Gresham Wagner of TechSport Racing led the field to green after earning the Continental Tire Pole Award earlier in the day with a time of 2:05.164. Wagner took control of the race while the field made their way through the first few turns at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) as Will Rodgers (Godwin Motorsports) and Tyler Gonzalez (Copeland Motorsports) jockeyed for the second position.
As the field sorted itself out through the first 15 minutes, Lucas Weisenberg (Lucas Racing) started his charge towards the front. Weisenberg took over the second position from Gonzalez and found himself one and a half seconds behind Wagner in front. Time continued to wind down as Weisenberg put the pressure on Wagner with 20 minutes to go. As the two drivers made their way through Turn 11 and 12, Wagner lost control of the car and forfeited the lead over to the Lucas Racing driver with 18 minutes to go.
While the leaders continued to pull away from the field, you could throw a blanket over third through eighth place as just half a second separated Gonzalez, Rodgers, Will Robusto (Smooge Racing), Jaxon Bell (Smooge Racing), Spike Kohlbecker (TechSport Racing), and Justin Piscitell (McCumbee McAleer Racing) with 15 minutes to go.
As the 45-minute timer expired, Weisenberg took the checkered flag just ahead of Wagner to earn his first GR Cup Series win of the year.
Weisenberg checked off two boxes in Race 1 at VIR, picking up his first win and first podium finish of the year. Wagner (second place) tallied his third podium finish in the first five races while Gonzalez stays perfect and makes it five-for-five with podium finishes in 2023.
Along with securing the race win, Weisenberg also clocked in the fastest lap of the race with a time of 02:06.728. Austin Dodge of RVA Graphics Motorsports claimed the Hard Charger award by gaining 11 positions throughout the course of the race. Smooge Racing driver Mia Lovell earned the Highest Finishing Female honors with a 12th place finish.
The GR Cup Overtime Drawing Award made its debut following Race 1 at VIR, with the 9th-30th place finishing drivers being put into a random drawing for a chance to win $5,000 courtesy of Toyota. Alex Garcia of Zotz Racing was the lucky winner of today’s drawing.
The GR Cup Series will have a quick turnaround as they are back on track at 8:05 AM Sunday morning for Race 2 qualifying followed by the green flag will drop at 12:15 PM ET. Live coverage of the race can be found on both grcup.com and the GT World Challenge YouTube channel.
An autograph session will take place at The Pavilion at 10:30 AM ET following qualifying. Fans are encouraged to come out and meet the drivers, get autographs, and snap photos with their favorite drivers.
Connect with us!