Bryan Heitkotter sweeps Salt Lake City with two GT-R victories
Former Nissan GT Academy winner Bryan Heitkotter stormed to his first overall professional win this weekend – then backed that up to take a clean sweep aboard his Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 at the Utah Motorsports Campus.
The Pirelli World Challenge racer qualified third for the first race on Saturday for the Always Evolving/AIM Autosport squad and took the lead on the outside of turn one on the opening lap. He charged away at the front of the pack and was unchallenged to win his first overall GT3 race by 3.632 seconds.
The 2011 GT Academy USA winner took five GTA class wins last year before graduating from the amateur class into the full pro ranks.
Saturday’s victory was the first overall World Challenge win for the Californian ace and the first Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 win in the series since Road America in June last year.
Not content with just taking his win, Heitkotter repeated the performance on Sunday. Starting from the front row, he took the lead into turn one and then brought home his second victory by 1.375 seconds.
“I’m just so happy to be a part of this team,” said Heitkotter. “Always Evolving and Nissan came together for this GT-R GT3 program in America and it has been a dream come true – I can’t thank everybody enough. The car was even better today than yesterday. I started one position higher on the front row and had a pretty good start and was able to take the lead into turn one. The guys behind me battled it out for a couple of laps and I was able to build a gap and I could manage it from there. Adderly Fong was applying some pretty good pressure for most of the race so that kept it interesting.
“I was doing everything I could to hit my marks and be as fast as possible while being easy on the tires. It went green the whole way; you never know if you are going to get yellow and are going to have a restart. In the end it was a very tough but well managed race. All thanks to the guys for giving me such a good car to drive. I can’t believe it: two wins in a row. Utah has been good to me. I’m looking forward to the next race in Sonoma and very happy to be making good gains in the championship late in the season.”
British driver Craig Dolby finished the weekend in 10th and eighth places in the two races but also topped the times in the Sunday morning warm-up in his U.S. debut. Dolby is one of the drivers under consideration for the Always Evolving / AIM Autosport planned expansion for 2017.