GT Academy champions start in the wet, end on dry track for podium finishes at Mid-Ohio Pirelli World Challenge event

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  • Doherty Second, Heitkotter Third in Touring Car Class
  • Second Podium for Each Driver in 2014

LEXINGTON, Ohio  – Sometimes the toughest test of a race driver’s skill is at 60 mph, not at 160 mph. GT Academy Champions Steve Doherty and Bryan Heitkotter slipped, then gripped their way to a hard-earned podium finishes in today’s Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car (TC) class race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The 45-minute sprint began with every car in the field on racing slicks in a rain that increased in intensity throughout the pace laps and made the track slippery for all 30-plus racers.

“Everybody stayed on slicks, so when we started the race it was crazy out there,” said the 2011 GT Academy champ Heitkotter. “At Mid-Ohio, finding (tire) grip is a key, and it was pretty challenging today. I had a good time, kept the car in one piece and came away with third, so I’m pretty happy with that.”

Doherty started the race in second and got by the second place Miata early. He tried a pass on the race leader and eventual winner late on lap one, and found the car rotating quickly around. He recovered and picked up pace as the track dried off to capture a second place finish.

“In turn nine, I went for the lead and almost paid the price. I was facing the wrong way,” said Doherty. “My previous front wheel drive racing experience helped me save it and get back around without losing my position. As the track dried out, I was able to turn some fast laps, so hopefully I’ll have the pole for tomorrow’s race.”

The Skullcandy GT Academy Altimas now have four podium finishes in the last three Pirelli World Challenge TC class races.

Saturday’s Race 2 grid positions will be determined by fastest lap times from today’s race. Race 2 will be at 4:35 p.m. ET with live streaming on




Steve Yaeger
Nissan Motorsports

Issued by Nissan