Circuit of the Americas is home to the smallest of track days to the arguably most-important event of them all: Formula One. Yet, a happy medium of interesting and captivating racing and size can be found each year the Pirelli World Challenge comes to the 3.42 miles of Texas turns. As you’ll find at any car meet, quite a few cars had a unique chrome asthetic-wrap.
Photo courtesy: Kurt Bradley, shooting for Jalopnik.
Aside from the minor head-on collision between Panoz and McLaren around Turn 1 and a few wheel-bumps, the two-day sets of races proved rather uneventful, sparing one major important detail:
Of the few women drivers in the racing industry - yet alone PWC - two of them held their own and lead the pack of the class at the same time, for a brief period on Sunday, March 25th. This is a first for PWC and an important milestone.
Samantha Tan and Aurora Straus, both driving for ST Racing, took over from their male racing partners during a mandatory driver swap in the GTS Sprint-X race. Tan took car #34, with Straus jumping into #36 - both BMW GT4s. According to race officials, Tan and Straus kept the lead in their respective Pro-Pro and Pro-Am classes for four laps until they entered the pit lane.
Besides the temporary female-domination of the GTS Sprint-X race, Ferrari dominated as the brand holding the most wins over the course of two days, keeping them in a steady third place in the series with 100 points thus far, behind Porsche, Cadillac and McLaren GT, respectively.
Toni Vilander and Miguel Molina took a second victory over the two days, with them edging out over the Mercedes AMG GT3 by 2.521 seconds with their #61 Ferrari 488 GT3. Both race under R.Ferri Motorsports.
Photo: John Feinberg, shooting for The Checkered Flag.
Following Molina and Vilander were Wei Lu and Jeff Segal, both driving the TR3 Racing #31 white Ferrari 488 GT3. They raced in the GT Sprint-X race, in the Pro-Am class, compared to the Pro-Pro of Vilander and Molina.
Alex Welch and James Sofronas, both racing under Sofronas’ GMG Racing brand, led their Audi R8 LMS GT4 to victory on Sunday in the GTS Sprint-X. It’s a welcomed feeling for the team’s owner, Sofronas, who won both races in 2017 and one in 2013 at COTA during PWC.
The next set of races are scheduled for late April - one week after Moto GP visits COTA - on April 27th through the 29th in Virginia at the Virginia International Raceway. Let’s see if Ferrari can keep that lead and Tan and Strauss can keep showing what they are capable of as a duo.
For a full list of photos taken, you can visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHskyi8Jj9