Canada’s Anthony Mantella drove his Mantella Autosport KTM X-Bow to his first Pirelli World Challenge pro victory on Saturday at Utah Motorsports Campus by winning the 50-minute GTS Round 14 sprint event.
Mantella, the Canadian importer and distributor for the KTM X-Bow, started sixth on the grid and quickly moved towards the front, and by Lap 2 had slid by 17-year-old Harry Gottsacker in the Ginetta.
The X-Bow then moved in on polesitter Scott Heckert in the Racer’s Edge SIN R1 and on Lap 4 made the pass and started pulling away from the opposition.
Mantella then had to survive a restart at half distance following a full-course caution, and initially he stumbled as Gottsacker got him. However, a lap later the KTM was back in front, and in control and Mantella drove to a 2.3sec victory over the similar car of Brett Sandberg, the points leader. Mantella also took fastest lap, earning him pole for Sunday’s race.
Said Mantella: “This is my first pro win and this track is such a great place to race. I had a pro driver on my tail and the track conditions were spectacular. As I crossed the finish line, I had tears in my eyes. I was thinking about everybody who helped me get here.
“The start was wild today as I split two cars into turn one and didn’t lift off the throttle. It was just a matter of time until I could get the lead. I had more speed than those guys in the corners. This car is spectacular right out of the box.”
Sandberg, who started fifth in the ANSA Motorsports KTM X-Bow, extended his GTS point lead after his nearest rival, Lawson Aschenbach who could manage only seventh in the Black Dog Speed Shop Chevrolet Camaro.
After Gottsacker slid off track with two laps to go, it was Parker Chase, the 15-year-old high school sophomore who grabbed the Ginetta marque a podium finish by staving off a great challenge from Heckert. Behind Heckert ran Jeff Courtney in the Kenda/JCR Motorsports Maserati Gran Turismo.
Pos. PIC, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Laps, Status
1. 1, GTS, Anthony Mantella, Toronto ON, KTM XBow GT4, 25, Running
2. 2, GTS, Brett Sandberg, Allendale NJ, KTM XBow GT4, 25, Running
3. 3, GTS, Parker Chase, New Braunfels TX, Ginetta GT4, 25, Running
4. 4, GTS, Scott Heckert, Ridgefield CT/Freeland WA, SIN R1 GT4, 25, Running
5. 5, GTS, Jeff Courtney, Milwaukee WI, Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo, 25, Running
6. 6, GTS, Scott Dollahite, Austin TX, Lotus Evora, 25, Running
7. 7, GTS, Lawson Aschenbach, Palm Beach Gardens FL, Chevrolet Camaro, 25, Running
8. 8, GTS, Mark Klenin, Lone Tree CO, Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo, 25, Running
9. 9, GTS, Dore Chaponick Jr., Miami FL, KTM XBow GT4, 25, Running
10. 11, GTS, Martin Barkey, Huntsville ON, KTM XBow GT4, 24, Running
11. 10, GTS, Harry Gottsacker, San Antonio TX, Ginetta GT4, 23, Not Running
12. 12, GTS, Nate Stacy, Owasso OK, Ford Mustang Boss 302, 17, Not Running
13. 13, GTS, Tony Gaples, Libertyville IL, Chevrolet Camaro, 17, Running
14. 14, GTS, Max Riddle, Vancouver BC, Aston Martin Vantage GT4, 11, DNF
15. 15, GTS, Vesko Kozarov/Vesko Kozarov, Salt Lake City UT, Nissan 370Z, 7, DNF
16. 16, GTS , Bill Ziegler, Ponte Verdra FL, KTM XBow GT4, 4, DNF
Heitkotter grabs his first PWC GT victory
Heckert dominates World Challenge GTS at Utah