Vilander, Molina Take R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari To COTA Sweep With Sunday GT SprintX Pro-Pro Victory in Round 2 EventSegal/Lu Ferrari Wins Pro-Am, Bacarella/Fuentes Ferrari Take Am-Am Class
Austin, Texas – The Ferrari brand swept all three Pirelli World Challenge GT SprintX classes Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in the Grand Prix of Texas led by Toni Vilander and Miguel Molina co-driving the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 for the second round GT SprintX race.
Vilander, the past LeMans champion from Finland, and Molina, the factory Ferrari driver from Spain, drove to another impressive win Sunday in the 60-minute, two-driver feature by defeating the No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 pair of Mike Skeen and Scott Heckert by 2.521-seconds in the 28-lap Round 2 contest in the Pro-Pro category.
Another Ferrari victory came in the GT SprintX Pro-Am class with Jeff Segal of Miami, Fla., and Wei Lu of Vancouver, B.C., Canada co-driving the No. 31 Ferrari of Vancouver/TR3 Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 over the No. 3 K-PAX Racing Bentley Continental GT3 duo of Rodrigo Baptista of Brazil and Maxine Soulet of Belgium.
And the Am-Am class victory went to former GTA champion Martin Fuentes of Mexico City, Mex., and Caesar Bacarella of Miami, Fla., in the No. 07 Squadra Corse Garage Italia/Hublot Ferrari 488 GT3.
“I found a good pace at the beginning,” said Molina, who began the one-hour event for R. Ferri Motorsport Sunday. “I overtook the white Ferrari in the last corner early. Things were a bit easier after that when I started to find my own rhythm and pace. After that I tried to just increase the gap as much as possible to make Toni (Vilander’s) job easier in the car. Today, we struggled a little bit more than we did yesterday, but what matters is that we scored our second consecutive win. We are really happy with everything and we’re doing a good job together, especially since this was my first race with Toni and the team. I think there’s no better way to start the season or a championship than this weekend.”
“I think overall what mixes up the field a little bit is that we have a limited amount of tires,” said Vilander. “Some cars in the field had sticky tires, some had used tires and some had qualifying tires. We did a later stop – everything worked out to plan. I had the gap but the Mercedes behind me was closing quite aggressively. I was building up the tire pressures and temperatures because I thought it would be a difficult race. So, I still kept pushing and the car started feeling better and better each lap. I saw behind me that they were going into some corners side-by-side. There were cars that we were lapping in traffic and I knew that was the key moment. I think that was the crucial moment. What’s funny that you might not see out there is that every session, we had a very different setup from yesterday’s race.”
The Pirelli World Challenge GT SprintX Rounds 3 and 4 are on the SprintX schedule at VIRginia International Raceway in Danville, Va., on April 27-29. The next PWC GT Sprint event will be a GT/GTS event in the streets of Long Beach, Calif., as part of the 44th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 13-15.
AUSTIN, Tex. – Results from Sunday’s 60-minute GT SprintX Round 2 event in the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix of Texas at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). Results are provisional until posted Final.
1,1, Pro/Pro,Vilander/Molina, R. Ferri Motorsport,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,28,Running,1:01:30.772,
2,2, Pro/Pro,Skeen/Heckert, Lone Star Racing,,,Mercedes-AMG GT3,28,Running,1:01:33.293,2.521
3,3, Pro/Pro,Hargrove/Henzler, Pfaff Motorsports,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),28,Running,1:01:34.938,4.166
4,1, Pro/Am,Segal/Lu, TR3 Racing,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,28,Running,1:01:46.937,16.165
5,4, Pro/Pro,Morad/Schiller, CRP Racing,,,Mercedes-AMG GT3,28,Running,1:01:48.056,17.284
6,2, Pro/Am,Baptista/Soulet, K-PAX Racing,,,Bentley Continental GT3,28,Running,1:01:49.719,18.947
7,5, Pro/Pro,Parente/Soucek, K-PAX Racing,,,Bentley Continental GT3,28,Running,1:01:56.257,25.485
8,6, Pro/Pro,Christensen/Pumpelly, Alegra Motorsports,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),28,Running,1:02:00.020,29.248
9,3, Pro/Am,Chase/Dalziel, TruSpeed AutoSport,,,Audi R8 LMS,28,Running,1:02:09.536,38.764
10,7, Pro/Pro,Udell/Jaminet, GMG Racing,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),28,Running,1:02:29.393,58.621
11,4, Pro/Am,Harata/Bressan, Dream Racing Motorsport,,,Lamborghini Huracan GT3,28,Running,1:02:38.697,1:07.925
12,5, Pro/Am, Pappas/Bleekemolen, Black Swan Racing,,,Porsche 911 GT3 R (991),28,Running,1:02:53.960,1:23.188
13,1, Am,Fuentes/Bacarella, Squadra Corse Garage Italia,,,Ferrari 488 GT3,28,Running,1:03:09.104,1:38.332
14,2, Am, Askew, DXDT Racing,,,Mercedes-AMG GT3,28,Running,1:03:20.295,1:49.523
15,1, ,Perez,P1 Motorsports,,,Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo,27,Running,1:02:42.159,1 LAP
16,2, ,Metni, AM Motorsports,,,Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MY 2014-2016,27,Running,1:02:44.056,1 LAP
17,3, , Baker, Topp Racing,,,Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MY 2014-2016,27,Running,1:02:44.302,1 LAP
18,4, ,Amaduzzi/Hardwick, Dream Racing Motorsport,,,Lamborghini Huracan Super
19,8, Pro/Pro,Heilwitz/Curran, Callaway Competition USA,,,Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R,25,Not Running,56:20.472,3 LAPS
20,5, ,Radisic/Roberts, Precision Driving,,,Ferrari 458 Challenge,0,NC,,