Miguel Molina and Toni Vilander teamed to finish third overall in Saturday’s Blancpain GT World Challenge America race at Virginia International Raceway, while Squadra Corse Garage Italia took its third consecutive Am class victory of the new season.
PRO. After the pit stop exchange saw him lose ground following the handover from Molina, Vilander fought back to take a third-place finish for R. Ferri Motorsport in the No. 61 Ferrari of Ontario/Toronto/Alberta Zekelman Industries Ferrari 488 GT3.
Starting the 90-minute race on the outside of the second row, Molina worked his way up to third prior to the opening of the pit window near the midway point. Molina pitted with the lead late in the sequence, but Vilander rejoined the battle in fourth following a 71-second pit stop.
Vilander fought back to regain third place both overall and in the class before a late-race caution set up a three-lap sprint to the finish. Losing an overall position to a Pro-Am competitor on the restart, the motivated Vilander managed to regain third with a last-lap pass.
“We had a bit of a delay with the driver change,” said R. Ferri Motorsport team manager Enrico Diano said following the pit stop. “Things got tangled up with the seat belts and HANS Device, and we lost a position. It’s unfortunate, but Toni’s pushed hard to catch up.”
Looking to continue the strong run of Ferrari results in the Blancpain GT ranks, Molina and Vilander won the second round at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas after finishing fourth in the opening race of the season.
PRO-AM. Alfred Caiola and Matt Plumb took the checkered flag running in a season-best third in the Pro-Am class and sixth overall, driving One11 Competition’s No. 99 Ferrari 488 GT3.
Caiola, making his move to the GT America after racing in the Ferrari Challenge, worked from an eighth-place qualifying position in class to running fourth in the class prior to his pit stop. Plumb maintained fourth throughout his stint, moving into position for a podium finish at the final restart.
AM. Caesar Bacarella and Martin Fuentes continued to dominate the Am class, leading nearly all the way while winning in the Squadra Corse Garage Italia No. 07 Ferrari 488 GT3. The team swept the season-opening weekend at COTA, with the pair combining to win 12 of the last 13 Blancpain GT races.
Continuing to build speed in their first season at the Blancpain GT level, Brian Kaminskey and Christopher Cagnazzi finished second in the class in the No. 19 One11 Competition’s Ferrari 488 GT3.