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Jul 26, 2014 - 05:45 PM
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No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R Earns First GTLM Win Of Season As Bomarito
Posted by: newsla on Jul 26, 2014 - 05:38 PM
Sports Cars
No. 93 Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R Earns First GTLM Win Of Season As Bomarito, Wittmer Drive To Victory At Indianapolis Motor Speedway


SRT Motorsports drivers Jonathan Bomarito and Kuno Wittmer stood atop the Indianapolis Motor Speedway podium after scoring the first TUDOR United SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class victory for the Dodge Viper SRT GTS-R on Friday in the Brickyard Grand Prix.

 

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Bomarito qualified the car third and yielded to Wittmer to start the race. With 44 minutes elapsed in the two-hour and 45-minute race, Bomarito took over behind the wheel. Just over an hour later, Bomarito passed Nick Tandy in the Porsche 911 RSR for the lead and held it until the checkered flag.

"I was second in 2012, and I’ve got to tell you, I was pretty jealous watching those guys kiss the bricks," said Bomarito. "To come back here and experience that first hand with the team…everybody that is part of this team was out there kissing the bricks. I hope, and I know, it drives everyone to push even harder between now and the race at Road America."

"Everything is coming together ever so slowly and it’s starting to show. The last two or three races you think, ‘Can we keep this momentum going?’ That’s always the question and you always try to work harder," said Wittmer. "You don’t get to kiss the bricks every day."

Patrick Long and Michael Christensen put Porsche North American on the podium with a third-place run in their No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR, finishing just 0.348 seconds out of second.

Formula 1 veteran Giancarlo Fisichella earned the No. 62 Ferrari F458 Italia its first GTLM pole on Thursday and teamed with Pierre Kaffer to finish second for Risi Competizione. During his run, Fisichella turned a new race lap record of 1:26.846.

Fisichella surrendered the lead to John Edwards just eight minutes into the race, but battled back into the lead 15 minutes later. He would give it back up for good while pitting under yellow at the 48-minute mark.

Bomarito and Wittmer had been slowly working their way up the podium in recent races after finishing third at Watkins Glen International and second at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

"It was very special. It’s great momentum, we have three podiums in a row," added Bomarito.

The top seven GTLM cars finished on the same lap.

BALZAN, WESTPHAL NOTCH SECOND TUDOR CHAMPIONSHIP WIN IN NO. 63 FERRARI

Alessandro Balzan and Jeff Westphal duplicated their results from Detroit Belle Isle in May by winning the GT Daytona (GTD) class for the second victory of the year in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia.

Westphal held the lead with the Ferrari briefly while under caution before he turned over the wheel to Balzan at the one-hour mark. On the seventh and final class lead change of the race, Balzan passed James Davison’s No. 007 TRG Aston Martin V12 Vantage with 36 minutes remaining.

"It was the perfect race," Balzan said. "Yesterday we had a very hard day because we had problems with the setup during qualifying, but I knew that the car could be very fast. The stop was certainly the key how we won today. This year we don’t have the fastest car out there."

"We pushed all the way to the last minute. We tried to make our way up the field when we could," added Westphal. "It’s probably one of the more historic wins I’ve had in my career. It’s a really, really nice feeling to win and kiss the bricks."

Christopher Haase and Bryce Miller matched their best finish of the season with a second-place finish in their No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS. Miller and Haase also finished second at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May.

Jeroen Bleekemolen and Ben Keating, victorious in the most recent race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, added a third manufacturer to the podium with a third-place finish in the No. 33 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R. Bleekemolen crossed the line 6.772 seconds behind Haase.

Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler unofficially retain the points lead, finishing just 1.462 seconds off the podium. The No. 555 AIM Autosport Ferrari 458 Italia rebounded from a 10th-place at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to finish fourth.

The next race for the TUDOR Championship will be the Continental Tire Road Race Showcase at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Sunday, August 10.

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