Auberlen & Walker Rule VIR SprintX Battle

0
54
Bill Auberlen and James Walker Jr. topped Saturday's Pirelli GT4 America event at Virginia Int'l Raceway.
Bill Auberlen and James Walker Jr. topped Saturday's Pirelli GT4 America event at Virginia Int'l Raceway.

ALTON, Va. – Bill Auberlen and James Walker Jr. combined to win Saturday’s Pirelli GT4 America SprintX event at Virginia Int’l Raceway for BimmerWorld Racing.

Auberlen, in the No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4, led the field to the green flag. Andrew Davis would settle into second position with Jen Heylen going around Kenton Koch for third during a hectic opening lap.

Heylen would then face a drive through penalty due to avoidable contact and fall to the back of the grid with just more than 51 minutes remaining in the 60 minute race. Koch would get third back, with Jon Miller inheriting fourth overall, first in the Silver class.

After 14 minutes Michael Cooper had already gained 10 positions

Fourteen minutes into the race, Michael Cooper in the #30 Flying Lizard Motorsports McLaren 570S GT4 had already gained 10 positions to tenth overall, sixth in the Pro-Am class as the biggest mover of the race to that point.

By the time the pit window opened for mandatory driver changes, Auberlen had stretched his lead to over 14 seconds.

When the pit window closed it was the No. 82, now with Walker driving, still in the overall and Pro-Am lead with Bryan Putt, now in the No. 15, jumping the No. 2 for second.  Samantha Tan, now driving the No. 38, would emerge as the Silver leader, sitting fourth overall.

Sean Gibbons, in the No. 7 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, would lead in Am, running 14th overall.

With 14 minutes to go, Nick Wittmer would need to serve a drive through penalty for a pit lane infringement and drop from second in the Silver division to fourth with Chandler Hull inheriting the position.  Tim Barber would slot in third in class, eighth overall.

A few minutes later Hull would be right on the tail of Tan, then slip by into the lead of the Silver division on the inside of turn one with 8 minutes to go.

With less than three minutes to go Barber would get past Tan on the inside of turn three for second in the Silver division, seventh overall.

Walker would cruise to the overall and Pro-Am race victory by more than nine seconds.  Putt would come home second with Jason Bell third.

Hull would claim the Silver division win with Tim Barber coming home second and Tan third.

Kris Wilson would win the Am division, finishing eighth overall.