Ian James held off a hard-charging Drew Staveley for victory in Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge GTS round at Utah Motorsports Complex, gaining further ground on championship leader Lawson Aschenbach.
James took the No. 50 Panoz Avezzano GT to a 0.588-second victory over the No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ginetta G55 GT4, following a late restart that set up a five-minute dash to the checkered flag.
Contact between Saturday’s race-winning No. 3 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR of Rodrigo Baptista and Jeff Courtney’s JCR Motorsports Maserati GT4 while battling for fifth brought out the late yellow.
While the Panoz driver held control of the 50-minute race from the 7th lap, he came under attack by local driver Staveley, who charged through the field in the second half.
It marked the fourth victory in the last six races for James, who is now within 69 points of Aschenbach with four rounds to go.
Aschenbach, meanwhile, salvaged a 5th place finish, courtesy of Baptista and Courtney’s accident, as well as a spin by the No. 47 NOLAsport Porsche of Keith Jensen after contact with his No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Camaro GT4.R with five minutes to go.
Nate Stacy came home third, in a photo finish with George Kurtz, who led overall early in the No. 04 GMG Racing McLaren 570S GT4.
GTSA competitor Kurtz used the power of the turbocharged McLaren to rocket into the lead on the race’s first restart, ultimately fading to fourth at the line but taking top class honors.
An early race spin by Jason Bell in the No. 2 Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 brought out the first yellow, which also collected the No. 11 Blackdog Camaro of Tony Gaples, which sustained left-front damage.
RESULTS: Race 2