A few drops of rain threatened the Pirelli GT4 America 60-minute race at Watkins Glen International. Thankfully, Mother Nature was merciful and let the competitors finish their event without a hitch.
The No. 18 RS1 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport, which won race one Saturday, delivered yet another dominant performance in Sunday’s race. This is the seventh victory this season for the team and its drivers, American Eric Filgueiras and Scotsman Stevan McAleer, extending their championship lead.
Although some of the Pro-Am class competitors were strong early on, the No. 18 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport ran a perfect race to take the overall lead with 10 minutes remaining in the 60-minute event.
The fight for second place in the Silver class animated the end of the race between the No. 68 Smooge Racing Toyota GR Supra GT4 (Kevin Conway/John Geesbrecht) and the No. 34 Conquest Racing/JMF Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT4 (Gavin Sanders/Michai Stephens). Rookie Sanders tried his best to overtake Conway, but ended up finishing 0.4s behind the Toyota. The No. 112 Dexter Racing Toyota GR Supra GT4 (Dominic Starkweather/Ryan Dexter) rounded out the top four in the Silver class.
“It was a much better race than what we’ve had all year,” exclaimed Eric Filgueiras on Victory Lane. “Steven did a fantastic job with his stint, as he always does. RS1 gave us a really great car. I wanted to be P1 overall but I wanted to be aware and courteous to those guys who are competing in their class too, so I didn’t want to take too many risks on our end to not mess those guys up. We’re really proud. What could be better?”
“I was very careful around the other cars because they’re racing for a different class, but I had a lot of fun with some of the guys out there,” echoed Stevan McAleer. “There’s a lot of big names at the front of the field. I knew if I could keep the car in one piece and give it to Eric, then he should be able to sneak his way by. Two wins this weekend — it’s been a big points day for us and we’re really happy.”
After an uneventful start, a first caution flag came out after a three-car contact between the No. 88, the No. 888 and the No. 319. All three cars had to retire.
Aaron Telitz scored the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap in his No. 69 Smooge Racing Toyota GR Supra GT4, laying down an impressive time of 1m55.692s. His hopes of victory were crushed when he lost a wheel on his Toyota on lap 8, though. This incident led to the second full course caution of the race.
Once everyone made their mandatory pit stops for driver changes, two Aston Martin Vantages led, under threat from the No. 52 Auto Technic Racing BMW M4 GT4 of Tom Capizzi. Capizzi eventually took the lead and went on to win by a slim 1.529s over the No. 124 ARG/Rotex Racing Ford Mustang GT4 (Billy Johnson/Edgar Lau).
Lau passed two competitors to claim the hotly contested second place in the class, and third overall. The No. 8 Flying Lizard Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT4 (Elias Sabo/Andy Lee) rounded out the podium, ahead of the No. 15 BSPort Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT4 (Bryan Putt/Kenton Koch), which lost positions just before the finish despite battling for the win for much of the race.
“I didn’t sleep; I’m not sure if that works,” stated Tom Capizzi. “Race one ended poorly for us, but we just shook it all off, got out there, and we just dialed in all of our points. As Charlie called it all race long, driver changes make a huge difference. I’m elated; I didn’t know what to expect today. I love it!”
The BimmerWorld team completed a perfect weekend by taking their second win in the Am class on Sunday. Their No. 36 BMW M4 GT4 driven by James Clay and Charlie Postins won by just 0.535 seconds.
“More than anything, it’s momentum,” Clay said. “The BimmerWorld guys delivered an awesome car. This is four wins in a row for us, and I think when you can bring the car back clean, and you’re on a roll with performance, it’s just easier to continue that way. That’s what we’ll do.”
“It was both our qualifying results that set us up for this,” explained Postins. “I’d just like to say that it was awesome to race today. In both races this weekend, we’ve had full stints most of the time. It was a really competitive race, so that was awesome and I’m looking forward to Road America. I can’t wait to go and race there.”
The No. 72 KRUGSPEED Toyota GR Supra GT4 (Anthony Geraci/Jaden Lander), and the No. 53 Auto Technic Racing BMW M4 GT4 (Rob Walker/Alex Filsinger) completed the podium.
The Pirelli GT4 America series will resume its season at Road America on August 19-21.