Lazzaro Earns First World Challenge Victory
LEEDS, Ala. – Anthony Lazzaro and Nick Mancuso made it a pair of wins for R. Ferri Motorsports in GT and GT-A, while Mark Wilkins made it back-to-back wins in GTS for Kia Racing/Kinetic Motorsports during the Pirelli World Challenge event Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park.
Lazzaro, of Atlanta, Ga., took his first series win in the No. 61 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, which improves on his results of fourth and third in the first two races of the year. On Saturday, after starting second, Lazzaro ran behind teammate Mancuso all day but made a sterling pass through traffic on Lap 17 to take the lead.
While the pair was going through slower cars, Lazzaro made it to Mancuso’s outside, but the inside of a slower car, to gain the lead through the left-handed Turn 5 hairpin to secure the top spot, a spot he held until the end of the 32-lap race.
“It came down to traffic, it was very hard to pass and super, super tight racing,” Lazzaro said. “It was a great race. Once I got out in front I thought I could pull away, and fortunately that happened.
“It’s a huge deal for Remo (Ferri) to come to the third race and podium with both cars, after having both cars on the front row,” he added. “We knew we’d be good here. We had a great setup for the race; it’s the best yet we’ve performed.” Mancuso, of Chicago, ultimately fell back to third overall, but still top GT-A classified driver in the No. 16 R. Ferri Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia GT3. He started on the Motul Pole Position for the first time this season.
He nearly got second back from Long Beach winner Johnny O’Connell, of Flowery Branch, Ga., in the No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS.V-R on the final lap. Mancuso dove to the inside of O’Connell in turn five, but his line ran wide and O’Connell held onto the position.
“At the end there, I had to try it. I would have stayed up all night thinking about it if I didn’t,” Mancuso said. “But it’s definitely a great day when you can get two podiums in the same day for the first time.”