Tim Pruitt replaced a transaxle and overcame bad luck to earn his first GTS1 Championship.

GTS1 racer Tim Pruitt had to get used to working for good finishes during the Eastern States Championships at Road Atlanta. He didn’t get to race Friday, and he had to replace a transaxle on Saturday, so he had to start from the back of the pack and work his way toward the front. He found himself in a similar situation on Sunday for the big race, but made the best of it and came in first to win the GTS1 Championship.

“Today I started fifth, went to the front, got passed by the second-place car during the restart, but it was a heck of a run,” Pruitt said. “These guys are all great drivers, Joey and Larry, real good to race with them.”

Team Fire Engine driver Brandon Pantas had the lead early in the race and second place at the finish, but he was disqualified for a punt. That moved Joey Sullivan from third to second.

“It was a bit of a melee at the start,” Sullivan said. “We had a bit of a pile-up with our group and I kind of got shuffled back and I spent the rest of the race literally chasing to stay with Tim and Brandon the whole time. Then on the restart, I kind of screwed up and ran off and then Larry got by and I spent the rest of the race chasing Larry. I got him on the last lap. It was fantastic racing.”

Joey Sullivan held off Larry Helm to take second in GTS1
Joey Sullivan held off Larry Helm to take second in GTS1

Larry Helm nearly had a second-place finish, and he might have been fighting so hard because he didn’t know Pantas would be DQ’d. For all Helm knew, he was fighting for the last spot on the podium.

“I got real fortunate. There were some real fine racers out there that are a lot faster than me and have been for the last two days,” Helm said. “A couple of them pulled out early and without Joey making a little mistake there on the restart I wouldn’t have been able to stay with him. The rest of the race it was just hanging in there and staying with the pack. I learned a lot this weekend running with this class of people that all the really good racers have been here. It was a real gas being here.”

Larry Helm took third in GTS1 in his Porsche 944.
Larry Helm took third in GTS1 in his Porsche 944.
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