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Pirelli World Challenge GP of Texas at COTA GTS race reports

In Saturday's race Scott Dollahite was the GTS Round 15 race winner however, his Lotus Evora failed technical inspection and was provisionally disqualified from the 50-minute event. Ian James was provisionally awarded the GTS Round 15 victory in the No.50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT sports car.

Second was Parker Chase in the No.19 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55 followed by Rodrigo Baptista in the No.3 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.

On Sunday, Baptista had a tremendous start from the standing position moving into second place by the first turn. Baptista then moved to the lead passing pole-sitter Harry Gottsacker in the No.69 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta G55. Baptista, Gottsacker and Chase battled throughout much of the 50-minute feature Sunday. Baptista was able to extend his margin late in the event to win by 2.762 seconds over Chase and Jeff Courtney in the No.99 RecStuff.com/Kenda/JCR Motorsports Maserati GT4.

“I had a really good start,” said Baptista. “After that I just tried to build and manage the gap. COTA is more like the tracks I know, since I race in Europe. I like the (U.S.) tracks but not so much here since the car is not the best here. The team is very good. As far as the tracks, I try the simulators before racing, but it’s not the same. I’ve driven at Sonoma so I know that track so I look forward to it.”

Lawson Aschenbach unofficially clinched the GTS driver point championship with a ninth place finish in the No.10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R. Leading into the final two rounds at Sonoma Raceway on Sept. 16-17, Aschenbach has 326 points to 252 of Ian James of Paradise Valley, Arizona in the No. 50 Team Panoz Racing Panoz Avezzano GT.

George Kurtz in the No.04 CrowdStrike/GMG McLaren 570S took the victory in the GTS Am class.

“I didn’t have a great start and didn’t get the start that we wanted,” said Kurtz. “So, we had to battle back from the beginning and managed to chip away. For me to get through the weekend with two wins is more than we expected here given the car and the track and how it’s not quite suited for it so we’re pleased with the results. Chris, Dave and Hector have done a great job the whole season with me and they know the car.”

Second in the GTS Am category Sunday was Bob Michaelian in the No.45 Racer’s Edge SIN CAR 1 GT4 followed by Carter Yeung in the No.7 GMG Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.

09/04/17

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