Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams doubled-up on race wins Sunday in Pirelli World Challenge SprintX competition at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) where CRP Racing scored the overall and Pro-class victories, and Black Swan Racing won the Pro/Am division, finishing 10th overall. The pair of victories were the first for the Mercedes-AMG GT3 in Pirelli World Challenge competition and came in just the third race weekend of the year.
Ryan Dalziel and Daniel Morad co-drove the winning No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3, while Tim Pappas and Jeroen Bleekemolen shared the No. 54 Black Swan Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. The pair of Mercedes-AMG GT3s set the pace from the start in Sunday’s second and final 60-minute SprintX race, with Morad edging overall polesitter Bleekemolen for the early race lead.
Both Morad and Bleekemolen were well in control of their class leads by the time they handed off to their respective teammates, Dalziel and Pappas, just past the race’s halfway mark. Dalziel led by as many as 12 seconds before the race ultimately ended under caution in the race’s closing minutes.
Bleekemolen started the No. 54 Mercedes-AMG GT3 from the pole after setting the fastest overall race lap in Saturday’s race, which he also did in Sunday’s finale, just before Pappas took the wheel. Pappas made the most of the cushion Bleekemolen had built and kept several Pro-class competitors behind him as he drove to the Pro/Am class win and top-10 overall finish.
A third Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing team also participated in the VIR SprintX races. The No. 92 MCC Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3, driven by the father-and-son team of Alexandre Negrao and Alexandre Negrao Sr. Negrao Jr., had their new race car delivered to the track on Thursday. After shaking off a Friday practice incident, the father-son team finished sixth in the Pro/Am class in Saturday’s race.
In Sunday’s race, the No. 92 team raced as high third in Pro/Am and fifth overall as the field cycled through pit stops. The team elected to retire the car during a pit stop in the late stages of the race, leaving VIR pleased with its debut Pirelli World Challenge SprintX performance. Next up for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams in the Pirelli World Challenge is the second weekend of SprintX competition at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario, Canada, May 19 – 21.
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship return to competition next weekend for Round 4 at Circuit of The Americas (COTA), May 4 – 6.
Ryan Dalziel, Driver – No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “It was a great day for CRP and our Mercedes-AMG GT3. We opened the season with a couple of rough races where we had speed, but didn’t qualify well. We turned that around this weekend. The car was great from when we got off the truck. Having Daniel and being so compatible, we got dialed in and made good changes. We had a lot of people here from DeVilbiss, so it’s a nice one for us to win, and it’s going to be the turning point for the season.”
Daniel Morad, Driver – No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “Ryan and I discussed earlier that people only remember the last race of the weekend, so we had to make sure we won Sunday’s race. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 was fantastic all race. CRP Racing gave us a perfect car and we were able to deliver results. This is our first win for DeVilbiss, so I can’t be happier on my debut with the team to get the win. I’m looking forward to the next one. We collected good points for the championship. The next race is my home race in Canada, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Jeroen Bleekemolen, Driver – No. 54 Black Swan Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “It was a great weekend. It’s awesome to be back with the guys at Black Swan Racing. It has been a while, we have shared lots of success and I am happy we could continue that today. We had the strongest car in the field with our Mercedes-AMG GT3, and the car ran great as usual. We had two fastest race laps this weekend, started from the overall pole today and took a win in Pro/Am, which is really what we were after. Tim drove great today and was right up there with the Pro drivers.”