Olivier Beretta makes his Pirelli World Challenge season opener count
His Ferrari edges out Ryan Dalziel's Porsche in the last few laps.
AUSTIN, Texas – There was little doubt that before the Pirelli World Challenge season was over, Olivier Beretta, in the R. Ferri Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 Italia would make some noise, but Beretta didn’t wait: The rookie-in-name-only in the PWC GT series hounded EFFORT Racing’s Ryan Dalziel until the last few laps of the race at Circuit of the Americas, then making a surgical pass on Dalziel’s Porsche 911 GT3R and taking the overall win in the Nissan Grand Prix of Texas Present By Mogul.
Daliziel hung on for second, while series champ Johnny O’Connell, in the new Cadillac ATS-VR GT3 was third. Dalziel inherited the lead after polesitter Nick Catsburg let his Lamborghini drift over a forbidden line, drawing a drive-through penalty. He finished 10th.
"I got beside him, and I just had to go for it," Beretta said, making a clean pass on Dalziel, who rallied back to lead for a moment before Beretta began stretching out his lead.
Lewis takes GTA
In the GTA class, former open wheel driver Michael Lewis, in a team EFFORT Porsche to Dalziel’s GT entry, took that class victory for his first PWC victory. Lewis credited Dalziel for coaching him on the car and the track, and he drove a near-flawless race.
In GT Cup, an all-Porsche 911 GT3 class, Colin Thompson took the win.
Day one of the two-day event had five races among the seven PWC classes. The final race is still on the track – we’ll have a complete wrap-up later.
Cadillac ATS-V.R race cars to start on fifth row at COTA
R.Ferri Motorsport wins 2015 Pirelli World Challenge season opener