Bill Auberlen and James Walker Jr. returned to victory lane, leading a BMW podium sweep in the first Pirelli GT4 America race of the weekend at Road America.
Auberlen, in the No. 34 BMW M4 GT4, made a late charge in the 60-minute contest, ultimately getting by the pole-sitting No. 11 Classic BMW entry of Toby Grahovec with 14 minutes to go.
The BMW veteran crossed the line 13.888 seconds ahead of the No. 52 Auto Technic Racing BMW of John Capestro-Dubets following a suspected engine issue for Grahovec, who pulled off track with smoke billowing from his car with less than ten minutes to go.
Grahovec’s co-driver Stevan McAleer led the race from pole in commanding fashion until Grahovec began encountering mechanical issues during his stint.
A late battle between six cars ultimately saw Capestro-Dubets end up second, ahead of the No. 34 BimmerWorld entry of Nick Galante in third, completing the podium sweep for the German manufacturer.
Spencer Pumpelly made a late charge to fourth overall in his No. 66 TRG Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport by just 0.007 seconds over Christian Szymczak’s Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4, which took Silver class honors alongside co-driver Kenny Murillo.
Cole Ciraulo was sixth and second in the Silver class with the Pro-Am class championship-leading No. 47 Nolasport Porsche of Jason Hart dropping to seventh at the checkered flag after mixing it up for a podium in the final laps.
Top class honors in the Am class again went to the No. 68 Smooge Racing Toyota GR Supra GT4 of Kevin Conway and John Geesbreght. It marked the duo’s fourth class win of the season.
Race 2 is set for Sunday at 10:45 a.m. CT with live coverage on SRO’s GT World YouTube page.
RESULTS: Race 1