All racers have a game plan going into the championship race and it’s usually out the window by Turn 1. That wasn’t the case for Zach Hillmann who made a plan and rode it to the championship.
“We had a good plan going into the race today,” he said. “We were going to save the car the best we could. We had a pace that we wanted to run, went out and did a couple of flyer laps, built a gap, ran our pace the whole race and managed from there.”
Hillmann knew he had a good car after clinching pole for and winning Saturday’s qualifying race. On Sunday, Hillmann was able to build a 12.6-second lead over second-place finisher Michael Sousa and 13.2 seconds over Scott Blair, who finished third.
Sousa had run into some trouble through the weekend. After some contact with a lapped car in Saturday’s qualifying race, Sousa had to start from the back of the pack. He and Blair tried to work together to catch Hillmann, but when they realized they were running out of time, they began racing each other.
“Once it hit about 20 minutes, 15 minutes left in the race, we just started to dice it out and we had a phenomenal, phenomenal battle,” Sousa said. “Yeah, that was awesome.”
Blair, who won the GTS2 Championship at Sebring in 2017, also had his share of troubles that weekend. He had to start from the back of the pack due to a pass under yellow in Saturday’s qualifying race.
“We couldn’t get to Hillman. He was checked out,” Blair said. “But the two of us battled pretty much neck and neck the entire race until the caution and then the checkered. So, it was a fun race. Obviously I would’ve liked to edge him out, but he’s a great driver, and I’m happy to be on the podium.”