Monday, August 13, 2016 at Utah Motorsports Campus
After a month break since his last Pirelli World Challenge Championship win at Road America, Dime Racing driver Frankie Montecalvo won again at the Grand Prix of Utah on Saturday.
Throughout the weekend, Montecalvo showed impressive lap times putting him at the top of his class in all of the practice sessions and battling for a top ten spot with the Pirelli World Challenge GT competitors. Montecalvo qualified the Dime Racing Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 on the pole and his fast lap times continued into race one on Saturday when he raced his way to the fourth position overall and maintained a top five position for a major portion of the race. During that time, Montecalvo set a provisional lap record and went on to claim the Pirelli World Challenge GTA win.
“I’m really pleased with our result from the weekend, but especially the first race. I’ve spent a lot of time at the Utah Motorsports Campus, so to come away with a win at a track you really enjoy driving at is always special,” said Montecalvo.
“Going into the weekend I could tell we had a better racecar. The practice sessions felt good and we were pretty quick for qualifying. We didn’t have the set up perfectly nailed down for the first race, but the car was still very quick, so I was able to stay out of trouble, keep P1 in the GTA class and battled for fourth position overall with the GT guys, which was a lot of fun. In the last minutes of the stint, the tires started to wear off pretty significantly, so I lost a couple of positions overall, but was really pleased to come away with the class win.”
Montecalvo posted the fastest lap in class on Saturday’s race giving him the pole position for race two on Sunday. Montecalvo led the bulk of the race in class but a rear suspension failure late in the race forced him to retire the car.
“The Dime Racing Mercedes AMG SLS GT3 felt a little weird during the morning warm up, but I thought the feeling might be caused by the old tires we were running. At the start of the race, and on fresh tires, the car still felt odd, but I tried to run as fast as I could and was hanging on as tight as possible, but unfortunately the problem kept getting worse and worse,” explained Montecalvo.
“Finally with about ten minutes to go, the rear suspension let go causing me to spin. I tried to limp the car around so that we could hopefully finish on the podium, but there was no way it was going to make it those final laps. I was bummed not to have another podium finish, but still really happy about the win on Saturday.”
The next rounds for the Pirelli World Challenge Championship will be held at Sonoma Raceway on September 16-18. Montecalvo raced at the picturesque northern California track for the first time in 2015 and is looking forward to returning.
“I’m excited to head back to Sonoma Raceway for the second time. We had a great run there last year and I’m looking forward to getting back to that track. We will have our new chassis in time for Sonoma, so I can’t wait to see what we can do with a fresh chassis, and I hope we can make a run for another win there next month.”
“The competition was fierce this weekend,” says Race Director Rod Shegem about Saturday’s first place podium win. “Frankie is an excellent driver and we’re always eager to see him win.”
Don’t forget, you can catch the re-air of the Grand Prix of Utah on Sunday, August 21 at 2:00 PM EST on CBS Sports Network!