ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – J.D. Davison claimed his second GT win of the Pirelli World Challenge season in Round 13 at the DeVILBISS Grand Prix at Road America presented by Cadillac. Frank Montecalvo scored his third GTA victory of the year, and second consecutive win at the challenging 14-turn, 4.048-mile road course. Colin Thompson scored his ninth GT Cup presented by MOMO victory for Round 11 of the championship.
From the standing start, pole-sitter Chris Dyson, from Pleasant Valley, N.Y., piloting the No. 16 Bentley/Breitling/Mobil1 Team Bentley Dyson Racing Bentley Continental GT3 lost the top slot to Tomas Enge, of Kirchanschoering, Germany, piloting the No. 25 Blancpain Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 FL2.
Behind them, Bryan Heitkotter, of Fresno, Calif. in the 05 Nissan GT Academy GT-R GT3, who was ninth on the grid, stalled and collected Robert Thorne, of Littleton, Colo., in the No. 6 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3. Drew Regitz, of Denver, Colo. in the No. 19 WWW.IRACERCOACHING.COM Audi R8 LMS Ultra, who started 24th also stalled collecting Eric Lux, of Buffalo, N.Y. in the No. 08 Rembrandt Charms/Monticello MC/Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3. A full-course caution ensued.
The top five on the restart were Enge, Davison, Dyson, Mike Skeen, from Charlotte, N.C., in the No. 2 DeVILBISS/Hawk Performance Audi R8 LMS Ultra and Kevin Estre, from Lochau, Austria, driving the No. 9 McLaren 650S GT3. Montecalvo and Thompson paced GTA and GT Cup, respectively, when the field went back to green.
Under heavy braking going deep into turn 5, Estre made contact with Dyson, and Estre pitted for repairs. Estre went off track in turn 12 one lap later on Lap 4, and pitted again to change a flat left tire. Dyson recovered nicely to pick off competitors to get back in contention as the race progressed to its finish.
In a captivating event with a handful of spirited battles, eight different manufacturers were featured in the top 10 through seven laps. The lead GT pack of five racers were only separated by three seconds at lap 10 when Davison snuck inside Enge and made the pass for the lead in turn 6.
Arguably the strongest campaign for position in GT, occurred for the second- and third-place slots. Charging toward the front from a seventh-on-the grid position, Olivier Beretta, of Monte Carlo, piloting the No. 61 Ferrari of Ontario/Toronto/Alberta R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, held fourth place on Lap 4. Beretta overtook Skeen to make the inside pass in turn five on Lap 7.
Beretta ascended to second when Enge retired from the race during a full-course caution on Lap 11, when Alex Welch, from Englewood, Colo., went off track in turn 12, and his No. 76 GMG Audi R8 LMS Ultra caught fire. Skeen regained third position on lap 13, and Beretta took it back for good one lap later.
Meantime, Dalziel made it his late race mission to snare second spot, and not allow Beretta to keep it. Dalziel got ahead of Beretta coming under the bridge in turn 6 on Lap 17, and held on for the second-place podium spot. Beretta, the GT points leader was third. Davison said the caliber of competition in GT this season has made the Pirelli World Challenge, compelling, and a series to watch.
“We have a huge range of manufacturers from Europe and the drivers are what take it to another level,” Davison said. “Having factory McLaren drivers like Estre and ex-Formula 1 guys like Enge and Beretta. We certainly have our work cut out for us as drivers and teams.