Michael Cooper sealed victory in race two of the Pirelli World Challenge’s Touring Class to complete a perfect opening weekend of the season, taking pole and winning both races and leaves with the lead in the points standings.
The reigning SCCA Mazda MX-5 Cup champion started from second in class on the grid behind Tristan Herbert’s HPA Motorsports Volkswagen Jetta GLI, with the fastest laps from yesterday’s race used to determine the grid, but a bad start for Herbert saw Cooper take the lead and never look back in the Atlanta Motorsports Group Mazda3.
Herbert dropped all the way down to tenth place in class but worked his way back up the order to finish third, after being a strong contender for the race win yesterday.
The race saw the Full Course Caution thrown three times, with the #2 CRP Racing GT class Chevrolet Corvette of Mike Skeen stalling at the start, with the second on lap 3 as the GT class #46 Porsche 911 GT3 of Justin Marks went out at Turn 1 in an incident with Dino Crescentini’s Porsche, who was also forced to retire.
The third caution was on lap 12 to recover the stray wheel of Greg Shaffer’s GTS class Nissan 370Z from the first corner. Shaffer had collided with Shea Holbrook’s Compass360 Racing Honda Civic after Holbrook locked up into the corner whilst Shaffer was trying to pass the Touring Class contender around the outside, with Holbrook limping back to the pits with damage.
The final part of the race was caution free as Michael Cooper continued to build a lead over Canadian driver Anthony Rapone’s Durabond Racing Civic. Rapone made a mistake into Turn 1, locking his wheels and lost a spot to Todd Lamb’s Compass360 Racing Honda. Rapone would lose a further position to Tristan Herbert before the end of the race and would finish in fourth.
Former KPAX Racing Volvo team-mates Robb Holland and Aaron Povoledo were next across the line, though both now with different teams with Holland driving for Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si and Povoledo in a Caban Motorsports Volkswagen Jetta GLI.
The next round for the Touring Class teams in the Pirelli World Challenge will be at Miller Motorsports Park on 27th April.