Randy Mueller and James Clay teamed in Mueller’s Epic Motorsports M4 GT4 to win the Am class in the first of two Pirelli World Challenge GTS-X races at Portland International Raceway on Saturday, July 14. They returned to finish second in class in the second race of the weekend on Sunday.
Clay and Mueller were sixth overall in the Saturday race, just behind the best-finishing M4 GT4 in the Pro/Am class, the #17 Classic BMW car driven by Justin Raphael and Stevan McAleer. The overall and Pro/Am wins in the race one went to Ian James and Matt Keegan in a Panoz Avezzano GT4. Aurora Straus and Jon Miller finished third in the Am class in the #36 ST Racing M4 GT4.
On Sunday, the Am-class win went to Preston Calvert in a Panoz, who finished seventh overall, less than 0.3 seconds ahead of Clay and Mueller. Greg Liefooghe and Henry Schmitt in the #88 Stephen Cameron M4 GT4 finished fourth in the Am class, while Toby Grahovec and Chris Ohmacht finished fifth in the #92 Classic BMW M4 GT4. Raphael and McAleer, finishing eleventh in class, were once again the best BMW finishers in Pro/Am. The overall and Pro/Am wins went to eighteen-year-old Harry Gottsacker in a SIN R1.
Johan Schwartz in the #80 Rooster Hall Racing M235i Racing finished third in the Saturday Touring Car Class race and went on to finish second in the Sunday race after leading much of the way. The winner in both races was Vesko Kozarov in a Nissan 370Z. Kozarov’s Rearden Racing teammate, Paul Terry, finished second. Classic BMW M235i Racing competitors Jayson Clunie and Matt Travis finished fourth and fifth.
On Sunday, Karl Wittmer in an ST Racing M235iR finished just behind Schwartz in third; Terry was fourth, Travis was fourth, and Clunie was fifth.
Both the GTS-X and TC racers will run again on August 10-12 at Utah Motorsports Campus. The event will be the season finale for GTS-X; the TC season will finish at Watkins Glen on Labor Day Weekend.
Note: The photo shows Mueller’s car at VIR in April when he ran with a different co-driver. (Brian Morgan photo)—Brian Morgan