Portland, Ore. (15 July 2018) – After holding a convincing lead in every class midway through the race, a lengthy caution period dashed hopes for a Ferrari three-class sweep in Sunday’s Pirelli World Challenge GT SprintX Series Round 8 event during the 58th Rose Cup Races at Portland International Raceway.
Martin Fuentes and Caesar Bacarella took their eighth Am class victory of the season in the no. 07 Squadra Corse Garage Italia, but R. Ferri Motorsports and TR3 Racing both missed out on likely race wins despite leading their respective classes past the midway point.
SprintX GT Pro-Pro
The no. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari of Ontario, Toronto, Alberta/Zekelman Industries Ferrari 488 GT3 started by Miguel Molina dominated the opening 29 minutes of the one-hour race up until a 19-minute caution for a two-car accident.
Following a pit stop and driver change under the caution, Toni Vilander went to the lead on the restart with 12 minutes remaining. However, the run to victory was halted after the R. Ferri pit crew was notified that PWC officials were assessing the team with a drive-through penalty for having equipment over the pit wall during its caution-flag pit stop. Vilander served the penalty with under eight minutes remaining, dropping him from the lead and resulting in a fourth place result in the Pro-Pro class.
The finish cost the R. Ferri team points in the standings, but the ace pairing still holds a ten point advantage with two races remaining in the 2018 SprintX championship.
SprintX GT Pro-Am
Jeff Segal ran second overall throughout his stint, leading the Pro-Am race in the no. 31 TR3 Racing Ferrari of Vancouver Ferrari 488 GT3. Wei Lu emerged from a confusing round of pit stops after taking over for Segal, as the reshuffle saw him classified as fifth in the overall running order. The impressive PWC rookie held strong to come home second in the Pro-Am class in his Portland debut.
TR3 Racing will look to close to the eight point gap to the championship leaders in the final two races of the season at the Utah Motorsports Complex.
SprintX GT Am
Martin Fuentes was bumped off in Turn 1 on the opening lap, but that proved to be the lone miscue all day for the no. 07 Squadra Corse Garage Italia Ferrari 488 GT3. Fuentes regained the lead by the third circuit and joined Caesar Bacarella in leading for the remainder of the event, lapping the field en route to their eighth triumph in as many races.
Fuentes and Bacarella now have amassed 200 points, 64 clear of the rest of the Am field as Fuentes looks to add to his PWC championship tally once again in 2018.
Making their PWC debut, Portland-based Vital Speed Motorsports scored its second straight podium finish in the yellow no. 87 Ferrari 488 GT3. Trevor Baek started the car and ran as high as second before turning the car over to his father, Rich Baek, who took it home in third position.
Utah to Host Season Finale in August
The 2018 Pirelli World Challenge SprintX season concludes August 11-12, with the Grand Prix of Utah, a pair of races at the Utah Motorsports Complex.
World Challenge will provide live streaming at world-challenge.com