Ian James started from the inside of Row 2 and fought his way to the front, passing leader George Kurtz early and holding off Drew Stavely in the later stages of the race to win the second of two Pirelli World Challenge GTS races at the Utah Motorsports Campus.
- RESULTS: 2017 Utah GTS Race 2
James held the lead of the 50-minute race when a late-race full-course caution appeared for contact between Jeff Courtney’s Maserati GT4 and Race 1 winner Rodrigo Baptista’s No. 3 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR that left the Porsche with its rear wheels buried in gravel.
The yellow flag set up a six-minute sprint to the finish with James’ No. 50 Panoz Avezzano GT holding off Stavely in the No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ginetta G55.
James took the white flag with Stavely less than a second in arrears and as the final lap played out on the 24-turn, 3.048-mile road course, the Ginetta pulled nearly even with the Panoz as the two cars hit the start-finish straight.
With Stavely in pursuit, James used all of the curbing at the exit of the final turn and muscled the Panoz to the checkered flag with a 0.6-second advantage over Stavely.
A second battle raged for the third position with the No. 14 Porsche of Nate Stacy and GTS Am driver George Kurtz’s No. 04 McLaren 570S GT4 side by side as they took the checkers. Timing and scoring revealed that the photo finish was won by Stacy while Kurtz was 0.1 seconds slower, topping the GTS Am subclass.
Lawson Aschenbach advanced three positions from the start to complete the top five in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro GT4 and placed fourth in the Pro ranking.
The next five positions at the finish were occupied by Am drivers with Frank Gannett, Adam Merzon, Chris Beaufait, Carter Yeung and Keith Jensen rounding out the top 10.
Martin Barkey, who starred at various points during Saturday’s Race 1, placed fifth in the Pro subclass and 11th overall.
Following their contact, Courtney and Baptista ended the race in the 12th and 14th positions, respectively.
GTS will be back on track for the 15th and 16th rounds of the 2017 schedule at the Circuit of The Americas on the weekend of Sept. 1–3 accompanied by the fourth, ninth and 10th rounds of the SprintX championship.