Anthony Lazzaro, of Atlanta, in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and Andrew Palmer, of Chicago, in the No. 21 GMG Racing Audi R8 Ultra, rounded out the top five.
In GT-A, Mills, of Angleton, Texas, secured his third win of the season in the No. 41 EFFORT Racing Porsche GT3 R and second in a row. It also meant EFFORT Racing scored its first double victory in Pirelli World Challenge, and is the second team to do so this season (R. Ferri Motorsports also won GT and GT-A at Round 3 at Barber).
Mills made the winning move with a pass on fastest GT-A qualifier Albert von Thurn und Taxis, of Regensburg, Germany, in the No. 24 Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 just before the second yellow flag.
“I was patient with Albert and the conditions were changing,” Mills said. “We got rain in some parts and not others. I watched where he was weak and got underneath him in 1. He was a gentleman about it, and that was the end of it. It’s awesome for Jim (Taggart) and I, for Ryan (Dalziel) to get a win; it’s a great day for Porsche, great day for EFFORT.”
In his return to Pirelli World Challenge, Jim Taggart, of Cary, N.C. finished second in GT-A in the No. 7 Absolut/Porsche Porsche GT3 R with von Thurn und Taxis down to third, but still on the podium.
Prior class points leader Henrik Hedman, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in the No. 10 DragonSpeed Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, finished eighth among GT-A classified drivers and thus Mills should move to the GT-A points lead following this race.
GTS was more of a straightforward affair with Aschenbach, in the No. 1 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro, able to control the race from pole position en route to his second win of the season.
“I could tell at the start that the rain was coming, and it was a matter of when not if,” Aschenbach said. “I got a clean run off the line, then got some GT cars in-between, the gap came and we just had to maintain it. Hats off to Blackdog Speed Shop and this Chevy Camaro; we’re pumped to get our season back on track.”
Second after starting fourth was Alec Udell, of The Woodlands, Texas in the No. 17 Watson Racing/MDG Ford Mustang Boss 302S while third was Nic Jonsson, of Buford, Ga., in the No. 36 DonorsChoose.org Kia Optima.
Jonsson led home Kia Racing/Kinetic Motorsports teammate Mark Wilkins, of Toronto, in the No. 38 PutOnTheBrakes.org Kia Optima. In his first start of the season, Joey Atterbury, of Rochester, N.Y., made a nice charge from 11th on the grid up to fifth in the No. 33 Capaldi Racing/Ford Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302S.
One of Atterbury’s teammates at Capaldi Racing was in a race for charity during race one of the weekend at Mid-Ohio. Pirelli World Challenge President/CEO Scott Bove, of Conifer, Col., made his first series start since Austin last year in the No. 55 Special Operations Warrior Foundation Ford Mustang Boss. Bove completed 12 laps and advanced five positions from a GTS starting position of 25th up to 20th in class by the checkered flag. Bove and Austin Cindric, of Mooresville, N.C., are racing this weekend in support of SOWF to raise awareness and funding.
Ryan Dalziel, Johnny O’Connell, Mike Skeen, Anthony Lazzaro, Andrew Palmer, James Sofronas, Andy Pilgrim, Michael Mills, Jim Taggart, Albert von Thurn und Taxis, , Alex Lloyd, Butch Leitzinger, Bill Ziegler, Dan Knox, Alex Welch, Robert Thorne, Alex Figge, eff Courtney, Henrik Hedman, Tim Pappas, Fred Roberts, Walt Bowlin, Peter Cunningham, Marcelo Hahn, Bret Curtis