Introduced in 2016, the SprintX Championship for GT competitors is based on the very successful Blancpain Sprint Series in Europe.
There are a total of five rounds with the championship kicking off in April at Virginia International Raceway. This event is followed by races in May at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Lime Rock Park. The penultimate rounds are at Utah Motorsports Campus and the season ends at Circuit of the Americas on the Labour Day weekend. The races are 60-minutes in length and require a mandatory pit-stop for a driver change between the 25 and 35-minute mark of the contest.
The SprintX Championship has three classes:
These cars are prepared to the same rules as those competing in the 50-minute sprint races.
As the championship features a two-driver format which includes professional and sportsman racers, there was a need to categorize competitors.
Within the three classes the driver combinations are grouped as Pro/Pro, Pro/Amateur or Amateur/Amateur – points are awarded accordingly.
Rounds three and four of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge SprintX season took place at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Thirty-three cars were entered for the two sixty-minute races around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course.
Unfortunately, torrential rains on Sunday forced series officials to cancel round four.
These cars are prepared to the same rules as those competing in the 50-minute sprint races.
As the championship features a two-driver format which includes professional and sportsman racers, there was a need to categorize competitors. Within the three classes the driver combinations are grouped as Pro/Pro, Pro/Amateur or Amateur/Amateur – points are awarded accordingly.
Rounds three and four of the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge SprintX season took place at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Thirty-three cars were entered for the two sixty-minute races around the ten-turn 2.459-mile road course. Unfortunately, torrential rains on Sunday forced series officials to cancel round four.
|The first lap of round three and the pole-winning Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R driven by Patrick Long leads the field of thirty-one SprintX competitors through corner two. Following Long is the CRP Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 which Daniel Morad qualified second. Following Morad is the Cadillac of Johnny O’Connell. Long, Morad and O’Connell broke the existing lap record.|
|A mechanical issue prevented the No. 8 Cadillac ATS-V.R shared by Michael Cooper and Jordan Taylor from recording a qualifying time. The pair started from the back of the SprintX GT grid – twenty-third overall. However, some great driving and a well-timed pit stop (Cooper pitted during a yellow caution period while the leaders pitted under green flag conditions) allowed the pair to win.|
|On Friday afternoon, Patrick Long set a new qualifying lap record. This was especially satisfying for the team as the Porsche 911 GT3 R was rebuilt after suffering massive damage at Virginia International Raceway. Sharing the Wright Motorsports Porsche with Long was Jorg Bergmeister. The two were the class of the field but a poorly timed stop resulted in a second place finish.|
|The No. 40 PF Racing Ford Mustang GT4 made a successful debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Earlier in the day, Ernie Francis, Jr. finished second in the Grand Touring Sport sprint race. For the SprintX contest pro driver, Francis was paired with an amateur competitor, James Pesek. At the end of the sixty minutes, the duo won the GTS-Pro/Am category.|
|Only two cars were entered in the GT Cup category – the No. 90 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for Joseph Toussant and Corey Friedman and the Dime Racing Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo driven by Allesandro Bressan and Yuki Harata. The Toussant/Friedman led the first part of the event but Harata and Bressan took the class win.|
|Pirelli World Challenge series veteran, James Sofronas qualified second in the GT-Pro/Am class and thirteenth overall. Sharing the No. 14 GMG Racing prepared Porsche 911 GT3 R with Sofronas was Laurens Vanthoor. At the start, Sofronas picked up some positions and a perfectly timed stop allowed the team to stay in contention. Vanthoor was able to pass the category leader, Jan Heylen, for the win.|
|Qualifying second in the GT-Pro/Am category was the second Wright Motorsports entry shared by Michael Schein and Jan Heylen. Pro driver, Heylen drove the final stint and was leading the class when he was challenged by the Porsche of Laurens Vanthoor. Vanthoor was able to get around Heylen and the Wright entry settled for second in class.|
|One of the two GT-Am/Am entries was the No. 007 Aston Martin GT3 entered by The Racer’s Group and Aston Martin Racing with sponsorship from Lasalle Solutions and Adobe Road Winery. The car was shared by Pirelli World Challenge regulars – Kris Wilson and Drew Regitz. The pair started and finished second in their category.|
