First GT Win for Davison in PWC

by Jake Kilshaw

From pole, JD Davison, driver of the #33 Nissan GT-R GT3, scored his first race in the Pirelli World Challenge GT class on Saturday afternoon’s race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL.

The GTA win went to Martin Fuentes and the #07 Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia, whilst the winner in GT Cup was Colin Thompson, in his #11 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

Starting from a rolling start, Davison took the lead from the start and was closely followed by Nicky Catsburg in the #25 Lamborghini Galladro R_EX. Behind them was Mike Skeen and the #2 Audi R8 LMS Ultra.

Five laps into the race, the order in the GT class was Davison, Catsburg, Skeen, Michael Lewis (#41 Porsche 911 GT3R) and Olivier Beretta (#61 Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia).

In the GTA class, for more inexperienced drivers, Frank Montecalvo led in the #66 Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3 over Henrique Cisneros (#30 Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia).

GT Cup was led by eventual winner Thompson with Alec Udell (#17 Porsche 911 GT3 CUP) and Sloan Urry (#02 Porsche 911 GT3 CUP) following him. By lap four, Udell was leading, with Thompson and Urry behind.

On lap 9, Christina Nielsen, driver of the #7 Aston Martin Vantage GT3, collided with Henrik Hedman‘s #10 Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS GT3. Both were able to restart the race, but a caution was called for five laps.

Restarting on lap 15, Davison once again took the lead with Catsburg behind. Beretta passed Lewis for P4, and Ryan Dalziel in the #31 Porsche 911 GT3 passed Lewis and moved into 5th. At this stage in GTA, Tim Pappas and the #54 Dodge Viper GT3R took the lead ahead of Fuentes and Cisneros. Finally, in GT Cup, Udell mainted his lead over Thompson and Lorenzo Trefethen (#13 Porsche 911 GT3 CUP).

Of note is Johnny O’Connell, who had an engine change in his #3 Cadillac ATS-VR GT3 and so started 27th. However, by this stage in the race, he had moved up to 4th.

A late race spin brought out another caution, and so the race finished in a green-white-checkered format. Davison held off Catsburg, with the top five in GT standing at: Davison, Catsburg, Skeen, O’Connell and Dalziel. In GTA, Fuentes won, ahead of Cisneros and Pappas. In the GT Cup class, Thompson led Udell and Urry.

“I was very fortunate to put it on pole for this race again. I thought I could gap it and roll away with it,” said Thompson. “Then of course cautions came out, working through traffic. I was trying to find the places where I was stronger than him (Udell) to time my pass. That last complex, I got a good run to him, he made it difficult to pass so I had to be creative. Outside of 16 rolling to inside of 17 was the best way to get it done.”

 “It feels great. It feels amazing,” said Fuentes. “Being in this category, not knowing the track, the car was great. It was a complicated race. I started way back there. I was able to get first place previous to the last lap. I got around Pappas on a restart and I just decided to save the tires to the end. I knew everyone was going to go crazy. It’s a very narrow track. Thanks for everyone coming out to the race and we look to put on another good race tomorrow.”

 “Obviously I qualified on pole and won the race so it was a pretty good day,” said Davison. “It doesn’t get much better. I’m just really pleased for the whole team. When you get a big opportunity like this with a manufacturer as a driver, when you’re expected to perform, you have to perform. Win and a pole six races into the year, it adds some confidence.”

In the GT championship, Beretta leads Dalziel with 594 points compared to 574. In GTA, Fuentes has 292 with Cisneros closely behind with 285. Thompson continues to lead in GT Cup.

Pos.Class Pos.Class#DriverNat (State)CarTime/Laps
11GT33JD DavisonUSA (FL)Nissan GT-R GT329 Laps
22GT25Nick CatsburgNTHLamborghini Gallardo GT3+0.928
33GT2Mike SkeenUSA (NC)Audi R8 LMS Ultra+1.935
44GT3Johnny O ConnellUSA (GA)Cadillac ATS-VR GT3+2.340
55GT31Ryan DalzielUSA (FL)Porsche 911 GT3R+3.102
66GT16Chris DysonUSA (NY)Bentley Continental GT3+4.121
77GT61Olivier BerettaMCOFerrari 458 GT3 Italia +4.673
88GT42Peter CunninghamUSA (WI)Acura TLX-GT+4.796
99GT07Martin FuentesMEXFerrari 458 GT3 Italia +5.505
1010GT14James SofronasUSA (NY)Audi R8 LMS Ultra+6.294
1111GT64Duncan EndeUSA (CA)Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia +6.569
1212GT30Henrique CisnerosUSA (FL)Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia +6.863
1313GT6Robert ThorneUSA (CO)McLaren 650S GT3+7.236
1414GT43Ryan EversleyUSA (GA)Acura TLX-GT+7.618
1515GT54Timothy PappasUSA (MA)Dodge Viper GT3R+8.404
1616GT66Frank MontecalvoUSA (NJ)Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3+8.557
1717GT05Bryan HeitkotterUSA (CA)Nissan GT-R GT3+8.924
1818GT80Dan KnoxUSA (TX)Dodge Viper GT3R+9.861
1919GT32Bret CurtisUSA (TX)BMW Z4 GT3+10.139
2020GT19Drew RegitzUSA (CO)Audi R8 LMS Ultra+12.829
2121GT95Bill ZieglerUSA (FL)BMW Z4 GT3+14.020
2222GT90Joseph ToussaintUSA (TX)Porsche 911 GT3R+25.658
2323GT41Michael LewisUSA (CA)Porsche 911 GT3RRET
2424GT4Jorge De La TorraMEXAston Martin Vantage GT3+1 Lap
2525GT99Jeff CourtneyUSA (WI)Audi R8 LMS Ultra+2 Laps
2626GT8Andy PilgrimUSA (FL)Cadillac ATS-VR GT3RET
2727GT10Henrik HedmanUSA (FL)Mercedes Benz AMG SLS GT3+6 Laps
2828GT7Christina NielsenDENAston Martin Vantage GT3+8 Laps
2929GT9Kevin EstreAUTMcLaren 650S GT3RET
3030GT23Walt BowlinUSA (FL)Audi R8 LMS UltraRET
311GTC11Colin ThompsonUSA (PA)Porsche 911 GT3 CUP29 Laps
322GTC17Alec UdellUSA (TX)Porsche 911 GT3 CUP+0.628
333GTC02Sloan UrryUSA (CT)Porsche 911 GT3 CUP+0.736
344GTC13Lorenzo TrefethenUSA (CA)Porsche 911 GT3 CUP+2.718
355GTC18Phil Fogg Jr.USA (OR)Porsche 911 GT3 CUP+2.847
366GTC77Preston CalvertUSA (MD)Porsche 911 GT3 CUP+5.421
377GTC29Eduardo CisnerosUSA (FL)Porsche 911 GT3 CUP+9.658
388GTC97Mitch LandryUSA (LA)Porsche 911 GT3 CUP+1 Lap
399GTC81Victor GomezUSA (PR)Porsche 911 GT3 CUP+1 Lap

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