WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Jarett Andretti raced to his first overall Pirelli GT4 America Sprint victory on Sunday afternoon at Watkins Glen Int’l.
Gar Robinson got the jump on the start of the event, but Andretti’s No. 18 Andretti Autosport McLaren 570S GT4 stayed close. Andretti snatched the lead away from Robinson in the bus stop on lap one and never looked back.
“We were good on new tires, so I knew I had to get Gar early in the race,” said Andretti. “It was a really good run, but I spent the last three laps defending for my life! It feels great to win here at the Glen. This team and everything its about is great. These guys did not go to the hotel last night, they stayed at the track all night, and I appreciate everything they’ve done. It’s awesome, it means a lot.”
With 39 minutes remaining in the race, Shane Lewis would attempt a pass on Michael Cooper at the bus stop, but would make contact, forcing Lewis to fall down to 19th position, with Cooper’s car also suffering damage that slowly dropped him through the field.
At the same time, Spencer Pumpelly would inherit third position, with championship leader Ian James moving into fourth.
For the next 15 minutes, the top three overall leaders would run nose to tail – Andretti, Robinson and Pumpelly – with fourth-placed Ian James slowly reeling the trio in. With 20 minutes remaining, a safety car would be called for an incident involving Jeff Burton’s No .91 Rearden Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4, grouping the field back together for a long caution period.
The race would get back under green with just more than seven minutes remaining with Andretti leading Robinson, Pumpelly, James and Jeff Courtney, who was leading the Am category.
On the last lap, James would make a run at Spencer Pumpelly for the final podium position, but bump him slightly at turn nine and allow both Courtney and Drew Staveley through to finish first and second in the Am class, third and fourth overall. James would let Pumpelly back through to take third in the Pro class, fifth overall, while James would end up seventh overall and fourth in class.
Courtney would take the Am-class win with Drew Staveley second and Alan Brynjolfsson third. Aristotle Balogh would finish fourth in class with Sean Quinlan fifth.