Jarett Andretti held off a hard-charging group of GT4 drivers to claim a breakthrough first overall victory in Pirelli GT4 America Sprint competition in Sunday’s second race of the weekend at Watkins Glen International.
Andretti took his No. 18 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4 to a narrow 0.249-second win over the No. 74 Robinson Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R of Gar Robinson, following a frantic final few minutes that saw four cars in contention for the win.
A full-course caution for a heavy crash by the No. 91 Rearden Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Jeff Burton set up a seven-minute shootout to the finish.
Having got around pole-sitter Robinson at the start, Andretti kept his McLaren out front at the restart, despite coming under heavy pressure from both Spencer Pumpelly and championship leader Ian James as well.
Robinson made an aggressive move on the outside of Turn 1 on the final lap in an attempt to pass Andretti, although it did not stick.
It marked Andretti’s first outright win in the single-driver format, coming after a challenging day of racing in both Sprint and SprintX competition on Saturday.
Jeff Courtney claimed a surprise third place finish overall, and GT4 Am top class honors, following contact between James’ Panoz Avezzano GT4 and the No. 66 TRG Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Spencer Pumpelly on the final lap.
James, who got into the rear of the Porsche, slowed to give the position back to Pumpelly on track in order to prevent a likely post-race penalty, which saw the Englishman drop to a 7th place overall finish.
Pumpelly came home fifth, behind the No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 of Drew Staveley, who finished second in GT4 Am.
RESULTS: Race 2