BMWs came out on top in both of the one-hour World Challenge GT4 America West races run at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on March 29. Greg Liefooghe and Sean Quinlan in the #19 Stephen Cameron Racing M4 GT4 won race one, and Jon Miller and Harry Gottsacker in the #28 ST Racing M4 GT4 won race two. There were four M4 GT4s in the nine-car field in each race.
Brett Strom in the #452 RHC Jorgensen/Strom M4 GT4 that he shared with Daren Jorgensen led most of the first half of race one ahead of Jon Miller in the #28 ST Racing car. Then, Vesko Kozarov took the lead in the #91 Rearden Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4. The Audi held on to the lead through the mandatory pit stop and Kozarov’s handoff to Jeff Burton. Gottsacker in #28 emerged from the pit stop in second, but a penalty for a short stop set the car back. The field was shuffled when Jorgensen had to park the #452 M4 GT4 on course with fuel pump failure. After a full-course caution period to remove the car, Greg Liefooghe, in the #19 M4 GT4 that he and Quinlan had moved up from their sixth place starting position, went into the lead ahead of the Ginetta G55 driven by Casey Dennis. Liefooghe held off Dennis’ charge, winning overall and in the Pro-Am class by a scant .315 seconds over the Ginetta that Dennis shared with Jeff Bader. Jason Wolfe, who had made a strong charge in the second half of the race in the #38 ST Racing M4 GT4 that he shared with Samantha Tan, finished fourth overall, moving the car up to third in Pro-Am. Burton and Kozarov, who finished third overall, were first in the Am class.
Liefooghe started from pole in race two and led the first half of the race ahead of Jason Wolfe in the #38 ST Racing M4 GT4. Gottsacker ran a close third in the #28 M4. After pit stops, Quinlan kept #19 in the lead until a hard-charging Miller in #28 got by on the 32nd of 37 laps, and motored away for the win. The victory was a redemption from the #28 car’s penalty in race one, and was also the third win in four races so far this season for Miller and Gottsacker in GT4 America West competition. The #38 ST Racing M4 GT4 fell to fourth in the Pro-Am class at the end, behind the third-place Ginetta driven by Dennis and Bader. Strom and Jorgensen finished third in the Am class, where the win went to Kevin Woods and Chris Bellomo in the #67 TRG Porsche Cayman.
The GT4 West series runs next at Sonoma Raceway on June 7-9. The World Challenge GT4 Sprint, SprintX, and East series run at Virginia International Raceway on April 26-28 along with the World Challenge GT and ST classes.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy Brian Morgan.]