Road America PWC: Long beats Fong to extend points lead
Patrick Long’s Wright Motorsports Porsche held off the Absolute Bentley GT3 of Adderly Fong in the second GT race of the weekend to reverse yesterday’s race results, while Johnny O’Connell brought Cadillac a podium.
The yellow was thrown on the opening lap for a Turn 5 collision between the Porsche 911s of amateurs Preston Calvert and Michael Schein that left the pair of them facing backward and stalled, although Calvert was able to restart.
For the restart, Long’s Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 would led yesterday’s winner Fong in the Bentley, the Cadillac ATS-V.Rs of O’Connell and Michael Cooper, Daniel Mancinelli’s Ferrari 488, Alvaro Parente’s K-PAX McLaren 650S, Ryan Eversley and Peter Kox in the Acura NSXs, and then the Porsches of Alec Udell and Jon Fogarty.
All behaved well until on the run down to Turn 5, Fogarty, Eversley and Kox went three-wide. Eversley backed out of the situation, but the high-speed collision eliminated teammate Kox and Fogarty. The scatter of debris forced the organizers to bring out the red flag.
At the restart, with just 15mins left on the clock, Mancinelli was past Cooper and looking alongside O’Connell but soon had to defend from Cooper once more, as Parente, Udell, Eversley, Ryan Dalziel (Mercedes AMG) and Bryan Sellers (McLaren) were in close pursuit.
Long and Fong started checking out for the first couple of racing laps, but the following lap O’Connell had shaken off the attention of Mancinelli and was starting to close in on the second-placed Bentley. However, Fong redoubled his efforts, stretched away from the Cadillac once more and closed in on Long with just eight minutes to go, but was never quite close enough to probe the defenses of Long who chalked up his 10th win in 42 starts in Pirelli World Challenge.
O’Connell was 1.6sec adrift of Fong at the checkered flag, but 5sec clear of the Mancinelli/Cooper battle that was resolved in the Ferrari driver’s favor.
Defending champion Parente was sixth but is now 110 points behind Long in the championship. Udell, Eversley, Dalziel and Sellers completed the Top 10.
James Sofronas (Porsche) held off John Potter’s Audi R8 to claim GT Amateur honors, while the Ferrari 488 of Marko Radisic beat the Lamborghini Huracan of Yuki Harata to claim the GT Cup victory.
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