CANADA – Adam Pecorari, of Aston, Pa., led all but the first lap from the pole to take his first-career SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car win at Mosport International Raceway, part of the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. Teammate Chip Herr, of Lititz, Pa., was second, followed by Pierre Kleinubing, of Coconut Creek, Fla.
Driving the No. 19 STaSIS/Clear Capital/Pfaff Audi A4, Pecorari slipped past fellow front row starter Herr in turn 10 on the second lap and never looked back, taking a 0.219-second win under caution, averaging 86.251 mph.
“This is amazing, because there are so many fast drivers in these series,” Pecorari said. “We were quick at Mid-Ohio, but couldn’t back it up in qualifying and the race. This weekend we started off quick as well. The car has been amazing all weekend, all three of our cars were great. I just did my job and there wasn’t too much I could have messed up.
“We had a good start. I know Chip is amazing on the standing starts, so I just tucked behind him. Then I got by him on the next lap and put my head down. I was able to pull a little gap until the yellow came out, which I was a little upset to see that. I managed to pull a gap after, but Chip started turning some really good laps and I wasn’t, but I was able to keep it and get my first win.”
The race was slowed by two cautions, one to retrieve the Mazda 6 of Charles Espenlaub from the Turn Three tire wall halfway through the event. The second coming out on the last lap, after Roberto Santos crashed his Mazda into the turn two tire wall. Neither driver was injured.
“At first I wasn’t happy to see that yellow at the end of the race,” Pecorari said. “I thought we were going to go green, white, checker and I was pissed. Then I saw the yellow in eight and the white flag in nine and I started going nuts. I almost jumped out of the car.”
Defending race winner Herr played wingman in his No. 17 STaSIS/Clear Capital/Pfaff Audi A4 for much of the race, holding off the advances of four-time Mosport winner Kleinubing and his No. 1 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura TSX.
“I got a good start. I don’t know what happened to Adam, but we all said before the race that we were going to work together,” Herr said. “With three [teammates] in the top three, the last thing you want to do as teammates is take each other out, so we had a sort of gentlemen’s agreement. I cleared Adam in Turn One, took the lead and he just tucked in behind me.
“My car developed a push, which I didn’t realize in the first couple of laps on the new tires, since we ran rain tires in qualifying. Coming onto the front straight, the front end pushed, I had to get off the throttle and run wide a little. Adam had a great run on me, took the line and I just tucked in behind him. I actually couldn’t catch him for most of the race after that. I fell back a bit and saw Pierre coming. I know this is his track, so I had to watch my mirrors and at the same time try to set up a draft with Adam.”
While Kleinubing was attempting to split the pair of red Audis, he was also trying desperately to hold off teammate Kuno Wittmer and his No. 44 Acura Certified Pre-Owned/RealTime Racing Acura RSX. Several times throughout the race, Wittmer got a run on his teammate up the back straight and looked to the inside. Holding true to his reputation of being one of the hardest drivers to pass in the series, Kleinubing closed the door each time going into Turn Eight, twice forcing Wittmer over the apex curb.
“Kuno [Wittmer] closed up on me and we thought we’d be able to help each other out and talk on the radio, but he wasn’t closing up on the straightaway to bump me and get closer to these guys,” Kleinubing said. “One time he got really close he tried to pass me and I had to close the door in Turn Eight. Then something happened with Kuno’s car with two or three laps to go and that was the end of that.
“I had a pretty good start. Kuno [Wittmer] gave me a push and I got into fourth right away behind [Ian] Baas. He really didn’t seem to have the same power Chip and Adam had. I was able to close up on him on the straightaway and get side-by-side a couple of times. I think by the third or fourth time I got him in Turn Eight. From there I just put my head down and tried to run with these guys, but I couldn’t really make a charge. Once or twice Chip ran wide, but he was just teasing me—letting me get that close.”
Canadian Wittmer, who paced both practice sessions before qualifying was held in the wet, held on to fourth after starting seventh. Randy Pobst finished fifth in the No. 73 Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Mazda 6 after starting sixth.
Point leader Jeff Altenburg (Mazda 6) finished sixth, followed by Seth Thomas (BMW 325i), who had the fastest lap of the race with a 1:30.876 (97.441 mph), Ian Baas (Audi A4), James Sofronas (BMW 325Ci) and Peter Cunningham (Acura TSX).
Thomas, of Cumming, Ga., was the top Toyo Tires Cup driver in his No. 38 Bimmerworld BMW.
After missing qualifying to change an engine in his No. 64 Autoanalyser Racing Lexus IS 300, Canadian Andrew Wojteczko finished 12th, earning the B&M Shifters Hole Shot Award for advancing five positions on the first lap, the Sunoco Hard Charger Award for advancing 11 positions in the race and the Piloti Rookie of the Race Award for being the highest finishing rookie.
Despite finishing behind teammate and chief Drivers’ Championship protagonist Pobst, Altenburg held onto his point lead, 235 to 221. Kleinubing gained some ground, with 199 points, followed by Herr (196) and Sofronas (190).
Mazda still holds a substantial lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship Presented by RACER Magazine, 55 to 39 over Acura, followed by Audi (35) and BMW (26).
Today’s race will be broadcast on SPEED Channel Saturday, Sept. 1 at 1 p.m. (EDT). The series next travels to Road Atlanta as part of the Petit Le Mans, Oct. 3-6.