Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia (#3 Corvette Racing C7.R) led the GT Le Mans standings coming into Virginia International Raceway, 4 points ahead of Dirk Werner and Bill Auberlen (#25 BMW Team RLL Z4 GTE), and 5 points up on Patrick Pilet (#911 Porsche North America 911 RSR). Pilet, however, had won the last two consecutive races. The #62 Risi Competitizione Ferrari 458 Italia (Giancarlo Fisichella and Pierre Kaffer) won at VIR each of the past two years and started third on the grid today, with the #911 on pole (Nick Tandy) and its sister #912 (Jorg Bergmeister and Earl Bamber)
The VIR round of the championship featured just the two GT classes
GT Daytona standings before the race were topped by Christina Nielsen (#007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage), followed by Dion von Moltke and Christopher Haase (-2, #48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS) and Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell (-9, #63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia). The Audi started on pole.
Kaffer moved into second behind Tandy through the first few turns, with Bergmeister pushing his way back into the position but losing it again down the first lap’s backstretch. Von Moltke kept the lead through the initial GTD laps, followed by Sweedler, and Patrick Lindsey (#73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America). These running orders remained in place with 2 hr and 22 min to go in the 2:40-long race.
Tandy and Pilet led every lap en route to their third consecutive Tudor United SportsCar Championship victory. The team scored its second consecutive 1-2 finish, with the #912 entry of Bamber and Joerg Bergmeister taking second, 27.267 sec behind. Pilet took over the points lead in the GTLM class. Tandy missed two races earlier in the season to compete in other races in Europe, and scored the overall victory in June’s 24 Hours of Le Mans co-driving a Porsche prototype with Bamber and Formula 1 racer Nico Hulkenberg.
The #62 Ferrari gave the Porsches a run for their money. Kaffer charged late in the race in a bid to take second from Bamber, only to come up 0.575 sec shy of the #912 Porsche as the Ferrari finished third for the second consecutive race.
Sweedler and Bell earned their first GTD victory since the inaugural race of the Tudor Championship, the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona. Their victory was the first Tudor Championship win of the season for Ferrari. Sweedler took the lead 27 min into the Oak Tree Grand Prix after battling von Moltke since the start.
The Ferrari held the top position in the class for the majority of the rest of the race, giving up the lead to the Audi for three laps and to the #007 Aston for one. The Scuderia Corsa duo are now second in the points with 226. Kuno Wittmer drove the #007 to second, allowing co-driver Christina Nielsen to extend her GTD points standings lead to six points, 232-226, over Sweedler and Bell. Nielsen took over the GTD points lead from Haase and von Moltke after placing second at Road America two weeks ago.
Team Seattle/Alex Job Racing drivers Mario Farnbacher and Ian James captured the team’s third podium finish of the season, placing their Porsche 911 third in Sunday’s race. The team gained one place in the standings, putting them in fifth with 213 points.