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Heitkotter Grabs 1st PWC Victory

Bryan Heitkotter - Nissan GTR. [Michael Wells Photo]

Bryan Heitkotter – Nissan GTR. [Michael Wells Photo]

Nissan’s Bryan Heitkotter drives to his 1st Pirelli World Challenge GT Victory

Saturday at Utah Motorsports Campus; GT Round 17 Set for Sunday

GRANTSVILLE, Utah – Bryan Heitkotter, of Fresno, Calif., converted an early lead to a race win at the Grand Prix of UMC of presented by Energy Solutions GT/GTA Round 16 competition. Highland, NJ’s Frankie Montecalvo ran a provisional lap-record-setting run on his way to the podium for GTA. In the hotly contested GT Cup Round 15 race, local racer Sloan Urry of Park City, Utah, emerged victorious with his fifth win of the season.

Heitkotter, driving the No. 05 AE Replay XD Nissan GT Academy Nissan GT-R GT3 to his first career GT win, found an opening early in the race from behind the P1 and P2 qualifiers Alvaro Parente and Michael Cooper, whose incident effectively removed them from the race; Heitkotter held and grew the lead for the remainder of the race, pulling as far away as 7-seconds from the number two position. This move also earned him the Cadillac Best Move award.

Adderly Fong drove the Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3 from a sixth-place grid position into third-place by lap 3, and ultimately passed GT No. 43 Ryan Eversley in lap 21 to capture second place. The Hong Kong resident then attempted to close the gap to leader Heitkotter, but finished 3.632-seconds behind in the end, good enough for the second spot on the podium – Fong’s third appearance there in the series.

Starting from P4, GT No. 58 driver Patrick Long of Manhattan Beach, Calif. was caught in traffic caused by the initial contact between Parente and Cooper, dropping him as far back as eighth place. From there, Long manuevered and passed through assorted traffic in the Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R in his quest for better positioning, ultimately passing No. 43 Eversley in lap 22 to fix himself in third place, the spot he maintained for the balance of the race and into the podium.

Heitkotter explained, “I knew I wasn’t going to pass (Alvaro) Parente on the inside going into turn one. So I stuck with him on the straightaway at the start. There was space on my outside, so I moved there. Our car is really good on the opening lap. And it stuck on the braking zone and I pulled into the lead. From there, it was hitting my marks and building a gap. And keeping the integrity of the tires. It’s a really hot day here.” He continued, “We worked very hard on the car’s setup for today’s race. The car was good in qualifying but we made it better for the race. The car was a dream to drive. It was the best car I have had all year. I did get a little bit lucky with Alvaro and (Michael) Cooper getting together in turn one. The two fastest guys on pace were out of the race at that point. It was a pretty hot and greasy track today. The guys at AE Autosport gave me a great car today. It was just amazing to drive. Hats off to the team and Nissan for supporting me over the years. It feels so good to get my first GT win in Pirelli World Challenge. You look at the drivers in the GT field and the races and titles they have won. It is very personally satisfying to be in the mix with them.”

In GTA, pole-sitter Frankie Montecalvo, of Highlands, N.J., drove the No. 66 DIME Racing Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 consistently, all while avoiding traffic and successfully staving off passing attempts. Montecalvo’s driving effort provisionally set the new course record for GTA at 1:50.248 and secured him the top spot on the GTA podium and pole position for Sunday’s race.

GTA point leader and Mexico City, Mex., resident Martin Fuentes drove the Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 to a fastest lap time of 1:51.507 but could not close the gap to leader Montecalvo, finishing some 10-seconds behind him but with enough effort to capture second place.

Michael Schein, of Glen Cove, N.Y., drove the GTA No. 16 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R to a provisional P3-securing 1:51.656 for Round 17 during a race effort that found the second-place point contender on the third spot on the podium.

Said Montecalvo of his winning effort, “We got the car running really well. I think our pace showed at the end of Road America and this race as well. I think it was a tire game out there, we stayed out of trouble we were up to the front the entire time. At the end I just had nothing left in the tires to keep pushing and stay up front (of the GT field).”

