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Pirelli GT4 America

Cooper Rebounds; Auberlen, Walker Jr. Double Up in SprintX

Michael Cooper, Blackdog Speed Shop rebound from Friday issues to win GT4 Sprint Race 2…

Photo: Brian Cleary/SRO America

Michael Cooper and Blackdog Speed Shop rebounded from a challenging opening race of the weekend to score victory in Saturday’s Pirelli GT4 America Sprint round at Virginia International Raceway.

Cooper got around Friday’s race-winning No. 66 TRG Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Spencer Pumpelly following a restart with 14 minutes to go and extended his advantage to 1.859 seconds over Pumpelly at the checkered flag.

It marked Cooper’s second win of the season and came after turbo-related issues to his No. 10 McLaren 570S GT4 on Friday.

Pumpelly finished second despite briefly losing the position to the No. 18 Andretti Autosport McLaren of Jarett Andretti, who put up a strong fight on the restart of the 50-minute race’s only caution period.

The No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 of Drew Staveley came home fourth despite losing the car’s rear bumper on the opening lap.

Michael Dinan, meanwhile, picked up another win in the GT4 Am class in his No. 210 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT4, which finished fifth overall.

Dinan took over the class lead on Lap 12 from the No. 79 CG Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Christopher Gumprecht, who was in the middle of a three-way fight for second in the closing stages of the race that went the way of Jeff Courtney in the No. 99 RecStuff Racing Mercedes.

The third and final GT4 Sprint race of the weekend, to make up for the first of two canceled races at St. Petersburg, gets underway Sunday at 3:45 p.m. ET.


Photo: Gavin Baker/SRO America

Auberlen, Walker Jr. Double Up in GT4 SprintX

Bill Auberlen and James Walker Jr. returned to victory lane, although in a less dramatic fashion on Saturday, with a commanding win in the second GT4 SprintX race of the weekend.

Walker Jr. took his No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4 to a 9.414-second win over the No. 15 BSport Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Bryan Putt, who finished second with co-driver Kenton Koch.

It came after Auberlen was spun out of the lead at the scheduled start of the 60-minute race due to contact from the No. 37 RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR of Jan Heylen, who was assessed a drive-through penalty despite the race start being called off.

The veteran BMW driver retook his position at the front of the field before a second start was made and bridged out a hefty lead over the No. 2 GMG Racing Porsche of Andrew Davis, who along with Jason Bell, scored a third place overall finish.

Matt Travis and Jason Hart were fourth in the No. 47 Nolasport Porsche, with Chandler Hull and Toby Grahovec picking up GT4 Silver class honors in their No. 26 Classic BMW entry in fifth.

The No. 16 Rearden Racing Mercedes of John Allen and Kris Wilson, meanwhile, took the class win in GT4 Am.

GT4 SprintX racing for the weekend wraps up with Race 3, which makes up for the canceled Long Beach round, on Sunday at 10 a.m. ET.


John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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