Johan Schwartz in the #80 Rooster Hall Racing M240iR won race two in the Touring Car Class while Greg Liefooghe and Sean Quinlan in the #19 Stephen Cameron Racing M4 GT4 took one overall and two class wins in GT4 in the SRO Motorsports Group event at Watkins Glen on Labor Day Weekend. In the Blancpain World Challenge races, Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka the #96 Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 took second place in the Am class in race one and third in race two. In the TCR/TC sprints, Mini JCW Team racer Mark Pombo also won twice.
In Saturday’s TC class 40-minute sprint, Schwartz finished second to Nissan 370Z racer Paul Terry while Robert Nimkoff in the #20 Auto Technic Racing M240iR finished third. On Sunday Schwartz won ahead of his teammate Steve Streimer in the #81 M240iR. Schwartz padded his drivers’ points lead over Classic BMW’s Toby Grahovec, who was crashed out of race one and finished twelfth in race two.
In the TCR/TCA races Mark Pombo won twice for Mini. His teammates Nate Norenberg and Tomas Mejia finished fourth and fifth in race one, while team principal Luis Perocarpi finished eighth in a fourth Mini. Mejia finished third in race two, while Perocarpi finished sixth and Norenberg finished tenth.
Liefooghe and Quinlan took the overall and Pro-Am class wins on Saturday in the first of two one-hour GT4 SprintX races. Their teammates Ari Balogh and Tom Dyer were third overall and second in class in M4 GT4 #190. Liefooghe made a last-lap pass on Audi racer Jeff Burton for the win. Kris Wilson and John Allen in the #16 Auto Technic M4 GT4 finished third in the Am class. In the GT4 East race, run simultaneously with the SprintX race, James Clay and Randy Mueller in the #19 Epic Motorsports M4 GT4 finished third in the Am class, while Justin Raphael and Stevan McAleer in the #29 Classic BMW M4 GT4 finished fourth in the ProAm class.
In race two, Liefooghe and Quinlan finished third overall and first in the Pro-Am class, while Balogh and Dyer were fifth. Wilson and Allen were second in the Am class. In GT4 East, again run along with the national SprintX classes, Raphael and McAleer were second in Pro-Am. Clay and Mueller were classified fourth in the Am class after Mueller was involved in an incident.
There were also two GT4 Sprint races; Ari Balogh in the #190 Stephen Cameron M4 GT4 was the best BMW finisher, coming in fourth in the Am class both days.
The Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 ran in the two 60-minute Blancpain World Challenge America races for GT3 cars. Japanese racers Takeda and Shirasaka finished second in the Am class in race one and third in race two. Henry Schmitt and Greg Liefooghe ran a Stephen Cameron Racing M6 GT3, finishing seventh in the Pro-Am class in both races. The overall wins on both Saturday and Sunday went to Daniel Serra and Toni Vilander in a Ferrari 488 GT3.
The SRO series runs again at Road America on September 20–22, and then finishes its season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 18–20.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]