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GT World Challenge America

PWC Weekend Roundup: Monterey

PWC Weekend Roundup: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Alvaro Parente claimed the Pirelli World Challenge GT championship by 20 points over Patrick Long (1645-1625), meaning the seven-point adjustment given to the Portuguese driver just two hours prior to the race did not factor into the outcome.

***Sunday’s GT title-deciding Sprint race featured a pair of first-time PWC class winners in Cooper MacNeil (GTA) and Corey Fergus (GT Cup), while Johnny O’Connell claimed his 21st career victory, in the race that ended his four-year streak as GT champion. O’Connell finished third in the 2016 championship.

***O’Connell said in the post race-press conference that a decision on Cadillac’s return to PWC has still not yet been made. It’s understood the longtime series manufacturer has been an opponent to the championship’s two-driver SprintX format, which is set to be further integrated into the championship.

***Saturday’s SprintX-winning No. 19 Stephen Cameron Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra did not take part in Sunday’s season finale after Drew Regitz’s heavy accident in the closing stages of the Sprint race a few hours earlier. The No. 80 Lone Star Racing Dodge Viper GT3-R also did not make the grid after an incident for Mike Skeen on the opening lap of the Sprint race as well.

***Martin Barkey (Mantella Autosport KTM X-Bow GT4) and Scott Heckert (Racer’s Edge SIN R1 GT4) claimed GTS class victories, with a third place finish in Saturday’s makeup race for Brett Sandberg being  enough to clinch the class championship one race early.

***Patrick Gallagher swept both TC races in his Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda MX-5, while Eric Powell and Joey Bickers claimed class wins in TCA in their respective Mazdas. Will Rodgers made it a Mazda sweep of the weekend in TCB, with his Hale Motorsports Mazda2.

***Toby Grahovec claimed the TC drivers’ Championship, while Mazda captured the Manufacturers’ Championship. Elivan Goulart (TCA) and Tom O’Gorman. (TCB) picked up class titles as well.

***The two Always Evolving Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3s completed their final races in PWC on Sunday. The pair of 2014-spec cars will be prepped and sea-freighted to Australia in late November to its new owners Hobson Motorsport, which will debut the cars in February’s Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

***AIM Autosport’s Ian Willis told Sportscar365 that members of his team could assist Hobson in Bathurst, although a final decision has not yet been made. Drivers for Bathurst, or its planned Australian GT Championship effort, have yet to be announced.

***A leading PWC team is understood to be finalizing an effort for December’s Sepang 12 Hours, which serves as the third and final round of the SRO’s new Intercontinental GT Challenge.

***Both the GT and SprintX season finales will be televised on CBS Sports Network. The GT/GTA/GT Cup race will air Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. ET, with the SprintX action set for Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. ET.

***PWC champions will be honored at its end-of-season awards banquet tonight at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Monterey Bay Seaside. It’s understood series officials could preview the 2017 race format during this evening’s celebrations.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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