Winward Racing has broken K-PAX Racing’s five-race win streak in Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS competition following a controlling victory by Mikael Grenier and Russell Ward at Virginia International Raceway.
The No. 33 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, which lost out on a chance of the win in Saturday’s race due to a controversial pit lane incident and penalty, came out on top in Sunday’s 90-minute contest.
Having started from pole, Grenier came under pressure from the No. 20 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Jan Heylen, who eventually got around the Canadian shortly before the mid-race pit stop and driver changes.
While Heylen’s co-driver Fred Poordad emerged as the leader, Ward got around the Porsche to retake the top spot with 38 minutes to go and never looked back.
A drive-through penalty for Poordad due to the team’s dead-man not wearing a helmet during the pit stop, ultimately gave Ward clear sailing to the finish.
Ward crossed the line 19.384 seconds ahead of the No. 6 K-PAX Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo of Corey Lewis and Giovanni Venturini, which finished second.
The team’s sister car, which gave the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 its 100th win with in global competition on Saturday, suffered an off-course excursion by Jordan Pepper that led to an early stop for fresh Pirelli tires.
After initially going two laps behind, co-driver Andrea Caldarelli ultimately parked the car in the closing stages.
An incident for the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 of Michael Dinan in the final three minutes dashed hopes of an overall podium finish for he and co-driver Robby Foley.
Dinan crossed the line sixth overall but still collected third place points in the Pro class.
Compass Acura Claims Breakthrough Pro-Am Class Win
Pro-Am class honors came down to a late-race battle that went the way of Compass Racing’s Michael Di Meo and Matt McMurry in their Acura NSX GT3 Evo.
Di Meo passed the No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes of David Askew with 21 minutes to go and finished ahead of Poordad’s Wright Porsche, which was classified second in class.
It marked the first class win for the team with Acura in GT3 competition.
Racers Edge Motorsports’ Jacob Abel and Taylor Hagler gave Acura a double podium finish in Pro-Am after multiple off-course excursions for Askew in the closing minutes.
The No. 04 DXDT Mercedes of George Kurtz and Colin Braun, who ran as high as third place early on, was one of two retirements in the race, dropping out with suspension damage.
It was same issue that led to the No.. 70 Inception Racing McLaren 720S GT3’s demise as well.
RESULTS: Race 2