|Quickest of the Grand Touring Sport entries was the No. 019 Stephen Cameron prepared BMW M3 E46. The qualifying duties were performed by Aristotle Balogh. Balogh and his co-driver, Greg Liefooghe were both classified as amateurs. At the checkered flag, they were third in Grand Touring Sport and first in the Am/Am category.|
|During qualifying, Johnny O’Connell logged a time that was under the record that he set two years earlier. Unfortunately for O’Connell, Patrick Long, Daniel Morad and Alex Riberas also better his old mark. O’Connell and his co-driver, Ricky Taylor started from the third position on the grid, after a qualifying accident eliminated Riberas and after sixty minutes of racing finished third overall.|
|Starting second in the Grand Touring Sport category were pro driver Kenton Koch and amateur, George Kurtz. The pair shared the No. 04 GMG Racing prepared McLaren 570S GT4. Unfortunately, the driving duo only completed fifteen laps before retiring. As a result, they were not classified as finishers.|
|In the opening rounds at Virginia International Raceway, Alexandre Imperatori and Yufeng Luo had mixed results – third and seventh place finishes in the GT-Pro/Am which left them third in the standings. At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Luo qualified the Absolute Racing Bentley Continental GT3 fourth quickest in their category. As solid performance earned the pair a twelfth overall and third in class.|
|Daniel Morad started on the outside of the front row at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Morad, co-drove the No. 2 CRP Racing/DeVilbiss Mercedes AMG GT3 with Ryan Dalziel. Morad stayed with the leaders but the team fell to a sixth place finish as the result of a poorly timed driver exchange.|
|The overall and GT-Pro/Pro class podium at round two. On the left are the runner-up’s Patrick Long and Jorg Bergmeister from Wright Motorsports. And, on the right competing in the Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R are third place finishers – Johnny O’Connell and Ricky Taylor. In the center, also racing a Cadillac, are the victors – Michael Cooper and Jordan Taylor.|
|FINISH||CLASS||DRIVER||ENTRANT / CAR||LAPS|
|1||SprintX - GT Pro/Pro||Cooper / Taylor||Cadillac Racing / Cadillac ATS-V.R||43|
|2||SprintX - GT Pro/Pro||Long / Bergmeister||Wright Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R||43|
|3||SprintX - GT Pro/Pro||O'Connell / Taylor||Cadillac Racing / Cadillac ATS-V.R||43|
|4||SprintX - GT Pro/Pro||Fong / Abril||Absolute Racing / Bentley Continental GT3||43|
|5||SprintX - GT Pro/Pro||Kaffer / Pumpelly||Magnus Racing / Audi RS 8 LMS||43|
|6||SprintX - GT Pro/Pro||Dalziel / Morad||CRP Racing / Mercedes AMG GT3||43|
|7||SprintX - GT Pro/Pro||Kane / Sellers||K-PAX Racing / McLaren 650S GT3||43|
|8||SprintX - GT Pro/Am||Vanthoor / Sofronas||GMG Racing / Porsche 911 GT3 R||43|
|9||SprintX - GT Pro/Pro||Kox / Wilkins||RealTime Racing / Acura NSX GT3||43|
|10||SprintX - GT Pro/Am||Heylen / Schein||Wright Motorsports / Porsche 911 GT3 R||43|
|11||SprintX - GT Pro/Pro||Eversley / Dyer||RealTime Racing / Acura NSX GT3||43|
|12||SprintX - GT Pro/Am||Imperatori / Luo||Absolute Racing / Bentley Continental GT3||43|
|13||SprintX - GT Pro/Am||Sanchez / Montecalvo||AIM Autosport / Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3||42|
|14||SprintX - GT Am/Am||Cisneros / McQuarrie||MOMO/NGT / Ferrari 458 GT3||42|
|15||SprintX - GT Pro/Am||Seefried / Potter||Magnus Racing / Audi RS 8 LMS||42|
|16||SprintX - GT Pro/Am||Lewis / Hedlund||K-PAX Racing / McLaren 650S GT3||42|
|17||SprintX - GT Pro/Am||Udell / Calvert||Calvert Dynamics / Porsche 911 GT3 R||42|
|18||SprintX - GT Pro/AM||Borcheller / Muzzo||R. Ferri Motorsport / Ferrari 458 GT3||42|
|19||SprintX - GT Pro/Am||Bleekemolen / Pappas||Black Swan Racing / Mercedes AMG GT3||41|
|20||SprintX - GT Pro/Am||Ostella / Dayson||M1GT Racing / Audi R8 LMS Ultra||41|
|21||SprintX - GT Cup Pro/Am||Bressan / Harata||Dream Racing / Lamborghini Huracan||40|
|22||SprintX - GT Pro/Pro||Schiro / Mancinelli||TR3 Racing / Ferrari 488 GT3||40|
|23||SprintX - GT Am/Am||Wilson / Regitz||TRG-AMR / Aston Martin GT3||39|
|24||SprintX - GT Cup Am/Am||Toussaint / Friedman||Autometrics / Porsche 911 GT3 Cup||39|
|25||SprintX - GTS Pro/Am||Francis, Jr. / Pesek||PF Racing / Ford Mustang GT4||38|
|26||SprintX - GTS Pro/Am||Merzon / Hindman||Case-it Racing / Porsche Cayman GT4||38|
|27||SprintX - GTS Am/Am||Liefooghe / Balogh||Stephen Cameron / BMW M3 E46||38|
|28||SprintX - GTS Pro/Am||Tilley / Kaufman||TRG-AMR / Aston Martin Vantage GT4||38|
|29||SprintX - GTS Pro/Am||Hall / Brynjolfsson||VOLT Racing / McLaren 570S GT4||29|
|30||SprintX - GT Pro/Pro||Parente / Barnicoat||K-PAX Racing / McLaren 650S GT3||22|
|NC||SprintX - GTS Pro/Am||Kurtz / Koch||GMG Racing / McLaren 570S GT4||0|
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