SALT LAKE CITY, UT. – Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams combined for one race win and four more podium finishes in a successful and season-ending weekend of Pirelli World Challenge SprintX GT and GTS competition at Utah Motorsports Campus highlighted by the first SprintX GT Am class victory for David Askew and the No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 team on Saturday.
A second-year Mercedes-AMG Motorsport customer team, Utah-based DXDT Racing and Askew broke through for their first GT Am class win on their home track. Askew’s solo drive in hot conditions on a 3.048-mile road course he and the team know well were key factors in the milestone win.
DXDT’s win anchored four more podium appearances on the weekend for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport customer teams, including Askew’s third-place GT Am showing in Sunday’s final race.
Competing in the top-tier GT Pro class, Lone Star Racing and team co-drivers Mike Skeen and Scott Heckert turned in their second podium sweep of the SprintX season at UMC in the No. 80 ACS Manufacturing/Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. The team previously finished second and third in the SprintX season-opening doubleheader at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in March.
The double-podium showing completed a great weekend of competition for Lone Star Racing at UMC that saw Heckert qualify fourth on Saturday and Skeen lead the opening half of Sunday’s race after starting from the pole for the third time this season.
Originally set to roll off from the outside front row, Skeen was moved to first on the grid Sunday after the original P1 starter had a technical infraction prior to the race.
Skeen also started first in Memorial Day’s race at Lime Rock Park and won his first pole in the No. 80 in the season-opening race at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in March.
The weekend’s other podium showing came from a season-best performance in the SprintX GTS Pro/Am class by Matt Fassnacht and Christian Szymczak in the No. 34 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4.
The No. 34 team drivers finished fourth overall in both weekend races, but Saturday’s result also delivered a third-place showing in the SprintX GTS Pro/Am class.
A regrouped No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 team was also in GT Pro action at UMC with the new driver pairing of third-generation driver Matt Brabham and 2017 SprintX GT Pro co-champion Michael Cooper.
The No. 2 retired in the pits halfway through Saturday’s race but rebounded for a lead-lap, sixth-place class finish in Sunday’s final.
Next up for Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams in Pirelli World Challenge is the season-ending GT and GTS Sprint series doubleheader weekend at Watkins Glen International, August 31 – September 2.
David Askew, Driver – No. 63 DXDT Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “It’s awesome. It’s awesome to get the win on home soil, and this is my first victory in Pirelli World Challenge GT Am. I have been working at it a long time and finally I got one. I am really happy. This adds a lot of confidence. It was hot, but I am used to the heat. I race out here a lot, we have a local racing series here, and I must give a shout out to those guys. They taught me almost everything I know. It was very hot but manageable.”
Mike Skeen, Driver – No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “We came into the weekend knowing we had a good Mercedes-AMG GT3, a good team and that we could execute well. We were just hoping for a good, clean weekend, no mistakes, and ended up having good race pace. We executed well and found ourselves on the podium each day, so we can’t complain.”
Scott Heckert, Driver – No. 80 Lone Star Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “The Mercedes-AMG GT3 was fantastic. We still struggled a little bit down the straight, but I certainly can’t complain. We had some advantages in braking performance and the usual stability in the high-speed stuff. It all leveled out to really equal lap times. It was hard to pass being down a little on to speed, but I think Pirelli World Challenge really hit the nail on the head with the pre-race Balance of Performance (BoP) change. It really put all of the cars in a similar ball park.”
Michael Cooper, Driver – No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “I enjoyed my first weekend back in GT and getting to try out the Mercedes-AMG GT3. I learned a bit about the car and I’m looking forward to Watkins Glen, which I think will suit the car well. We were able to save a set of sticker tires for that race, which should help us have a little advantage over the others in practices and getting the car setup. I’m really looking forward to that weekend.”
Matt Brabham, Driver – No. 2 CRP Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: “It was great to have a clean race and get more comfortable with the Mercedes-AMG GT3. We missed a bit of seat time Saturday, but the team and the guys did a good job fixing the car. We had no issues on the car during Sunday’s race, which was great. We lost a little bit of time on the pit stop, but we’re making ground. The bad luck from earlier in the weekend hurt us later in the weekend.”
Matt Fassnacht, Driver – No. 34 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4: “We were really happy to end the SprintX season on a high note. I feel really great. I love to win races, the trophies and all that glory, but what I really race for is the respect of the people who I respect. When drivers out there who are professional, championship drivers give me respect for what I am doing, I think that is a huge victory. It’s kind of refreshing at the end of the season here to get some results and show what I can do. I knew this was going to be a year of learning for me because I went from racing Mazdas for the past six years into a Mercedes-AMG GT4 car, and it’s a big transition. I just never imagined it would be this much of a learning year, but in a good way. I hoped to come away from this year having learned a ton and I probably learned five times more. You couldn’t have scripted a year where I could have learned more, and that’s a good thing for the long run.”