite slipped past Dakota Dickerson and into the lead going into Turn 1 with 20 minutes to go and held on from there to win the Pirelli World Challenge GTS Race 1 at Circuit of The Americas.
The native of Austin, Texas qualified eighth driving the No. 46 Lotus Evora for SDR Motorsports but was promoted up a row post-qualifying by virtue of a penalty assessed to the Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55 of second-place qualifier Harry Gottsacker.
After the start, Dollahite found himself in podium contention by the midway point of the 50-minute race, and after passing pole sitter Ian James for second quickly tracked down Dickerson, who had dominated the first 30 minutes.
The hometown hero, who had been driving the PWC pace car in previous races this season, made the pass stick and cruised home to take a popular win.
James, in the No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT, followed Dollahite through back to the second spot, and held off a hard-charging Parker Chase in a drag race to the checkered flag on the final lap to secure the runner-up result.
Like his teammate Gottsacker, Chase was forced to start at the rear of the grid when the pair of Performance Motorsports Group Ginettas were found to be underweight in post-qualifying tech.
Chase charged from last at the start to finish on the podium in third, a mere 0.115 seconds away from stealing second from James at the line.
Rodrigo Baptista completed the top four in the No. 3 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR, followed by Gottsacker in fifth, who also set the fastest lap of the race.
Dickerson, the early race leader, saw his impressive debut unravel in the final minutes.
After slipping to third overall behind Dollahite and James, Dickerson’s ANSA Motorsports KTM Xbow GT4 slowed on track while still leading the GTSA category. His misfortune handed the class win to George Kurtz in the No. 04 GMG Racing McLaren 570S GT4.
It was a difficult outing for GTS points leader Lawson Aschenbach who soldiered home with a hard-fought sixth-place result in the No. 10 Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R.
Nonetheless, the Blackdog Speed Shop driver unofficially still holds a 312-250 advantage over Ian James in the points standings with three races left in the season.
GTS Race 2 is scheduled for 10 a.m. CT Sunday with live coverage available at World-Challenge.com. Tape-delayed television coverage will air on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. ET on September 13th.
RESULTS: Race 1