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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Mercedes Leading Race, Title Battles at Halfway

Strakka leads at Laguna Seca after four hours, Mercedes and Marciello leading title battles…

Photo: Dirk Bogaerts/SRO

Strakka Racing’s No. 43 Mercedes-AMG GT3 is out front at the halfway point in the California 8 Hours with the German brand currently leading the manufacturers’ and drivers’ championships.

Maxi Goetz leads before the fourth round of scheduled pit stops in the Strakka Mercedes he shares with Raffaele Marciello, who is currently in the Intercontinental GT Challenge drivers’ title points lead.

With the SunEnergy1 Racing car of Tristan Vautier running second, Mercedes is also in prime position to secure the hotly contested manufacturers’ title.

The best-placed Audi R8 LMS GT3 is the No. 19 WRT car of Robin Frijns in third, with the Dutchman running ahead of Dirk Werner’s Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Andy Soucek, who pitted from the lead shortly before the midway point after his No. 8 Bentley Continental GT3, benefitted from pitting under a safety car period to take the lead earlier.

Audi Sport Team Land found itself in a similar situation, able to run as high as second despite two drive-through penalties for the car that includes title contender Christopher Haase.

David Fumanelli is in the lead of the GT3 Pro-Am class, while Spencer Pumpelly leads GT4 for TRG.

Kenny Habul’s Bronze Cup title hopes took a blow when his SunEnergy1 car was caught in contact with the PPM Lamborghini Huracan GT3 but co-driver Mikael Grenier is back out on track, running 67 laps down.

Another safety car was called after contact between the Vital Speed Motorsports Ferrari 488 GT3 and No. 99 Bryan Herta Autosport Hyundai i30 N TCR at the Corkscrew.

Christian Vietoris, in the No. 44 Strakka Mercedes, was also involved in the incident.

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist. He is a graduate of Politics and International Relations.

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