In the hotly-contested Round 15 GT Cup battle, No. 20 Sloan Urry in the TruSpeed Autosport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car swapped positions several times with The Woodlands, Texas’ Alec Udell in the No. 17 GMG Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, but ended victorious with Udell finishing second just a few seconds behind. Third spot on the GT Cup podium went to another Utah local McKay Snow of Lehi, driving the No. 56 Wright Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Udell’s efforts did net the class fast lap time of 1:54.525, placing him on the GT Cup pole in Sunday’s race.

“It is my first major win here at home and I am super proud of the TruSpeed team for giving me the car to win,” Urry commented. “We worked really hard and tried a lot of things this weekend to get the car where it is. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Of note, Michael Lewis of Laguna Seca, Calif., drove the GT No. 98 Calvert Dynamics/Curb-Agajanian Porsche 911 GT3 R to the fastest lap time of 1:49.525 which qualifies him for P1 in Sunday’s Round 17 race.

Other race award winners were determined as follows:

The Optima Batteries Best Start award was given to Ryan Eversley in the GT No. 43 RealTime Racing Acura TLX-GT for his ten-position gain at the start of the race.

The KIA Turning Point was assigned to the incident between GT No. 8 Michael Cooper and GT No. 9 Alvaro Parente at turn 1 after the first restart that brought out a full course yellow and ultimately ended the race for both cars.

The MotorTrendOnDemand.com Clean Pass award went to GT No. 58 Patrick Long for his pass on GT No. 43 Ryan Eversley.

The VP Fuels Hard Charger award was also given to GT No. 43 Ryan Eversley for his eight-position gain overall.

GT / GTA Round 17 and GT Cup Round 16 action continues Sunday at 1:30 p.m. MDT and will be streamed at MotorTrendOnDemand.com, while live timing for the race can be viewed at LiveTiming.net/PWC/. Both rounds will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network starting Sunday, August 21st – check World-Challenge.com for all broadcast and re-broadcast times.

Grantsville, Utah – Results from Saturday, Aug 13, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Championship GT/GTA Round 16 GT Cup Round 15 Race, part of the Grand Prix at UMC Presented by Energy Solutions. All times are provisional until posted Final.
Pos. PIC, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Laps, Status
1. 1, GT, Bryan Heitkotter, Fresno CA, Nissan GTR GT3, 26, Running
2. 2, GT, Adderly Fong, Hong Kong, Bentley Continental GT3, 26, Running
3. 3, GT, Patrick Long, Manhattan Beach CA, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 26, Running
4. 4, GT, Ryan Eversley, Atlanta GA, Acura TLX-GT, 26, Running
5. 5, GT, Colin Thompson, Doylestown PA, McLaren 650S GT3, 26, Running
6. 6, GT, Austin Cindric, Charlotte NC, McLaren 650S GT3, 26, Running
7. 7, GT, Jon Fogarty, Bend OR, McLaren 650S GT3, 26, Running
8. 8, GT, Spencer Pumpelley, Atlanta GA, Acura TLX-GT, 26, Running
9. 1, GTA, Frankie Montecalvo, Highlands NJ, Mercedes AMG SLS GT3, 26, Running
10. 10, GT, Craig Dolby, Melton Mowbray England, Nissan GTR GT3, 26, Running
11. 11, GT, Kyle Marcelli, Barrie ON, Audi R8 LMS GT3, 26, Running
12. 2, GTA, Martin Fuentes, Mexico City Mexico, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, 26, Running
13. 3, GTA, Michael Schein, Glen Cove NY, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 26, Running
14. 14, GT, Johnny O’Connell, Flowery Branch GA, Cadillac ATS-V.R. GT3, 26, Running
15. 15, GT, Michael Cooper, Syosset NY, Cadillac ATS-V.R. GT3, 26, Running
16. 4, GTA, Brent Holden, Newport Beach CA, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 26, Running
17. 1, GT Cup, Sloan Urry, Park City UT, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 26, Running
18. 2, GT Cup, Alec Udell, The Woodlands TX, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 26, Running
19. 3, GT Cup, McKay Snow/McKay Snow, Lehi UT, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 25, Running
20. 4, GT Cup, Alex Welch, Englewood CO, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 25, Running
21. 5, GT Cup, Corey Fergus, Columbus OH, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 25, Running
22. 17, GT, Michael Lewis, Laguna Seca CA, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 24, Running
23. 18, GT, Alvaro Parente, Porto Portugal, McLaren 650S GT3, 2, Missed Several Laps

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