Veteran driver tops round 4 at St. Petersburg.
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida – Once again the Cadillac pace car logged plenty of laps as the leader of the Pirelli World Challenge GT/GTA/GT Cup race at the Cadillac Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, as Olivier Beretta charged into the lead early, and kept his cool after the race finally went green after cleanup of a massive crash.
In Saturday’s race, the main melee took place at the standing start, but today the biggest damage to hardware and egos took place when GTA Dodge Viper driver Dan Knox spun, and was collected – after a surprisingly long time, as many cars got by – by Phil Fogg, Jr., and that blocked the track to the point where at least five cars were involved.
Also unlike Saturday, there was some solid green-flag racing right up the checkered flag, as opposed to yesterday’s yellow-flag finish which had Ryan Eversley take the win for Acura.
Beretta, who won the season’s first GT race at Circuit of the Americas but hasn’t made much noise since, made some daring moves on the first lap that took him to the front. His number 61 R. Ferri Ferrari 458 GT Italia was chased to the checkers by Nicky Catsburg in the Blancpain Lamborghini Gallardo GT3, who ended up 1.180 seconds back. Third was Kevin Estre in the K-PAX Mclaren 650S GT3 a distant 8.631 seconds back.
Fourth was Ryan Dalziel in the EFFORT Porsche 911 GT3R, followed by Cadillac ATS-VR GT3 drivers Johnny O’Connell and polesitter Andy Pilgrim, who had a terrible start and could never recover. Seventh was Eversley.
Lewis' streak ends
In GTA, Frank Montecalvo in a Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3 broke the three-race winning streak of EFFORT Racing’s Michael Lewis, who was second in class in his Porsche 911 GT3R.
And in Porsche GT Cup, Colin Thompson won in his Kelly-Moss 911 GT3, after being taken out at the start in yesterday’s race.
Next up for the Pirelli World Challenge GT class: The Grand Prix of Long Beach April 17-19.