Writer’s Note: The following is a recap of this weekend’s Pirelli World Challenge races at Road America. NBCSN will broadcast the races on Friday, July 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET. If you don’t want to know who won until then, we suggest you find another post to read here on MotorSportsTalk…
Mike Skeen and Nic Jonsson completed weekend sweeps in GT and GTS respectively during the Pirelli World Challenge’s visit this weekend to “America’s National Park of Speed” – Road America.
Starting fifth in Friday’s race, Skeen moved up early and challenged Andy Pilgrim until Lap 15, when he took his No. 2 Hawk Performance Audi around Pilgrim’s Cadillac for the lead in Turn 13. Skeen would lead the final nine laps of the race, ultimately winning in GT by 1.838 seconds.
As for Kia driver Jonsson, he vaulted from fourth on the grid to first by the end of Lap 1 and went on to win in GTS by a margin of just above nine seconds in his No. 36 Optima. His teammate, Mark Wilkins, finished second for a Kia 1-2, the manufacturer’s first such accomplishment in 2014.
Moving to Saturday, Skeen lost the GT lead off the start to Johnny O’Connell but on a restart at Lap 12, he took it back from the defending series GT champion. Pilgrim successfully challenged Caddy compadre O’Connell for second on the same lap, but he was unable to reel in Skeen, who won by 1.748 seconds.
Jonsson again had a stellar afternoon in GTS, leading all 16 laps en route to a tidy, 1.019-second win in GTS.
In the GT-A subcategory, Tim Pappas collected his first win of the year on Friday and Marcelo Hahn got his class-leading third win of the year on Saturday.
Friday and Saturday also featured the Touring Car-based categories in action. In their first race of the weekend, Steven Doherty snapped Michael diMeo’s season-opening, six-race win streak in the TC class.
Also victorious on Friday were Shea Racing drivers Shea Holbrook in TC-A and Paul Holton in TCB. Holbrook now has four wins in TC-A this year, while Holton earned his first career checkered flag.
On Saturday, Adam Poland (TC), Jason Wolfe (TC-A), and Glenn Nixon (TCB) took wins. Poland went wire-to-wire in his victory, but Wolfe and Jason Cherry swapped the TC-A lead three times before Wolfe won out. Nixon also got his win after enduring through multiple lead changes – in his case, against NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Ryan Reed.