ASC S11 R12 Recap
25 Apr 2022
Autobahn Sportscar Challenge | Season 11 | Round 12
LMP2/GT3 Multiclass Event | Imola
Jeffrey Ooms absolutely dominated the field in the Prototype Class tonight claiming his 4th win of the season with the Autobahn Sportscar Challenge at Imola ahead of Carter Kundinger and Robert Tinsey. Johan Shirazi took the checkered flag for the GT Pro Class ahead of Young Park and Christopher Paiz while Ryan Robertson took his 7th win of the season beating out Robert Kast and Luke Schmidt in the GT AM Class as well as outpacing the GT field as a whole. “Should be a good fight for these last two rounds”, Kundinger remarked in regard to closing in on Billy Smith for the points championship, “It’ll be interesting, I might have to put a little bit more practice into those [final] two rounds if I really want to try to secure this championship.”
Jeffrey Ooms had the fast lap in the Prototype Class during qualifying with a lap at 1:31.190. Ryan Robertson in the GT AM Class was leading the entire 21-car GT field in lap times with a scored time of 1:42.114. Paul Gibson with the GT Pro Class was behind Robertson’s time by 0.026 when qualifying came to a close. As the drivers took to the track to begin the 60-minute feature event, a lower car count than previous events was noticeable with many prominent names not appearing as the 31 car field took the green flag.
The Prototype drivers were quick to single file out behind Ooms off the start with a similar start as the GT3 drivers moments later stacked behind Robertson. Robert Tinsey and Carter Kundinger battled over 3rd place as a large gap of over 4 seconds formed between the top 4 and the rest of the Prototype field going into the 4th lap. Ooms pulled away to a strong lead running 1.8 seconds ahead of Austin Young up front. The GT3 field was mixed together between the GT Pro and GT AM drivers benefiting Robertson the most as several Pro drivers were between himself and Luke Schmidt in 2nd place in the GT AM Class.
Trouble for Young ended his evening early as Tinsey and Kundinger continued to battle now for 2nd place over 10 seconds behind Ooms 15 minutes into the event. Billy Smith, the Prototype Class points leader going into the evening, started toward the rear of the field but was slowly advancing through the field reeling in Leif Peterson in 5th place. Small incidents shuffled the GT3 field with Gibson and Robertson holding the lead in their respective classes, each with sizable gaps ahead of their nearest competitors.
After battling through the first half of the race, Kundinger was able to overtake Tinsey on lap 17 for 2nd place. Ooms, Gibson, and Robertson continued to lead across the classes as the field approached the pit cycle going into the second half. Ooms had a massive gap of more than 24 seconds over Kundinger and Tinsey going into the final 20 minutes of the event and Smith continued to pressure Peterson now for 4th place further back in the Prototype field. Gibson had a 6 second gap over Johan Shirazi in the GT Pro Class and Robertson had stretched his lead to over 18 seconds over Robert Kast in the GT AM Class.
In the final 10-minute stretch, Gibson was forced to end his race early because of technical issues after a strong performance all night giving the GT Pro lead over to Shirazi with Young Park close behind. Kundinger and Tinsey started to develop a 10 second gap between them in 2nd and 3rd in the Prototype Class as Ooms further stretched out his lead by over 30 seconds. Smith was able to take 4th place away from Peterson and was running 3 seconds behind Tinsey with little time left to attempt to reel him in.
The final few laps proved to be not enough for Smith to make up substantial ground on Tinsey ahead in 3rd. Ooms crossed the line almost 40 seconds ahead of the rest of the field in the Prototype Class. Shirazi held the lead in the GT Pro class with Park close behind pressuring while Robertson took the GT3 overall win tonight as well as the unofficial points championship in the GT AM Class. “I put in a lot of practice for this track and I’m glad to see it paid off.”, Robertson commented after the race.
Billy Smith holds onto the points lead with 218 points with Carter Kundinger slowly closing the gap following behind by 17 points now. Ross Booth further stretches out the gap in the GT Pro class leading over Ryan Washeleski by 64 points with a total of 386 points. Ryan Robertson with 285 points has become the unofficial points winner in the GT AM Class with a dominate 118-point lead over Trent Brown going into the final two rounds of the season. Satellite Racing, consisting of Robert Tinsey, Ryan Washeleski, and Ryan Robertson, continues to lead in the team points standings with 289 points. The Autobahn Sportscar Challenge now heads out to Nürburgring for the next round on May 9th with all of the action broadcast live at 9:05PM ET only on the Virtual Grip Network!