ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. – It's been a great morning for Nissan GT Academy U.S. champions Steven Doherty and Bryan Heitkotter behind the wheel of their Nissan Altima Touring Car (TC) racing machines.
In today's Pirelli World Challenge (PWC) race at Road America, Doherty, in his first PWC start of the year, took the checkered flag behind the wheel of the No. 94 GT Academy / Skullcandy Altima, while Heitkotter, in the identical No. 93 machine, qualified in the pole position.
The two GT Academy champions (Doherty in 2012, Heitkotter in 2011), started one-two in this morning's Cadillac Grand Prix at Road America, and Doherty immediately passed Heitkotter on the first green lap. The 14-lap, 40-minute event, which ran in mixed wet and drying conditions on the 4.048-mile 14-turn track, was ideal for the Altima racing machines. Once Doherty took the lead he never relinquished it and won by 6.337 seconds
"It was wet and slick for sure," said Doherty, 30, from Plainfield, Ill. "My teammate put up quite a fight for me to pass him, and we were drag racing our Altimas all the way down to Turn 5. I got him there and then it was clean sailing."
Doherty continued: "I knew that of anyone I could've trusted out there it was Bryan, and there's no question that the GT Academy training came in very handy in such rainy conditions!"
For that move, Doherty received the StopTech Brake Late, Finish First Award.
Heitkotter, 33, of Fresno, Calif. – who had won the pole position nearly eight seconds ahead of the second-place qualifier – finished sixth in the race.
The Road America weekend continues with another Pirelli World Challenge race (8th round) today at 5:30 p.m. CDT / 6:30 p.m. EDT, which can be viewed live on www.world-challengeTV.com.
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