Victory in Race 1 for Gradient Racing at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park
After a remarkable final twenty minutes during which, Marc Miller held off his charging championship rival, Kyle Marcelli, Gradient Racing took it’s maiden victory in Saturday’s Race 1 of Round 3 of the Blancpain World Challenge America at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Marc Miller, Driver #5 Unit Nutrition Acura NSX GT3 Evo:
I knew the gap every lap and for a while Kyle [Marcelli] was closing in on me at a half a second per lap. I didn’t want to push too hard and make a big mistake. I was doing the math in my head in terms of how many laps until he caught me and I was thinking to myself “Oh Man! There’s not enough time!” When he got to about three or four seconds back, that is when I began to push harder. We didn’t qualify too well and that is partly due to me not being in a GT car since August of last year, so I have been banging the rust off.
Overnight the team made a lot of improvements and our performance is a real testament to the whole team. I’ve been with these guys a long time but this is my first SRO Blancpain World Challenge America race and my first race with the team this season. I was excited to get Till his first win, but selfishly, I’m delighted to get my first win in the series too, it was a great experience. We hope to be able to repeat that tomorrow, but the competition is extremely tough. Today, there were no cautions and with probably the fastest Bronze-rated driver, in Till, we had a real advantage coming into our fuel stop. If it had been equal coming out of the stop, I’m not sure I would have been able to hold Marcelli’s pace. But we’ll see what happens tomorrow and we’ll see what I have to do to keep us in contention and hopefully bring Till another victory for the team.
Till Bechtolsheimer, Driver #5 Unit Nutrition Acura NSX GT3 Evo:
It was a great race. It’s my first victory with the team so I couldn’t be happier. We didn’t have the best qualifying sessions yesterday, so we had a lot of work to do, but the team did a great job overnight to give us a good car. It was lot of fun starting fourth and overtaking three cars to get into first in Pro-Am. Marc drove a hell of a race to keep the Racers Edge car behind us.
Sunday’s Race 2 was not as successful for the Austin-based team. A delayed pit stop cost the team valuable seconds and despite Till’s efforts in the second part of the race, fifth position in Pro-Am was the best the Acura team could do. Till leaves Canada in second place in Blancpain World Challenge America Pro-Am Standings just 23 points behind the drivers of the #80 Racers Edge Acura NSX GT3 Evo.
Races seven and eight take place at Sonoma Raceway on June 8th and 9th. The track action begins on Thursday, June 6th with a promoter test with official practice starting on Friday, June 7th at 2:45pm EST. You can watch the races live on YouTube. For full event coverage please follow Gradient Racing on Twitter at @GradientRacing, on Instagram at @gradientracing and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GradientRacing/.