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May 23, 2022

ASC S11 R14 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

23 May 2022
Autobahn Sportscar Challenge | Season 11 | Round 14
LMP2/GT3 Multiclass Event | Spa

Daniel Neice took the final checkered flag of the season tonight with the Autobahn Sportscar Challenge at Circuit de Spa ahead of Billy Smith and Robert Tinsey in the Prototype Class. David Williams beat Young Park and Christopher Paiz to the line in the GT Pro Class and Robert Kast finished ahead of Sheldon Rosenbaum and Dale Green in the GT AM Class. Smith won the Prototype season championship with Ross Booth and Ryan Robertson winning the GT Pro and GT AM Class season championships respectively.

Robert Tinsey started the evening off on the pole in the Prototype Class with a fast lap of 2:01.392 and David Williams was on the pole for the GT drivers with a 2:15.978. The 28-car field took the green with all eyes on Billy Smith and Carter Kundinger who were directly competing against each other for the season championship. Daniel Neice quickly took the lead away from Tinsey going around the first lap with Smith moving up to 4th directly behind Kundinger.

Tinsey retook the lead on the following lap and built a gap of around 0.6 with Kundinger and Smith close behind Neice running single file. Williams had a strong lead over Washeleski and Schmidt by over 3 seconds 10 minutes into the race. Neice again cleared into the lead ahead of Tinsey as Lou Carbonneau tried to challenge Smith for 4th, but Carbonneau eventually conceded and fell back in line behind Smith. Smith was guarding 4th place aggressively as a 4th place finish or better would win him the championship over Kundinger in the end.

Carbonneau tried several more time to take away 4th place from Smith. Able to clear for the position, Carbonneau made effective use of lap traffic to block Smith who fell back to 5th. Kundinger was forced to leave the racing line to avoid an incident within the GT field and that allowed Carbonneau to close the gap between them and take 3rd place away. Kundinger struggled to collect himself back up as Smith also got around him while Kundinger continued to fall short of his previous pace.

Kundinger regained his composure and caught back up to Smith 20 minutes into the evening and cleared back in 4th with 10 laps completed. Williams extended his gap ahead of the GT3 field by over 6 seconds demonstrating the dominate pace in the early stages. Smith was able to match pace with Kundinger but seemed content to play it safe and follow Kundinger for the time being letting the time count down. Neice was showing one of the strongest performances seen from him since the beginning of the season with the gap between himself and the rest of the Prototype drivers was over 5 seconds.

As the first round of pit cycles had begun, Kundinger and Smith stayed out putting Smith in the lead ahead of Kundinger. Neice was able to take 2nd when all drivers finished with the first pit stop of the night. Smith was running in the lead after taking a short pit stop to create distance between himself and Kundinger. Tinsey moved up to 3rd place and Kundinger was holding onto 4th with Leif Peterson rounding out the top 5 going into the second half of the 90-minute event.

With 40 minutes remaining, Williams was leading the GT3 Class by almost 12 seconds as he consistently outpaced the rest of the field. Kundinger was aggressively pushing through traffic trying to close the 5 second gap to Tinsey in 3rd place while Smith extended his lead to over 3.5 seconds ahead of Neice. Peterson stayed close to Kundinger and went side by side through several corners battling over 4th. The battle stretched out over a few laps with lap traffic assisting either driver at different times while they swapped positions back and forth.

Peterson won the position when Kundinger choose to take his final pit stop early. Smith went down pit road on the following lap giving the lead to Neice temporarily. Smith came out of pit road ahead of Kundinger while the majority of the Prototype drivers had yet to stop for fuel. Neice stayed out for several laps longer than his competitors stretching the gap as far as he could. Neice rejoined the race over 3 seconds ahead of Smith on track and held onto the lead going into the final 20 minutes.

As the season came to a close, Smith seemed to finish out the night choosing the championship over risking to try for the win and crossed the line in 2nd place behind Neice. Kundinger finished in 4th place behind Tinsey. Billy Smith officially took the season championship in the Prototype Class ahead of Carter Kundinger and Robert Tinsey. Ross Booth won the championship in the GT Pro Class ahead of Paul Gibson and Ryan Washeleski and Ryan Robertson to the championship in the GT AM Class with a landslide over Trent Brown and Franco Margarella.

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