Johnny O’Connell scored his third win of the Pirelli World Challenge season Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park, this one occurring from pole position.
Despite another first lap full course caution, O’Connell was able to control the race in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R from start-to-finish.
He was 2.877 seconds clear of the field at the conclusion of the 26-lap, 50-minute race, and adds this win to a weekend sweep at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in May.
“This is a win that we needed,” O’Connell said. “This team has an amazing competitive attitude. Never quit. At the start I got pulled pretty good by the Nissan.
“We went through Turn One side-by-side, James did a good job, there was not contact. On the restart I had a good run down the front stretch and was able to hold the field off. The team needed a good weekend like this, hopefully we can double it up tomorrow.”
O’Connell led home the pair of AE Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s, with James Davison scoring his sixth consecutive podium finish in second in the No. 33 car and Bryan Heitkotter banking his second in a row in the No. 05 car.
In Davison’s case, it’s his sixth straight finish of either first or second. Heitkotter’s podium comes in his first start as a reclassified GT class driver, following his overall podium finish as the GTA class winner at Mid-Ohio three weeks ago.
Nick Catsburg was fourth in the No. 25 Blancpain Racing Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 with Ryan Dalziel fifth in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Dalziel gained 26 valuable points on his closest title rival Olivier Beretta, who finished 12th in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
Still, O’Connell’s win will have played a bigger role on the championship. Unofficially, Dalziel now leads Beretta by 40 points (1399-1359), with O’Connell just 73 points back in third (1326).
Davison moves to 1232 points and ahead of Kevin Estre, who didn’t start following the K-PAX Racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports withdrawal from the weekend.
In GTA, Frankie Montecalvo won his fifth race of the season, and fourth in the last five races, in the No. 66 DragonSpeed Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.
The GT Cup presented by MOMO battle saw Alec Udell edge Colin Thompson for the win. It’s Udell’s second win of the season in the No. 17 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
Tomorrow’s race is Round 17 of the season for GT and GTA, and Round 15 for GT Cup.
RESULTS: Round 16 (GT/GTA), Round 14 (GT Cup)