***Lawson Aschenbach and Brett Sandberg claimed wins in the pair of GTS races over the weekend. Aschenbach took his Black Dog Racing Camaro Z/28.R to victory on Saturday, while Sandberg held off the former series champion for top honors in Race 2. It marked the first victory for the KTM XBow GT4 in the new-look class.
***Anthony Mantella, driver of the No. 8 Mantella Autosport KTM XBow GT4, was excluded from the weekend after getting into a physical altercation with another driver following Saturday’s GTS race. Neither Mantella’s entry or the sister car, driven by Martin Barkey, took part in the second race on Sunday.
***A statement from PWC on the situation read: “Following the March 5 GTS Round 1, a competitor exhibited unsportsmanlike conduct governed under Rule 1.5.11 (Driver Conduct) leading to exclusion from Round 1 as well as the entire meeting as in Rule 1.30.1 (Disciplinary Action). Any further disciplinary action will be reviewed by the SCCA Competition Board and announced in the future.”
***Vesko Kozarov, Elivan Goulart and Ted Hough scored victories in the first TC/TCA/TCB race of the weekend on Friday. Kozarov took his CA Sport Nissan 370Z to a 0.371-second win over the No. 26 Classic BMW Motorsports BMW M235i Racing of Toby Grahovec in a close second.
***Will Rodgers, who originally claimed TCB class honors in Race 1, was excluded for a technical infringement but rebounded to take class honors in Race 2 on Saturday. Jason Wolfe took his Kinetic Motorsports Kia Forte Koup to the victory in TCA, while Grahovec scored the overall win in Race 2, in TC.
***Grahovec’s win marked the first North American victory for the BMW M235i Racing, in only its second start. Of note, the BMW was equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission, developed by ZF, that’s also shifted via steering wheel mounted paddle controls.
***Following their 1-2 finish on Sunday, Cadillac Racing’s Johnny O’Connell and Michael Cooper unofficially lead the GT class points standings. Martin Fuentes, who swept the weekend in GTA, is atop the title race in class, while Sloan Urry is out front of GT Cup.
***Frankie Montecalvo was on the GTA podium on Sunday after his DIME Racing team won a protest to keep the reigning class champion in the class. Montecalvo started the weekend in the GT class but was re-classified by PWC prior to the start of Race 2. PWC rules state that a GTA driver is upgraded to GT only if they score an overall podium finish or two top-five overall finishes, which Montecalvo had not achieved in 2015.
***AMA Superbike veteran Larry Pegram made his PWC debut in M1 GT Racing’s Audi R8 LMS, finishing 4th in the GTA class in Sunday’s Race 2. Pegram shared driving duties with Walt Bowlin, who drove the car in Saturday’s race.
***The PWC GT/GTA/GT Cup and GTS classes are in action again next weekend on the streets of St. Petersburg alongside the Verizon IndyCar Series. Official track activity kicks off on Thursday.