Ian James has claimed a thrilling victory in Saturday’s Pirelli GT4 America Sprint round at Watkins Glen International, after a late-race duel with Gar Robinson.
James took his No. 50 Panoz Avezzano GT4 to a 0.388-second win over Robinson’s Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R after two overtakes on the Robinson Racing driver in the final three minutes of the 50-minute contest.
Robinson, who took over the lead from pole-sitter Jarett Andretti on Lap 6, held command for much of the race, with teammate Shane Lewis running second.
A full-course caution and restart with 15 minutes to go, however, put James back in contention, which saw him overtake Lewis for second, then get around the Panoz for the lead with just three minutes to go.
Robinson, however, retaliated, utilizing the straight-line speed of his Camaro GT4 to blast past James into the Bus Stop two laps later, although he was again overtaken by the Panoz heading into Turn 7.
It marked James’ third GT4 Pro victory of the season and sees his championship lead extended.
The No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren 570S GT4 of Michael Cooper came home fourth, with Spencer Pumpelly completing the top-five in his No. 66 TRG Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
Drew Stavelely, meanwhile, picked up GT4 Sprint Am honors in his No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4, which finished sixth overall.
Pole-sitter Andretti sustained a left-front puncture while running inside the top-three, relegating him to a 19th place finish overall, ahead of the Rearden Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 of Jeff Burton, who also had tire issues.
Race 2 for GT4 America Sprint is set for Sunday at 9:40 a.m. ET, with live coverage on the series’ official website.
RESULTS: Race 1