Sandberg, Aschenbach, Chase and Stacy in Class Championship Picture – GTS Class Overview
The GTS class has featured some of the best wheel–to–wheel competition seen in racing in recent years. And 2016 has been no different with six different drivers piloting machinery from five different manufacturers scoring GTS race wins thus far this season.
A number of new teams have entered the series bringing new platforms to PWC including ANSA Autosport. Brett Sandberg comes into the weekend leading the GTS Driver’s Championship with 1092 points after winning his fourth race of the season in Round 12 at Road America. He will pilot the No. 13 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4. Teaming up with Sandberg is Dore Chaponick Jr. in the No. 12 ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4, and Bill Ziegler who will drive the No. 9 ANSA Motorsports KTM X–Bow GT4. Sandberg’s performance thus far has helped KTM stay in the lead in GTS Manufacturer’s Points with 90, six points ahead of Chevrolet coming into the weekend (84 points).
Leading the charge for Chevrolet is four-time series and two-time GTS champion Lawson Aschenbach piloting the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop Chevrolet Z28. Since 2013, a Blackdog Chevy has claimed the GTS Championship – Aschenbach did so in 2013 and 2014, with Cooper winning in 2015. Aschenbach started off the season with a win at COTA in Round 1, and has since been victorious three more times including in Round 13 at Mid-Ohio. He comes into the weekend only 22 points behind Sandberg with 1070. He will team with series veteran Tony Gaples who will pilot the No. 11 Blackdog Speedshop Chevrolet Z28 – Gaples sits 8th in the class championship with 630 points.
Another team that has entered a new platform in the series is the Performance Motorsports Group. Fifteen–year–old Rookie Parker Chase pilots the team’s No. 19 Ginetta GT4 and has had an impressive season thus far – he sits third overall in the championship with 971 points. Parker’s best PWC finish of the season has been a second – a result he achieved in Round 6 at Barber and in Round 8 at CTMP. He will look to score his first PWC career series win this coming weekend. Parker will team with Harry Gottsacker, in the No. 29 Performance Motorsports Group Ginetta GT4.
Jack Roush Jr. in the No. 60 ROUSH Road Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302, and 16-year-old phenom Nate Stacy in the No. 14 Rehagen Racing/Stacy Racing machine team up to lead the Ford charge. Roush won back–to–back races at St. Petersburg and comes into the weekend 6th in the standings with 801 points. Stacy finished second in Round 13 at Mid-Ohio matching his previous best result of the season (second at COTA in Round 1). Like Chase, Stacy will look to score his first GTS PWC victory this weekend in Utah – with 961 points he sits fourth in the run for the class championship. Roush and Stacy as will look to help Ford win its second consecutive GTS Manufacturer’s Championship in 2016 – coming into the weekend Ford sits in third with 80 points.
Scott Dollahite, piloting the No. 46 SDR Motorsports Lotus Evora, comes into the weekend fifth with 856 points. Dollahite has been a model of consistency this season recording eight top 5 finishes in 13 starts.
Scott Heckert will pilot the No. 54 Racers Edge Motorsports SIN Cars/Racers Edge Motorsports SIN R1 GT4. Teaming with Heckert is Jade Buford who has won three races in six starts this season in the No. 45 SIN Cars SIN R1 GT4. Heckert sits 7th in the championship standings, while Buford sits 10th.
Canadian team Mantella Autosport Inc. brings a two–car effort to Utah with Anthony Mantella in the No. 8 Gulf KTM X–Bow GT4, and teammate Martin Barkey in the No. 80 MBRP Sportlab Sawmill Creative car.
TRG–AMR brings an Aston Martin Vantage GT4 for Max Riddle, in the No. 07 Adobe Road Winery, LaSalle Solutions machine. Riddle won Round 8 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
The 20-car GTS field includes Kevin Marshall, in the No. 44 VSA Motorsports Lotus GT4; Mark Klenin, in the No. 62 Schomp/Premiere Copy Klenin Performance Racing Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4; Jeff Courtney in the No. 99 RecStuff.com, Kenda JCR Motorsports Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo; Salt Lake City’s Vesko Kozarov, in the No. 23 Nissan/Nismo/Stance CA Sport Nissan 370Z NISMO; and Ron Ballard in the No. 93 AK&J Sealants RT Motorsports, LLC Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo.