Saturday, September 12, 2015

Champions Crowned on Saturday at Laguna Seca

Two championships were locked up on Saturday from Laguna Seca.

Garett Grist won the first Pro Mazda race and Santiago Urrutia clinched the title with a second place finish. The Uruguayan caught a break as his main championship rival Neil Alberico spun while running third. Had the American finished on the podium, the title would have been decided in the finale on Sunday. Alberico's spin dropped him to 16th and promoted Will Owen to the final podium position, 9.7838 seconds behind Grist. Grist scored a grand slam as he led all 18 laps from pole position and scored fastest lap. Jose Gutierrez and Weiron Tan rounded out the top five.

Dalton Kellett finished behind his Andretti Autosport teammate Tan in sixth. Raoul Owens finished seventh with Cape Motorsports drivers Florian Latorre and Daniel Burkett finishing eighth and ninth respectively. Michael Johnson rounded out the top ten. It is Johnson's first top ten of the season after missing most of 2015 due to injuries suffered at St. Petersburg. Ironically, Johnson's last top ten came at St. Petersburg in 2014.

The second Pro Mazda race will take place at 2:40 p.m. ET tomorrow.

In U.S. F2000, Nico Jamin scored his ninth victory of the season and clinched the 2015 U.S. F2000 championship. The Frenchman won from pole position and defeated Australian Anthony Martin by 8.2995 seconds. Second in the U.S. F2000 champion, Jake Eidson finished third, 0.543 seconds behind Martin. Aaron Telitz was fourth, 12.897 seconds back of Jamin with Canadian Parker Thompson rounding out the top five, 29.4437 seconds behind Jamin.

German Keyvan Andres Soori was sixth, over 30 seconds behind Jamin. Nikita Lastochkin was seventh with Yufeng Luo in eighth. Garth Rickards was ninth with Peter Portante rounding out the top ten in his first start of the U.S. F2000 season.

The U.S. F2000 finale will take place at 7:00 p.m. ET tomorrow.

While two titles were clinched on Saturday, three championships will be decided on Sunday.

Spencer Pigot won race one of the Indy Lights weekend and took tentatively took the championship lead entering the finale on Sunday. Pigot led a Juncos Racing 1-2 as Kyle Kaiser finished second. Carlin's Ed Jones finished third with 8Star Motorsports' Sean Rayhall finishing a close fourth. Pigot led 28 of 30 laps after pole-sitter Max Chilton had a minor brush with the corkscrew tires on lap three.

Jack Harvey fell to second in the championship after finishing fifth in race one. His Schmidt Peterson Motorsports teammate RC Enerson finished sixth. Juan Piedrahita came home in seventh with Shelby Blackstock, Scott Anderson and Ethan Ringel rounding out the top ten.

The Indy Lights season finale will be at 5:40 p.m. ET tomorrow.

In Pirelli World Challenge GTS, Jack Baldwin won pole position in the #73 Porsche and will be joined on the front row by Kris Wilson in the #07 Aston Martin. Kia swept row two with Ben Clucas and Mark Wilkins. Both championship contenders will start on row three with the challenger Andrew Aquilante starting fifth in the #32 Ford and Michael Cooper in sixth driving the #10 Chevrolet.

Dean Martin and Andy Lee will start on row four with Jack Roush, Jr. and Mark Klenin rounding out the top ten. Derek Hill will start 11th in his first race of the 2015 season. Other notable starters in GTS are Freddie Hunt in 16th, Vesko Kozarov in 18th and Jon Fogarty in 20th.

The GTS race will take place at 1:35 p.m. ET tomorrow.

In Pirelli World Challenge GT, the NGT Motorsport Ferraris of Alessandro Pier Guidi and Alessandro Balzan will start on the front row. The #31 EFFORT Racing Porsche of Ryan Dalziel and the #2 CMP Racing Audi of Mike Skeen will start on row two. Championship leader Johnny O'Connell will start fifth in the #3 Cadillac with his teammate Andy Pilgrim joining him on row three.

The #9 McLaren of Kevin Éstre will be joined on row four by the #41 EFFORT Racing Porsche of Michael Lewis. Peter Cunningham in the #42 Acura and the #20 Bentley of Guy Smith round out the top ten. Ryan Eversley will start 11th in the #43 Acura with second in the championship, Olivier Beretta starting 12th in the #61 Ferrari. The #95 BMW of Dane Cameron and the #33 Nissan of James Davison rounds out the top fourteen.

The GT race will be at 4:35 p.m. ET tomorrow.