Sean Quinlan in the #19 Stephen Cameron Racing M4 GT4 that he shared with Greg Liefooghe held off Porsche Cayman racer Matt Travis in a three-minute shootout on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to win the national GT4 SprintX Pro-Am drivers title by one point.
The title for Quinlan and Liefooghe was the fourth for BMW racers in the 2019 season; Johan Schwartz in the #80 Rooster Hall Racing M240iR had clinched the Touring Car drivers’ title in the series’ penultimate event at Road America and Harry Gottsacker and Jon Miller in the #28 ST Racing M4 GT4 had clinched the GT4 West Pro-Am title in a race at Portland in July. Both Schwartz and the duo of Miller and Gottsacker won the last races of the season in Las Vegas on Sunday. Stevan McAleer and Justin Raphael won the GT4 East Pro-Am title in a Classic Motorsport BMW M4 GT4. The East series season finished at Road America in September.
The Touring Car class ran the first of two 40-minute sprints of the Las Vegas weekend on Saturday. Hyundai Genesis racer Jeff Ricca won the race, finishing ahead of Schwartz and Copart/BimmerWorld racer Chandler Hull in the #94 M240iR. On Sunday Schwartz got by Ricca early and held on for the win, with the Hyundai racer on his tail for the entire distance. Hull, who battled with Toby Grahovec in the #26 Classic BMW M240iR, finished third and clinched the Touring Car rookie of the year award.
In the Saturday GT4 SprintX race, a 60-minute enduro with a driver change, Liefooghe and Quinlan finished fourth in class in a race won by Jarett Andretti and Colin Mullan in a McLaren.
Gottsacker and Miller finished second in GT4 West Pro-Am; the class win went to Trent Hindman and Alan Brynjolfsson in a Porsche Cayman. On Sunday Quinlan and Liefooghe finished third in the national Pro-Am class, with Quinlan holding off Travis in the Cayman that he shared with Jason Hart in a dramatic late-race shootout to win the title, When the track went green with just over three minutes of racing remaining, Travis challenged Quinlan for third, but he went off briefly in the last lap as he attempted a pass and fell back to give Quinlan the margin he needed to hang on for the win. Gottsacker and Miller won the West Pro-Am class; their teammates Samantha Tan and Jason Wolfe in the #38 M4 GT4 finished third.
Quinlan also ran an M4 GT4 in the 50-minute GT4 sprint race. He finished nineteenth on Saturday and did not enter the race on Sunday.
Mini’s performance in Las Vegas netted a manufacturers’ title for the marque in the TCA class; on Saturday Matt Pombo finished second to Honda Civic racer Chris Haldeman, while his brother Mark Pombo finished third in the #59 Mini, On Sunday Mini’s Nate Norenberg won TCA, with his teammate Tomas Mejia second and Mazda racer Tyler Maxson third. Maxson, 15, won the drivers’ title. Mini racer Meija, who is 16, finished second. Mini won the TCA class manufacturers’ championship.
Naoto Takeda and Takuya Shirasaka ran the #96 Turner Motorsport M6 GT3 in the Blancpain GT World Challenge America series’ 90-minute enduros in Las Vegas. They finished twelfth overall and first in the series’ Am class in the first of two races run on Saturday. They were the lone competitors in the Am class. They did not finish in the series’ second race, run on Saturday night. Bentley’s Andy Soucek and Alvaro Parente won both races.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy Brian Morgan.]