More upset drivers following today's PWC action at Barber.
The Pirelli World Challenge was desperately seeking a good race for their GT/GT-A/GTC field after the events on the Streets of Long Beach. Though they had 50 minutes of controversy-free action, that all went away with minutes to go.
A late race caution was called with a little over a minute remaining in the race. With 50 seconds to go, officials decided to call for a green flag even though time would expire before the field would get back to the start/finish line.
A restart ensued and one of the top five cars, Michael Lewis’s Porsche 911 GT3R, had a punctured left rear tire that shredded itself as Olivier Beretta’s Ferrari F458 Italia GT3 did not get the restart he was hoping for. Cars scattered in avoidance.
James Davison’s Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 won the race over Nick Catsburg’s Lamborghini Gallardo GT3FL2 and Mike Skeen’s Audi R8 LMS Ultra rounding out the podium. Fourth was Johnny O Connell’s Cadillac ATS-VR GT3 and fifth was Lewis’s teammate, Ryan Dalziel’s Porsche 9111 GT3R.
Davison believed the series made the correct call in going green.
“I think it was the right decision for the show, the last thing this series needed was to disappoint the fans. They made the right call, ultimately if I lost that race, it was because I didn’t get a good enough restart or I didn’t do a good enough job cleaning my tires and getting temperature back in them,” Davison said.
Lewis, Beretta on final restart
Lewis was unsure about what happened on the final restart.
“I was looking out my right but apparently there was a car on my left, I had no idea about that and he might’ve jumped the start or something. To be honest, I just knew that going into the first corner would be a struggle,” Lewis said.
“It was very chaotic but unfortunately the tire was letting go in the final restart,” Lewis said.
Beretta, the winner at Long Beach, did not get the restart he was hoping for, and ended up provisionally in seventh.
“It’s difficult to say because it happened so quick, I think the Bentley jumped the start then I saw the Porsche (Lewis) have a tire puncture and I was behind him so I had to slow down,” commented Beretta.
Dalziel is appealing a penalty given to him after Long Beach for unsportsmanlike conduct after walking off of the podium without spraying champagne and is looking forward to the end of the weekend.
“We’re just trying to get through this weekend and wait for my official appeal,” Dalziel said.