SALINAS, Calif. – The duo of Michael Mills and John Edwards piloted their No. 46 Mills Racing BMW Z4 GT3 machine to victory in the SprintX GT 60-minute feature Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the Pirelli World Challenge Championships presented by Nissan. In the SprintX GTS class, Kurt Rezzetano and Andrew Aquilante drove the No. 37 Calvert Dynamics/Phoenix Performance Ford Boss 302 to the win while the team of Jeff Burton and Enrique Bernoldi took the No. 10 DXDT Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo to the Sprint GT Cup-X victory.
Mills, of Houston, Tex., and Edwards, of Charlotte, N.C., defeated the team of Tim Pappas of Boston, Mass., and Andy Pilgrim of Boca Raton, Fla., in the No. 54 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R and squad of Dion Von Moltke of Coral Gables, Fla., and David Ostella of Toronto, Ont., Canada in the No. 23 M1 GT Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra.
Early in the contest, Michael Lewis of Laguna Beach, Calif., paced the field in the No. 98 Calvert Dynamics/CurbAganjanian Porsche 911 GT3 R before retiring from the event on lap 8. A fierce battle then took place with Alec Udell of The Woodlands, Tex., the reigning Porsche GT Cup champion, dicing with Edwards in the No. 14 GMG Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R. Both professional drivers raced for the lead before switching the driving chores to the Sportsman competitors.
At the conclusion, Mills and Edwards took the checkered flag for the win and the Mills Racing team clinched the Sprint GT-X team point championship with Mills taking home the Sportsman Cup in SprintX GT. Pappas and Pilgrim were penalized ten seconds for a pit violation following the race.
“You always think, ‘I can do this (for the title),” said Mills. “But to be able to do what we did in ’14 (win the GTA championship). My father gave us an opportunity and I said ‘I think I can win us this championship’. So, I have to thank my dad for giving us the opportunity. Also I couldn’t have done this without the support of my wife and BMW. When I got in the car, it was pretty simple. We pitted one lap early because I didn’t want to be in the traffic. I’m excited to be back. To end up with a win is obviously the right way to do it for the championship.”
“It was a lot of fun to be back in the Z4 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca,” said Edwards. “The last time I was here in the Z4, we won the GTLM race so I have good memories. I started feeling a bit racy, probably a little racier. I knew that Michael (Mills) would be able to get by Brett (Holden) once we did the driver change so I talked myself out of a couple of moves that I thought about trying. Alec (Udell) did a great job so I spent half an hour chasing him. It’s amazing how many problems can arise, even though it’s not endurance racing, you still have to be able to make the car last for the race. The Z4 was great and stayed together well and was quick so it’s really nice to take the championship and the win at the end of the day. Congratulations to Michael and the Mills family; it’s been great to get to know everyone on the team.”
In the SprintX GTS category, Rezzetano and Aquilante collected their second consecutive win Sunday after a dominating performance in Saturday’s 60-minute, two-driver event. It was the pair’s first appearance in the SprintX GTS division this weekend.
Max Riddle of Vancouver, B.C. Canada and Kris Wilson of Littleton, Colo., finished second in the No. 07 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT car in the Sprintx GTS race Sunday and Riddle clinched the SprintX GTS Driver’s point title with TRG-AMR contingent taking the SprintX GTS Team championship.
Third in the SprintX GTS contest was the local team of Aristotle Balogh of Menlo Park, Calif., and Greg Liefooghe of San Francisco, Calif., in the No. 5 Stephen Cameron Racing/ART Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4.
Burton, the former MLB baseball player from Salt Lake City, Utah, and Bernoldi, the former Formula One racer from Miami Beach, Fla., paced the SprintX GT Cup race by leading all but one of the 38 laps Sunday. Placing runner-up in the SprintX GT Cup were the DXDT teammates of Burtin and Bernoldi, James Burke of Tooele, Utah, and David Askew of Salt Lake City, Utah, in the No. 63 DXDT Racing Lamborghini Huracan Trofeo. Finishing out the podium Sunday at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was the team of Jonathan Summerton of Redwood City, Calif., and Ludovico Manfredi of Miami, Fla., in the No. 27 ANSA Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.
