The first round of the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge is in the books and it was an excellent racing experience for all involved. The 2019 series opener was held at Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 24, 2019. The Compass Racing team of Paul Holton and Kuno Wittmer won the GS Class in their McLaren GT4, while the TCR class was won by the LA Honda World Racing team of Tom O’Gorman and Shelby Blackstock in their Honda Civic TCR.
About the Michelin Pilot Challenge Series
The series runs in conjunction with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and involves performance vehicles in the sports car, sedan and coupe classes of vehicles, with the only modifications allowed being in the area of safety. There are 10 races during the season with two classes of cars – Grand Sport (GS) and Touring Car (TCR).
GS Podium Rundown
The triumphant team of Holton and Wittmer started on the pole and pretty much never looked back, winning the race with a fast lap of 1:52.656 (1 min. 52.656 seconds). Crossing the finish line in second place was the team of Kris Wilson and Gary Ferrera driving their Automatic Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 with a fastest lap of 1:53.622. Driving another McLaren GT4 with a fast lap of 1:53.299, the Motorsports in Action team of Corey Fergus and Jesse Lazare rounded out the podium in third place for the GS class. These three also came in first through third overall.
TCR Class Top Three
The TCR Class winners O’Gorman and Blackstock finished 22nd overall to win their class with a fast lap of 1:59.697. Teammates at LA Honda World Mat Pombo and Mike LaMarra took second place in the class and 23rd overall in their Civic TCR and posted a fast lap of 2:00.009. Rounding out the TCR podium and finishing 24th overall was the Fast MD Racing team of James Vance, Jared Salinsky, and Nick Galante in their Audi RS3 LMS TCR.