World Challenge GT-A champion Michael Mills in his EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R holding off GT driver Alex Figge's McLaren at Miller Motorsports Park.
Tooele, Utah. Two podium finishes at Miller Motorsports Park capped Michael Mills' (Angleton, Texas) late season comeback to capture the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge GT Amateur (GT-A) Championship in the No. 41 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R. Jack Baldwin did all he could to add a second championship for Porsche for the year but came up just short. The Marietta, Georgia resident took a podium finish on Friday and a victory today in the GTS class driving the No. 73 GTSport Racing Porsche Cayman S.
Porsche 911 GT3 R
Mills, a driving instructor, had taken an early season point lead in the new GT-A class designed for sportsman racers. On-track incidents had dropped him to third place mid-year after winning the second round at Long Beach. It took podium finishes at Mid-Ohio, Toronto, Sonoma Raceway and this weekend at Miller Motorsports Park to claim the championship. Mills' strong finish coincided with EFFORT Racing's increasing familiarity with the (type 997 based) Porsche 911 GT3 R, which spent its first season in North American sports car racing.
Ryan Dalziel (Winter Park, Florida) was entered after the mid way point of the season to complete the schedule in the No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R and therefore not in title contention. However, the native of Scotland finished the season with three victories and five podiums over the last six races. The veteran sports car racer added a second-place finish in today's final round this afternoon. On Friday, Dalziel was leading the first of the two 50-minute races when the team retired the No. 31 with a late-race tire puncture. On Saturday, he and a McLaren ran nose to tail for the last half of the race fighting for the lead. Dalziel was edged out by less than one-tenth of a second to finish second.
Porsche Cayman S
In GTS class, Baldwin had one of the strongest cars all weekend. The veteran driver entered the race with a long shot chance to win the GTS class title in his 987 based No. 73 GTSport Porsche Cayman S. He improved those chances with a second-place finish after leading much of the race before being bumped by a lapped car. On Saturday, he came back to take the race victory, his third win of the season, to finish second in the championship.
Michael Mills, No. 41 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, 2014 GT-A Champion: "I can't believe I am standing up here with guys like Johnny O'Connell and Lawson Aschenbach - GM factory drivers - as a Pirelli World Challenge Champion. I am just a club racer with a full-time job, and this is moonlighting for me. Everyone at EFFORT Racing has worked so hard that I am honored to be able to do my part to bring home the title. I also want to thank Ryan Dalziel and Tim and Joerg Bergmeister, and Nick Tandy whose driving strategy advice helped me learn the Porsche 911 GT3 R. This was a great way to end the season - first the class win yesterday and wrapping it up today with another podium."
Ryan Dalziel, No. 31 EFFORT Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R, GT class: "EFFORT Racing gave me a terrific car for both races, and the launch control on the Porsche 911 GT3 R really gives me a rocket start for these Pirelli World Challenge events. We were on our way to victory yesterday before a puncture ended our chances, and today we came within one-tenth of a second of beating the McLaren. I really appreciated the opportunity to drive for EFFORT for the last six races of the season, and hope to be back in the Pirelli World Challenge in some capacity next year."
Jack Baldwin, No. 73 GTSport Porsche Cayman S, GTS class, second overall for the season: "It was a great day for GTSport Racing, our sponsors and Porsche. The way the guys were able to adapt and overcome all of what we have endured this season is a remarkable. The guys never gave up and to finish strong second overall with a win is a fantastic achievement . I can't say enough about how well my Porsche Cayman S ran and handled yesterday and today. A first and a second at the season finale. What a great finish!"
Complete results for both races can be found at:
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