PWC: Heitkotter, Nissan’s sweep leads winners in Utah

Photos: PWC

One of the stories going into the weekend for Pirelli World Challenge at Utah Motorsports Campus was the looming suspension of Always Evolving Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 driver James Davison for one race, following an on-track incident at Mid-Ohio.

In truth, the Mid-Ohio incident with Colin Thompson was not Davison’s most egregious mistake this year – far from it – but the decision by WC Vision officials to enforce a suspension was much a legacy act as anything else stemming from other incidents occurring earlier this season.

Luckily for both Always Evolving and Nissan, coming out of the weekend at Utah the story and headlines were much happier as past Nissan GT Academy winner Bryan Heitkotter completed a weekend sweep at the track formerly known as Miller Motorsports Park.

Heitkotter's Double UtahHeitkotter, driving the N0. 05 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, took command in both races of the weekend en route to his first two overall wins in the series. Heitkotter won several GTA category races in 2015 before being promoted into the GT class.

He seized the momentum on Saturday following a clash between Alvaro Parente (K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S GT3) and Michael Cooper (Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R), with Parente knocked out of the race and the Portuguese driver taking a significant hit in the championship.

Sunday’s win was far more straightforward, as Heitkotter got the launch around polesitter Michael Lewis in the Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R and never looking back from there.

Heitkotter’s weekend sweep is the fifth of the year for a GT driver in World Challenge in nine race weekends (17 races) this year. Others were turned in by Lewis, then of EFFORT Racing, at St. Petersburg, Patrick Long (Wright Motorsports Porsche) at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Parente in Lime Rock Park and Ryan Eversley (RealTime Racing Acura) at Road America.

“This weekend is what I’ve dreamed for my whole life,” said the 35-year-old native of Fresno, Calif. “Since I was a little kid I always dreamed of being a racing driver and winning races. It took a while but here I am now and I’m racing with some of the best in the world. It’s a world class racing series with a lot of top teams and drivers, so to be up front in both races, get P1 and close the deal, two in a row – it feels really good.”

Heitkotter beat Adderly Fong (Bentley Team Absolute Bentley Continental GT3) and Long for the podium in both races; the Hong Kong driver secured his third and fourth podium finishes this season, while Long has now moved into the points lead over Parente with just three races remaining this season.

Of note, Parente only finished 11th in the second race at Utah – progress stalled out after gaining six spots in the opening lap. Craig Dolby, who filled in for Davison in the No. 33 Nissan, finished 10th and eighth, respectively.


Frankie Montecalvo (DIME Racing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3) and Martin Fuentes (Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) split the GTA class wins, Fuentes setting a class win record with his ninth of the season but first since Lime Rock in May after winning the first seven in a row to open the year.

Sloan Urry and Alec Udell meanwhile split the GT Cup class wins, with Udell delivering an impressive pass in the second race of the weekend to pass erstwhile leader McKay Snow, who had an impressive debut weekend in the series.

Anthony Mantella scored his first professional win in the first of two GTS races in his Mantella Autosport KTM X-BOW GT4, with Scott Heckert adding another win for a new GT4 car in the Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4 in the second GTS race. This was Heckert’s first win.

Calvert Dynamics won both of the SprintX races with Preston Calvert and Michael Lewis, a feat made more remarkable following the team’s primary car for SprintX sustaining a fire earlier in the weekend. Lewis’ Sprint car was pressed into action and courtesy of a last-lap pass in the first 60-minute race Saturday, the pair had their first win together. Calvert then finished the second race. TRG-AMR won GTS in both SprintX races, splitting the wins between Derek DeBoer/Jason Alexandridis (Saturday) and Max Riddle/Kris Wilson (Sunday).

The Touring Car classes also had their latest pair of races. Adam Poland (Mazda, TC), Jason Wolfe (Kia, TCA) and Tom O’Gorman (Honda, TCB) won the first race with John Weisberg (Mazda, TC), Wolfe (TCA) and O’Gorman (TCB) winning the second race.

The GT and GTS classes resume at Sonoma Raceway with the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale in September, while the TC classes are off until the overall Pirelli World Challenge season finale weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in October.

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”