SprintX Round 6 awards were determined as follows:
The Optima Batteries Best Start award was given to the SprintX GTS No. 04 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4 driven by Kenton Koch and George Kurtz for the eight-position gain at the onset of the race.
The KIA Turning Point was determined to be the SprintX GT No. 79 Alex Job Racing Porsche 991 GT3 R driven by Gunner Jeannette and Cooper MacNeil retiring from the lead.
The VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger award was issued to SprintX GTS No. 13 Brett Sandberg and Jason Wolfe in the ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4 for their combined reclamation of twelve positions over the course of the race.
The SprintX GT fast lap was recorded by No. 98 Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3R driven by Michael Lewis (co-driver Preston Calvert) with a 1:25.264 lap time.
Fast lap of SprintX GTS was driven by Parker Chase in the No. 29 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta GT4 at 1:31.608. The co-driver was Harry Gottsacker.
SprintX GT Cup fast lap was from the No. 10 DXDT Racing Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo at 1:27.888 when driven by Enrique Bernoldi, co-driver Jeff Burton.
Catch SprintX action on CBS Sports Network premiering on Sunday October 23rd, 2016 at 05:00 p.m. Eastern; check your local listings for channel and encore broadcast times. Watch the inaugural 2016 PWC SprintX season online at MotorTrendOnDemand.com.
Monterey, CA – Results from Sunday, Oct 9, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Championship SprintX Round 6 Race Round 11, part of the Grand Prix Presented by NISSAN at MRLS. All results are provisional until posted Final.
Pos. PIC, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Laps, Status
1. 1, GT-X, John Edwards/Michael Mills, BMW Z4, 39, Running
2. 2, GT-X, Andy Pilgrim/Tim Pappas, Porsche GT3R, 39, Running
3. 3, GT-X, Dion Von Moltke/David Ostella, Audi R8 Ultra GT3, 39, Running
4. 4, GT-X, Darren Law/Andy Wilzoch, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 39, Running
5. 1, GT Cup-X, Enrique Bernoldi/Jeff Burton, Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo, 38, Running
6. 5, GT-X, Lars VilJoen/Jorge De La Torre, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 38, Running
7. 1, GTS-X, Andrew Aquilante/Kurt Rezzetano, Ford Boss 302, 38, Running
8. 2, GT Cup-X, James Burke/David Askew, Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo, 38, Running
9. 2, GTS-X, Kris Wilson/Max Riddle, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 38, Running
10. 3, GTS-X, Greg Liefooghe/Aristotle Balogh, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 37, Running
11. 4, GTS-X, Brett Sandberg/Jason Wolfe, KTM XBow GT4, 37, Running
12. 5, GTS-X, Brandon Davis/Greg Milzcik, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 37, Running
13. 3, GT Cup-X, Jonathan Summerton/Ludovico Manfredi, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 37, Running
14. 6, GTS-X, Jason Alexandridis/Derek DeBoer, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 37, Running
15. 7, GTS-X, Thomas Merrill/Craig Lyons, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 36, Running
16. 8, GTS-X, Jeff Courtney/Greg Palmer, Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo, 36, Running
17. 6, GT-X, Alec Udell/Brent Holden, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 32, Not Running
18. 9, GTS-X, Scott Heckert/Chris Beaufait, SIN R1 GT4, 27, Running
19. 7, GT-X, Gunner Jeannette/Cooper MacNeil, Porsche 991 GT3 R, 24, Not Running
20. 20, , Michael Lewis/Preston Calvert, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 7, Not Running
21. 21, , Parker Chase/Harry Gottsacker, Ginetta GT4, 7, Not Running
22. 22, , Kenton Koch/George Kurtz, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 2, Not Running
23. 23, , Mike Skeen/Dan Knox, Dodge Viper GT3-R, 0, DNS