ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – The Marco Polo Motorsports duo of Mads Siljehaug and Nicolai Elghanayan dominated Sunday’s Pirelli GT4 America SprintX weekend finale at Road America.
Siljehaug started the race in the No. 71 Marco Polo Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4 and led the field to the green flag. It was Jarett Andretti that made the biggest splash at the start, going from fifth to second in turn one. .
On lap one was as the field made it through turn 13, the first safety car was called as John Allen’s Mercedes AMG GT4 was tagged by the No. 19 BMW M4 GT4 of Sean Quinlan, sending the Roll Tide liveried-Mercedes into the outside wall.
The race went back to green with 51 minutes remaining with Siljehaug leading overall and in Silver, Michael Dinan first in Pro-Am, third overall, and Sean Gibbons leading in Am.
As the clock ticked past the 42 minute mark, Dinan pulled to the outside of Andretti at the Billy Mitchell Bend. The two would touch and unsettle both cars, allowing Matt Travis and to slip into second overall, first in Pro-Am, as Dinan and Andretti fell in line behind him. While these four would battle, Siljehaug would build a nine second lead over his rivals.
On the next lap Andretti would pull over to the side of the road just before the Speedville Bridge and be forced to restart his car due to a mechanical issue. He fell 14th overall, fifth in the Silver class. This would hand Harry Gottsacker second in Silver, fourth overall, and give Cole Ciraulo third in Silver, fifth overall.
As the pit window closed for required driver changes Elghanayan, now driving the No. 71 Marco Polo Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4, kept the overall and Silver lead. Jason Hart, now in the No. 47 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, sat first in Pro-Am and second overall. Zac Anderson, driving the No. 7 NOLASPORT Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, found himself leading in Am and 12th overall.
With 23 minutes on the clock, the Pro-Am battle for the fourth, fifth and sixth positions raged on with three Aston Martin Vantage GT4s running nose to tail. Vesko Kozarov would sit fourth, Kenton Koch would sit fifth, with Patrick Gallagher sixth.
Coming out of turn 13, Koch would dive into the inside of Kozarov at turn 14 and steal the fourth position in Pro-Am, seventh overall. While the three Aston Martins battled, Andrew Davis would catch up to the pack.
With 19 minutes remaining, Gallagher would give a slight bump to Kozarov going into turn five and grab fifth position in Pro-Am. Davis would follow Gallagher through, dropping the No. 91 of Kozarov three positions in two laps.
Up at the lead for the Pro-Am class, Robby Foley would catch up to Hart, staying within one-tenth of a second with 16 minutes remaining.
With 14 minutes left on the clock Koch would catch up to Bill Auberlen, now driving the No. 82 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT4, and pass the American racer for third in the Pro-Am class on the outside of the Billy Mitchell Bend.
As the clock ticked below the 10 minute mark, Foley would get past Hart for the Pro-Am lead, second overall as further back Davis would get by Gallagher for fifth in class, eighth overall.
Both Davis and Gallagher would pass Auberlen for fourth and fifth in Pro-Am as the BimmerWorld driver seemed to struggle with his tires as the race came to a close.
As the checkered flag flew Nicolai Elghanayan would take the overall and Silver victory, with Nick Wittmer finishing second in class, fourth overall, and Tim Barber taking third in class, seventh overall.
“The car is where it is now because of the hard work the team has put into the car and it’s really starting to pay off,” said Siljehaug.
“To come here and get the overall victory is amazing. Mads [Siljehaug] did a fantastic job, so I just had to babysit the car today,” said Elghanayan.
The Pro-Am win would go to Foley and Dinan in the No. 21 Flying Lizard Aston Martin, with Hart coming home second ahead of Koch.
The Am victory would again go to the NOLASPORT No. 7 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 shared by Anderson and Gibbons.