Michael Cooper picked up his sixth consecutive Pirelli GT4 America Sprint win following a wet and wild opening race of the weekend at Road America.
The Blackdog Speed Shop driver took his No. 10 McLaren 570S GT4 to victory under full-course caution conditions following a massive accident at Canada Corner in the closing minutes of the 50-minute scheduled race.
Having started fifth due to qualifying being canceled because of rain, Cooper worked his way through the field to take over the lead from pole-sitter Spencer Pumpelly on the first restart with 22 minutes to go.
A heavy accident between the No. 91 Rearden Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 of Jeff Burton and Ray Mason’s No. 77 Compass Racing McLaren entering Canada Corner with six minutes remaining ultimately brought the race to an early end.
The two cars had been battling with Tony Gaples for third in the GT4 Am class.
Pumpelly came home second in the No. 66 TRG Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, ahead of Michael Dinan, who picked up GT4 Am class honors with a third place overall finish in his Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin GT4.
Paul Terry, who started on the outside of the front row, was fourth, while Gaples, in his return to driving, completed the top-five overall and third in class in his Blackdog McLaren.
Drew Staveley lost out on a likely podium finish after spinning in Turn 5 on the restart in his No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 although still finished third in the Pro class due to Jarett Andretti not starting the race.
The race, which started more than 20 minutes late due to heavy rain, began under the safety car before going green two laps later.
The second of three GT4 Sprint races over the weekend takes place Saturday at 9:40 a.m. CT.
RESULTS: Race 1
Auberlen, Walker Jr. Win SprintX Race 1
Bill Auberlen continued his hot streak in North American GT competition by taking his third win in seven days.
The BMW legend, who became the winningest driver in IMSA history last weekend at Virginia International Raceway, took BimmerWorld to victory in the first GT4 SprintX race of the Road America event.
Auberlen drove his No. 82 BMW M4 GT4 to a 1.694-second win over the No. 28 ST Racing BMW of Nick Wittmer following a fierce fight for the lead following the round of mid-race pit stops.
He shared overall honors with co-driver James Walker Jr., in the duo’s second win of the GT4 SprintX season.
The No. 71 MarcoPolo Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4 of Mads Siljehaug led from the green with the No. 36 Andretti Autosport McLaren GT4 of Colin Mullan running second.
A full-course caution for the No. 21 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin GT4 of Dinan, who stopped on track near The Kink after the kill switch was engaged by debris, changed the dynamic up front.
Wittmer and co-driver Harry Gottsacker picked up Silver class honors with their second place overall finish, followed by the No. 15 Bsport Aston Martin GT4 of Kenton Koch and Bryan Putt, who were third overall and second in Pro-Am.
Cole Ciraulo, who emerged as the leader following the round of pit stops, faded to sixth in his No. 25 CCR Team TFB BMW GT4, which led in the hands of Tim Barber during the pit sequence.
Jarett Andretti rebounded to finish fourth, with Nicolai Elghanayan completing the top-five overall after both making late charges.
The No. 7 Nolasport Porsche of Sean Gibbons and Zac Anderson, meanwhile, picked up the Am class win again.
The second race of the weekend is scheduled for 3:35 p.m. CT.
RESULTS: Race 1