Nicolai Elghanayan secured his first Pirelli World Challenge GTS victory in the opening race at Lime Rock Park on Monday morning.
The MarcoPolo Motorsports driver started the 60-minute SprintX race, which ended under yellow, from pole and, despite losing his lead during the first stint, came back out on top in the pit stops.
He drove the race solo in the No. 71 KTM X-Bow GT4, completing both stints, taking the GTS Am class honors as well as the overall victory.
Elghanayan lost the lead to Moritz Kranz on the second lap, who went on to lead most of the first stint in his Muehlner Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.
However, both Kranz’s co-driver Efrin Castro and fellow frontrunner Drew Staveley lost time in the pit stops to Elghanayan, whose stop was just 0.6 seconds over the minimum allowed time.
This put the KTM back on top for the remainder of the race which eventually finished behind the safety car after an incident with 16 minutes on the clock.
A collision between Christian Szymczak and Aurora Straus took both cars out of the race and prompted the second safety car period, while the clean-up was unable to be completed before the checkered flag came out.
The field ran under caution for four minutes early in the race in order to collect debris from the circuit.
Buford, Gallagher Pick Up Pro-Am Win
Jade Buford and Patrick Gallagher finished second overall to claim the Pro-Am class win in the No. 55 Ford Mustang GT4 run by PF Racing.
Gallagher, who has filled in for Scott Maxwell this weekend, started from the class pole and fourth overall.
The pair led the class for most of the race and were able to make up a couple of positions in the pit stops.
Staveley and Castro finished third and sixth overall while they were separated by Pro-Am runners Jason Hart and Harry Gottsacker.
The second GTS race will take the green flag at 2:25 p.m. EDT.
RESULTS: Race 1