Wilson Wins Pirelli World Challenge GTS round 12 at Mid-Ohio
Jack Baldwin finished second and Dean Martin.
Lexington, Ohio – Kris Wilson, of Monument, Colo. scored his fourth win of the season in Pirelli World Challenge GTS Round 12, at the StopTech Grand Prix at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course presented by MOMO. Jack Baldwin, of Marietta, Ga., finished second, while Dean Martin, of Westland, Mich. finished third.
Wilson, in the No. 07 Royal Purple/Orion Energy/LaSalle Solutions/PassTime USA TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage GT4, had a dominant flag-to-flag win from first on the grid. He was never challenged during the 50-minute, 76.772 mile race.
The key to the race was starting on the pole,
Wilson finished 1.023 seconds ahead of Baldwin, in the No. 73 GTSport Racing/Umphrey's McGee Porsche Cayman S. Baldwin, while setting the fastest lap from Round 11 and thus gaining the pole for Round 12 started third on the grid after being penalized two grid positions for bogging off the start in Round 11. When the lights went out Baldwin was able to pass Martin, who had started third, through turn 1 and up into the Keyhole.
Piloting the No. 50 Rehagen Racing/Picture Cars East Ford Mustang Boss 302, Martin would spend the balance of the race fending off challenges from Round 11 winner Michael Cooper, of Syosset, N.Y., in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Z28. Cooper started seventh but had a tremendous standing start gaining three positions to move into fourth through the first turn of the race. While Cooper looked to pass Martin, he had to fend off the challenges of Andy Lee in the No. 20 BestIT Racing Chevrolet Camaro who ran in fifth the whole race.
In the end, Baldwin would finish just over seven seconds ahead of Martin, with just over a second separating Martin, Cooper and Lee.
Of note, championship points leader Andrew Aquilante, of Chester Springs, Pa. pilot of the No. 32 Calvert Dynamics/Phoenix Performance American Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302 finished 8th on the day and maintains the lead in the drivers' championship with 1075 points. Aquilante's teammate Kurt Rezzetano, pilot of the No. 37 Calvert Dynamics/Phoenix Performance American Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302 finished seventh and still sits second in the championship with 1050 points. Martin remains in third with 1029 points.
Finishing second and third for our team is like two wins right now,
"The key to the race was starting on the pole," said Wilson. "Friday's race (Round 11) was exciting when I was coming from the back too. I'll admit that I would rather have it less exciting and never look back. Although Jack (Baldwin) was giving me a run for my money in the last three or four laps. He was right on me. Mid-Ohio is a very cool track and the Pirelli World Challenge is a great series to race. It's very competitive. All of the twisty bits seem to suit our car very well.
"I really didn't have anything for Kris today," said Baldwin. "He always does a great job in the car. I was hoping that the track would degrade a bit to help close in but it never really did. Unfortunately, I don't have enough on the straightaway to mount a challenge. He never missed a beat. I kept saying, 'Come on, do something wrong to give me a chance at you.' It was unfortunate what happened to us yesterday (Friday with the broken rear axle). I got a good start and tried to pressure Kris if I could but I never really close enough to make a run.
"Finishing second and third for our team is like two wins right now," said Martin. "We didn't think the Mustangs had a chance this weekend since we had 75 pounds added to our cars. My car has a lot of new parts on it since Road America. The team did a fantastic job because when we showed up here we were terrible. We threw the kitchen sink at it to make it better. We are learning more and more about the new stuff we have on the car. I had to drive the car eleven tenths the entire race. It was everything I could do to keep it on the track. I'm racing Michael Cooper for the championship and he was right behind me the whole race. Myself, Cooper and Andy Lee had a great battle for third. I didn't have anything for Kris or Jack but it was great to get on the podium again this weekend."
Of note, Cooper won the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start Award for gaining three positions when the lights went out. Rezzetano won the Cadillac ATS-V Move of the Race Award for his pass on Mark Wilkins, of Toronto, Ont. in the No. 38 PutOnTheBrakes.Org Kinetic Motorsports/Kia Racing Kia Optima through the Carousel on lap 17. Buz McCall, of Boca Raton, Fla., in the No. 72 GTSport Racing Porsche Cayman S, won the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race Award for his pass on lap 14 on Brandon Gdovic, of Yorktown, Va. in the No 68 Capaldi Racing/Wolverine Bronze Ford Mustang Boss 302. Ben Clucas, of Northampton, England in the No. 36 DonorsChoose.Org Kinetic Motorsports / Kia Racing Kia Optima scored the VP Racing Fuels Hard Charger Award for gaining five positions during the race - Clucas finished 9th on the day after starting 14th.
Results are provisional until posted final. Watch Rounds 11 and 12 from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on CBS Sports Network, Wednesday, August 12, at 9 p.m. Eastern.
GTS competitors next head to Miller Motorsports Park just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah for Rounds 13 and 14, Friday, August 21 to Sunday, August 23.
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