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Pirelli GT4 America

Miller, Gottsacker Guide ST Racing BMW to Portland Win

West series drivers Jon Miller and Harry Gottsacker claim the overall SprintX Race 2 honors….

Photo: Gavin Baker/SRO

Jon Miller and Harry Gottsacker improved on their Saturday podium result with a victory in Sunday’s breathless Pirelli GT4 America contest at Portland International Raceway.

The ST Racing crew missed out on victory in Race 1 after Gottsacker dramatically lost the lead to Kenny Murillo as the pair swerved to avoid an out-of-shape backmarker.

But they made amends in Sunday’s 60-minute bout, which began with Gottsacker progressing from the No. 28 BMW M4 GT4’s fifth-place grid spot up to fourth in the early stages.

He was the first of the leading group to make a mandatory mid-race pit stop, although the ST Racing entry didn’t make any advances up the order as the field switched drivers.

This required Miller to make up the three positions on-track in the final 20 minutes to secure both the overall and West series honors.

He first dispatched the sister ST Racing BMW of Samantha Tan, before working his way past the pole-sitting Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 with Frank Gannett behind the wheel.

Miller moved into the lead of the race with 12 minutes to go by reeling in and overtaking Matt Travis in the No. 47 Nolasport Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

Travis, who shared driving duties with Jason Hart, was then passed again in the closing stages by Vesko Kozarov who made up 10 spots in a remarkable second-half charge from the Rearden Racing Audi driver.

Miller crossed the line three and a half seconds ahead of Kozarov, who shared the West series Am class win with Jeff Burton, while Travis completed the podium a further three seconds back.

The national Pro-Am class-winning Nolasport Porsche had been running second to the Ian Lacy Racing Mustang for over half the race until Travis squeezed past Gannett into Turn 1 shortly after the pit stops.

Gannett, whose stint came after a commanding first-half run from pole man Drew Staveley, went on to finish fourth ahead of Tan and Jason Wolfe’s ST Racing BMW.

Race 1 winners Murillo and Christian Szymczak ended up sixth overall in a rollercoaster race for their No. 34 Mercedes-AMG GT4 which ran as low as 15th early on.

Murillo started from fourth on the grid but found himself slipping down the order before the Murillo Racing team decided to switch to Szymczak at the earliest opportunity.

By the end of the race, Szymczak had worked his way around several cars including the No. 63 Dexter Racing Ginetta G55 GT4, which finished seventh, and the Motorsports USA-entered Maserati Grand Turismo MC GT4.

Sean Quinlan and Gregory Liefooghe finished ninth in their No. 19 Stephen Cameron Racing BMW, while Team Panoz Racing’s Preston Calvert and Matt Keegan scooped the nationwide Am-class honors in 10th position.

Next up for Pirelli GT4 America is a trip to Watkins Glen International on August 31-September 1, when both the SprintX and Sprint fields will be in action.

RESULTS: SprintX teams / SprintX West teams

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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