Greg Liefooghe scored the first win for the new G82 M4 GT4 in North America, taking a victory from pole position in the second race of the VP Racing Challenge series at Sebring on Sunday. The victory was a strong ending to his weekend debut in the series, after he finished second place from pole in the first race of the weekend (VP Challenge holds two 45-minute sprint races per weekend).
Liefooghe almost made it two wins over the weekend, as he led race one from pole until a late race caution period brought Ford Mustang GT4 driver Luca Mars within striking distance. Mars managed to get past Liefooghe on the last lap to get the victory by just 0.292 seconds. Liefooghe finished in second, followed by Turner Motorsport driver Francis Selldorff in fifth. Three other BMW drivers finished in the top ten out of 19 cars, with Patrick Wilmot of Split Decision Motorsport in sixth, Turner Motorsports Vin Barletta in ninth, and Auto Technic Racing driver Rob Walker in tenth. Selldorff, Wilmot, and Barletta were all driving F82-generation M4 GT4s.
Liefooghe also started race two from pole, which was determined by having the second-best lap time in the qualifying session. He dropped back to fifth after two LMP3 cars crashed in front of him, and moved his way back into the lead, as Luca Mars (who won the first race) had issues with his Mustang and dropped behind. “Unfortunately, Lucas broke down,” Liefooghe said. “I’m not sure what happened to him. We were looking forward to a battle with him and see how we improved our car compared to his since this morning. It seems like our car was really good on the high-speed stuff. Turns 17 and 1 were our strong suit. It felt like we were able to brake a lot deeper than the other competitors and we kind of squeaked by in those two spots on track.”
Patrick Wilmot had a strong race two, finishing in third to make it two BMWs on the podium. Liefooghe’s teammate Sean Quinlan also had a good race, finishing in fifth in the #43 Stephen Cameron Racing M4 GT4, and he was followed in sixth by Rob Walker. Francis Selldorff made it into the top ten with a tenth-place finish and was followed in eleventh by teammate Vin Barletta.
The VP Racing Sportscar Challenge series doesn’t have another race until the weekend of July 7th-9th at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, though many of the drivers in the series compete in the same cars in the Michelin Pilot Challenge series. —David Haueter
[Photo by LAT Images]