1-2 for Audi in the inaugural California 8 Hours at Laguna Seca
The inaugural California 8 Hours race took part during a weekend at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The race is a part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, together with Bathurst 12 Hour in February, Spa 24 Hours in July and Sepang 12 Hours in December.
The winners of the first California 8 Hours are Kelvin Van Der Linde, Markus Winkelhock and Pierre Kaffer, who were driving the #44 Audi R8 LMS for the Audi Sport Team Magnus. The eight-hour race was decided in a intense fight between the #44 Audi and the #29 Audi of Audi Sport Team Land. Van der Linde made a decisive move on Christopher Mies twenty minutes before the end, eventually crossing the finish line with 2.488 sec advantage over Mies. Other two drivers in the #29 Audi were Christopher Haase and Connor de Phillippi.
Nineteen crews took part in the race. The GT4 class winners are Jeff Westphal, Jeff Kearl and Sean McAlister in the #26 Porsche Cayman GT4 of Rearden Racing.
For Markus Winkelhock it was his second consecutive win in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, as he previously won the Spa 24 Hours with Sainteloc Racinbg. Winkelhock therefore has claimed the lead of the driver standings, taking over from his Spa co-winner Christopher Haase.
The final and decisive round of the 2017 Intercontinental GT Challenge, the Motul Sepang 12 Hours, will take place on December 9-10.