Rennsport One’s Stevan McAleer was able to overtake AutoTechnic Racing’s Austen Smith with 29 minutes to go Sunday (Oct. 9).
That ultimately ended up being the pass that gave them the overall lead. From there, McAleer held on to win his and teammate Eric Filguerias‘ 11th Pirelli GT4 America SprintX race of the season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“[This season] has been a massive deal for ourselves,” McAleer told SRO America’s Amanda Busick after the race. “The chemistry between Eric [Filguerias] and myself right from the get go [has been great]. We won the round at Sonoma and just never looked back.”
The start was a complete mess. SMOOGE Racing’s Aaron Telitz started on pole, but didn’t get a very good start. Everyone scattered, creating a three-wide situation in turn 1. Contact was made between Flying Lizard Motorsports’ Andy Lee and NOLAsport’s Jason Hart, resulting in Hart spinning into Telitz. Telitz then spun out and was hit by Premier Racing’s Elliott Skeer.
The crash ultimately swung the Pro-Am championship as Skeer and Adam Adelson were in position to win it. The team’s Porsche suffered damage in the crash that put them out at the end of the first lap. The team entered the race with a two-point lead over NOLAsport’s No. 47 Porsche of Hart and Scott Noble, but that ended their chances.
When the smoke cleared, Conquest Racing’s Gavin Sanders ended up with the overall lead with AutoTechnic Racing’s Zac Anderson in second. Filguerias was up to third, while John Capestro-Dubets drove all the way up to fourth in two laps after starting 17th. Anderson was eventually able to take the overall lead away from Sanders, while Capestro-Dubets was able to follow through into second.
Right before the pit window opened, contact resulted in KRUGSPEED’s Jaden Lander breaking his left front suspension and coming to a halt in the grass near turn 9. A full course caution at that time of the race would cause chaos, so the SRO America officials chose to not put it out.
Due to fear that the officials might change their minds, all the leaders chose to pit as soon as possible. Here, AutoTechnic Racing ran into problems. There is a minimum pit lane delta that must be adhered to during the stops. A one-second “joker” under the time minimum can be applied once per weekend.
The pit stop for the race leading No. 51 to switch from Anderson to Smith was approximately two seconds too fast. That’s a penalty.
However, before the penalty could be applied, McAleer was able to run down Smith and make the pass. Once the pit window was closed and everyone had stopped, that ended up being the pass for the overall lead.
After the pit window was complete, the safety car came out to retrieve Lander’s Supra. The race restarted with 13 minutes to go and McAleer ran off and hid. Behind McAleer, a three-wide run down to turn 1 resulted in Conquest Racing’s Michai Stephens moving up to second.
The chaos was not over, though. With nine minutes to go, Carrus Callas Raceteam’s Nick Shanny was hit by The Heart of Racing’s Gray Newell in turn 11 and spun into the SAFER Barrier on turn 2 of the oval. That crash resulted in the second safety car period.
On the final restart, McAleer was able to get away again. Meanwhile, AutoTechnic Racing’s Tom Capizzi went over the inside curb in turn 1 and clipped BimmerWorld Racing’s James Walker, spinning Walker out.
Stephens was able to get up to McAleer’s rear bumper on the final lap and tried to make things interesting. McAleer was able to hold off Stephens and take the win. Further back, Chouest-Povoledo Racing’s Ross Chouest was able to get up to second in the restart scramble and made his move at turn 7 to take the Pro-Am class lead from Capizzi. From there, Chouest was able to hold on to take the class win for himself and Aaron Povoledo. For Chouest, it is his second win of the day.
Filguerias and McAleer’s margin of victory was .251 seconds over Sanders and Stephens. Chouest and Povoledo were third, then Fast Track Racing’s Toby Grahovec and Tim Horrell. Capizzi and Capestro-Dubets rounded out the top five.
In Pro-Am, Chouest and Povoledo’s margin of victory was .818 seconds over Grahovec and Horrell, courtesy of a late charge from Grahovec. Capizzi and Capestro-Dubets were unofficially third, then Accelerating Performance’s Justin Piscitelli and Moisey Uretsky. Newell and Ian James were unofficially fifth. Noble and Hart finished sixth in class (16th overall) to win the Pro-Am title. For Hart, it is his second straight Pro-Am title.
In the Am class, Carrus Callas Raceteam’s Terry Borcheller started on the class pole in 13th and managed to avoid the first corner carnage to move up to 10th. From there, Borcheller continued to move forward in his Supra, eventually getting up to fifth overall.
The switchover to Shanny went just fine and Shanny resumed in fifth overall. The full course caution killed his lead, though.
Shanny ended up getting a bad restart and got swamped in the first turn. That allowed BimmerWorld Racing’s Charlie Postins to take the class lead. Shanny ended up dropping from sixth to 13th overall and fourth in the Am class.
In the scramble on the final restart, AutoTechnic Racing’s Alex Filsinger was able to sweep past Postins to take the class lead. From there, he held on to give himself and Rob Walker their second win of the year.
Filsinger and Rob Walker ended up sixth overall in their BMW. They ended up 1.745 seconds ahead of Postins and James Clay. Third went to STR38 Motorsports’ Ramana Lagemann and Robert Mau in their debut weekend. If Lagemann’s name sounds familiar, he is best known as a rally racer who has competed for Subaru in SCCA ProRally and Rally America competition in the past. This weekend was Lagemann’s professional sports car racing debut.
Rooster Hall Racing’s Todd Brown and Johan Schwartz finished fourth, despite being penalized for being under the minimum pit time. NOLAsport’s Alain Stad and Kris Wilson were fifth.
PIRELLI GT4 AMERICA SPRINTX INDIANAPOLIS RACE NO. 2 RESULTS
It should be noted that these results are unofficial. There are multiple incidents being reviewed and penalties will likely be levied.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.
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