The Auto Technic Racing team is not a regular competitor in IMSA racing. They usually compete in the SRO GT4 America series, where John Capestro-Dubets (JCD) and Zac Anderson are currently leading the championship in the Silver class with their M4 GT4. But since their headquarters in New Milford, CT is just thirty miles south of Lime Rock Park, they decided to enter a trio of M4 GT4s in the GSX class of the VP Challenge races for JCD, Jake Walker, and Stephen Cugliari. There were three other BMWs in the class as well, with Francis Selldorff and Vin Barletta in Turner Motorsport cars and Patrick Wilmot in an F82-generation M4 GT4 entered by Split Decision Motorsports.
JCD is one of the fastest drivers in a GT4 car anywhere and qualified on the pole for both races at Lime Rock. He never relinquished the lead in either of the races, staying at the front in both and building a gap on the other cars. The first race was a podium sweep for Auto Technic, with JCD followed in second by Walker and in third by Cugliari. “This one’s extra special for us because the team I race for, the team that took a chance on me and put me to work, they’re right here in New Milford so this is their home race,” Dubets said. “We got three cars on the podium so that’s the best way we could go today. Those BMWs, man, they were dialed in! I really owe it to the guys because the car was really easy to drive and it did all the work. I just happened to be the passenger.”
Turner Motorsport driver Francis Selldorff finished in fourth in the first race, which put him in the points lead in the championship after the points leader coming into Lime Rock was involved in a wreck on the first turn of the first race, which took him out of both races. Vin Barletta finished in fifth to make it an all-BMW sweep of the top five. Patrick Wilmot had a mechanical issue that led to a DNF.
JCD followed the win in race two with another win in race two and was followed once again by Jake Walker in second. Selldorff finished third in race two after a race-long battle with Cugliari in the Auto Technic car. Cugliari was tagged by an LMP3 car that ended his race with less than ten minutes to go, which put Selldorff into third and allowed him to extend his points lead in the championship. Vin Barletta finished in sixth, but the BMWs of Stephen Cugliari and Patrick Wilmot had DNFs.
The next VP Challenge races are at VIR on August 25th-27th. There were no BMWs competing in the Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Lime Rock, as that race was for the TCR class only.
[Photos by David Haueter]