VIRginia International Raceway Recap
With round seven of the 2021 International GT Championship from VIR in the books, the points battles are becoming clearer and for Mission Foods GT3 Cup, it’s too close to call!
It was a bumpy start to the weekend with an incident at the start of Sprint race 1 which used most of the session time for cleanup. However, Sprint race 2 more than made up for it with exciting battles throughout the field. Pole qualifier, ANDY PILGRIM #4, SKI Autosport took the overall win followed by GT4.R class winner TOM PANK #42, Ultra Performance and DAVID TUATY #68, TLM Racing winning the 4 liter category.
In the Ferrari 458GT class, Maranello Cup 2019 and 2020 Champion, BENOIT BERGERON #127 returned to IGT competition and took second to Pilgrim in the sprint race. Pilgrim swept the weekend winning the enduro race on Sunday overall. Benoit suffered from some mechanical troubles and did not finish.
Meanwhile ROLAND VEIT #16, Pocono Sportscars won Ferrari 458 category in the sprint.
The 4 liter battle was one for the ages. Although David Tuaty walked away with both the sprint and enduro wins, it wasn’t easy. A pair of second place finishes went to TED GIOVANIS #64, Team TGM the reigning Mission Foods GT3 Cup Champion who partnered with HUGH PLUMB in the enduro. Series founder, BILL RIDDELL #00 had a triumphant return to IGT competition with a new 4 liter race car and finished third in the sprint race. While in the enduro DAVID KUCHRAWY #331, Speed Sport Racing, took a third place finish. We haven’t seen David for a few races and it was good to welcome him back to IGT and the podium. MARK MATHYS #77 struggled some at VIR finishing just off the podium in both races but maintains a slight lead in the points championship going into COTA.
Some of the best racing of the weekend was among the 3.8-liter cars. In the sprint race LUKAS PANK #40, Ultra Performance took the win with JODY MILLER #3A, TLM Racing taking second. Third went to ROBET WISEN#27 also from Ultra Performance. For the enduro ALBERT LUKAZIK #47, Speed Sport Racing, teamed with STEVEN McALEER to win for the first time in IGT competition! Jody Miller and co-driver PIPPA MANN took the runner up spot and third went to JAMES HAMMAN#176, TLM Racing. Just missing the podium in the 3.8 category was series regular NICHOLAS GROOMBRIDGE#56, Speed Sport Racing, who was fourth in the enduro, newcomer ALEJANDRO CHAHWAN #122 and VIR regular DANNY MARSHALL #181.
Rounding out the Mission Foods GT3 Cup the 3.6 liter category sprint race was won by BRYAN SIRCELY #103 from Quirt Racing followed closely by NICK KARANGELEN #76, who went on to win the enduro on Sunday.
Once again we had a record entry in the Stuttgart Cup category for VIR. It’s cool to drive a Cayman!! In the Sprint race JOSEPH RIZZO #12 from RS1 took the 4 liter win and went on to also win the enduro partnering with SPENCER PUMPELLY. In the 3.8 category MIKE WARD #711 won both the sprint race and the enduro. Following right behind was TOM KOPCZYNSKI #520, also from the RS1 stable, finishing second in both the sprint and enduro where he shared driving duties with ERIC FILGUEIRAS. Completing the podium in both races was IGT newcomer JOZSEF PETKES #09 for a great first outing with the Series.
In 3.4 it was intense battle and split results. 2019 and 2020 Stuttgart Cup Champion WILL WACHS #34 won the sprint race and took second in the enduro, while RUSSELL WITTENBERG #133 won the enduro and took second in the sprint. Although Wachs holds a commanding lead in points total, the Series only recognizes the top 6 enduros and 12 sprint race finishes at the end of the season toward the championship, so there is plenty of time for several drivers to mount a challenge.
We can’t finish this report without giving thanks to our Exhibition category participants. James Hamman’s (TLM Racing #176) son STEVEN HAMMAN #72, also supported by TLM Racing, joined us in his BWM and ran consistently and flawlessly all weekend finishing on the podium in both races, winning the sprint race and taking second in the enduro. It was great to have him join us for the first time. After being caught in the first sprint tussle in his Ferrari, COLIN COHEN #38, Norwood Auto Italia, jumped into his Maserati to compete finishing second to Hamman in the sprint race and third in the enduro. While TOM PANK #45 switched to his Audi R8 for the enduro and won the category. It’s good to have options!!
November 4-7 the series will move to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for round eight of the season. For registration click on the COTA logo below. If you have any questions contact Julie@InternationalGT.net or call (770)380-7770.
WGI Recap Correction
WATKINS GLEN RECAP CORRECTION: Our apologies go to Michael Saia for our getting the GT3.6 results incorrect…sorry! Michael from KMG Racing stood on the podium for both sprint races finishing second in the Sprint race 1 and third in Sprint race 2.
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The official series photographer for International GT is John Kernodle. John attends all IGT events and provides galleries of photos for all competitors to select from, as well as offering special photo packages to participants. Click on the photo above to visit the Kernodle Photography site.
Pirelli Tire Orders
Pirelli is the official tire of International GT and Frisby Performance Tire is the sole supplier. Click on the logo to link to their IGT tire order side or call Frisby at (800)373-7390.