Robin Liddell wins a suspenseful finish for Rebel Rock Racing in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge – Motorsport In Action best placed Canadian team
BEST CANADIAN FINISH GOES TO MOTORSPORT IN ACTION WHITH EIGHT PLACE – AWA RACING NINTH
It came down as a race to the best strategy at Sebring International Raceway for the Alan Jay Automotive Network 120 as Robin Ridell stretched the fuel of his Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R and overcame mechanical difficulties in the last 5 laps of the race as heavy smoke was coming out form under the car to cross the finish line 3.343s ahead of #16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport as Jan Heylen tried to close the gap to the Camaro driver but came short as he commented over team radio he had no more grip.
Third place went to Bill Auberlen / Dillon Machavern Turner Motorsport BMW M4 GT4 just over 13 seconds behind the winner. Auberlen had been running strong all afternoon but seem to be missing the pace in theatre stage of the race.
Motorsport In Action started in fifth place with Sheena Monk at the wheel of the McLaren 570S GT4. There was quite a bit of shuffling in the first couple of laps and Monk kept the rhythm before handing the car to Spencer Pigot. At the last pit stop, MIA crew worked very well and Pigot rejoined the race ahead of AWA Racing driver Kuno Wittmer who was ahead of him for a good part of his stint. Pigot kept the other McLaren team behind and crossed the finish line in eight place.
AWA Racing who had started from the outside pole with Orey Fidani looked very competitive all weekend. Fidani did battle in the early laps before settling on a pace to keep the lead group in sight. Kuno Wittmer took over from Fidani and not long after a full course yellow saw the field come together due to an incident on the track. As the green flag waved, Wittmer did not waste anytime and gained several places and in contact with the leaders only to be held back for a couple of laps by a competitor being overly defensive at the time. Finally able to complete the pass, the lead group had already opened up a gap.
Pigot managed to also pass the same competitor and both McLaren were running close together until the finale stop where Pigot and MIA were able to complete their stop and rejoin ahead of AWA Racing and Wittmer. Shown some six seconds behind Pigot who occupied eight place, Wittmer charged ahead until the end of the race but finished in ninth place 1.116s behind the Motorsport In Action driver.
James Vance driving the Fast MD Racing Audi R8 GT4 was classified in 15th place, one lap behind.
Lots of action also in the TCR class as Bryan Herta Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian Hyundai Elantra N TCR #33 of Mark Wilkins started in eight place. Unfortunately, for this team, the race did not go as planned and completed the race one lap behind in eight place.
The win went to G. Ernstone/J. Morley of Road Shagger Racing in their #61 Audi RS3 LMS SEQ ahead of M. LaMarra/M. Pombo in LA Honda World Racing’s #73 Honda Civic FK7 TCR in second and T. Hagler/M. Lewis Bryan Herta Autosport w/ Curb-Agajanian #77 Hyundai Veloster N TCR.
Next race on the calendar is two months form now at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on May 14-16.
Images courtesy IMSA