K-PAX Racing’s Jordan Pepper and Andrea Caldarelli picked up their sixth Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS victory of the season in another dominant run Saturday at Watkins Glen International.
Caldarelli took his No. 3 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo to a 9.389-second win over the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Robby Foley in the relatively uneventful 90-minute race.
Having started from pole, Pepper stretched out into an early lead until the race’s one-and-only full-course caution for an accident by the No. 10 TR3 Racing Lamborghini of Bill Sweedler with five minutes just on the clock.
Pepper pitted the race-leading Lamborghini with 49 minutes to go, with a flawless stop putting the Lamborghini factory driver in prime position for another win.
The No. 33 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Russell Ward and Mikael Grenier completed the overall and Pro class podium.
Handling issues for the No. 6 K-PAX Lamborghini saw Giovanni Venturini drop down the running order late in the race to a ninth place finish overall after running fourth for the majority of the race.
Jacob Abel and Taylor Hagler claimed Racers Edge Motorsports’ second Pro-Am class victory of the season in their Acura NSX GT3 Evo.
Abel held off a hard-charging Matt McMurry for his first sports car racing victory after Hagler scored top class honors at Road America with Dakota Dickerson.
The No. 77 Compass Racing Acura of Michael Di Meo jumped into an early class lead after making a charge through the field but lost the position during the round of pit stops.
The two Acuras were locked nose-to-tail in a closely fought battle for the remainder of the race.
Michael Cooper brought the No. 19 DXDT Mercedes home third in Pro-Am following co-driver Erin Vogel’s strong opening stint.
Wright Motorsports streak of podium finishes ended on Saturday, with Jan Heylen and Fred Poordad finishing fifth in class, behind the No. 9 TR3 Racing Lamborghini of Giacomo Altoe, who held off Heylen in the closing 30 minutes.
The two cars appeared to have contact on the last lap, with Heylen briefly through for fourth before being overtaken by the Italian just two corners later. The incident is under review by race control.
The early race incident for Sweedler gave Jean-Claude Saada and Conrad Grunewald clear sailing to pick up another class win in Am in their AF Corse Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020.
The second race of the weekend is set for 1:15 p.m. ET on Sunday with live coverage on CBSSN and on SRO’s GT World YouTube page.
RESULTS: Race 1